Whether it’s your first time at Watermark or you’ve been a Member since the beginning, we are so glad you’re here. Weekly in the Watermark News, you can read how God is changing lives (Ephesians 4:20-24) through personal, real-life stories of redemption, reconciliation, and grace. Spoiler alert: We’re all sinners (Romans 3:23). We all mess up. But we’re not scared of our sin or yours, because it doesn’t define us (John 1:8-9). No matter where you are in your faith journey, we pray that these stories will encourage and inspire you to learn more about the perfect God who pursues you just as you are.
How did you come to know the Lord?
Kevin: “I grew up in church and accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was seven years old. I remember thinking it made sense, and I didn’t want to go to hell because it sounded horrible. Throughout high school, Christianity to me was mostly going through the motions and doing the ‘right thing.’ I found myself upset because I thought living the Christian life meant God wasn’t allowing me to have fun. I felt like I was missing out on the teenage experiences of partying, drinking, and dating.
“Now, in hindsight, I can see that God was faithful to me despite me not always wanting what He was giving me. It seemed even when I didn’t want a responsibility or opportunity, God would put me in positions to be used for His glory. I became involved in student ministries like Young Life and Fellowship of Christian Athletes at school, and quickly found myself in leadership roles without truly having an intimate relationship with the Lord.
“In college, I remained active in Young Life and it was there that I experienced true, biblical community for the first time in my life. As a Young Life leader in Austin, I had the opportunity to share Jesus with high school kids, and while it was difficult and awkward, I grew so much as a Christ-follower. I came to know what it looked like to walk with Jesus every day. This ignited a dependence on Jesus that I didn’t have before, surrendering to the Spirit in my daily life– and it was fun and full of joy (John 10:10).
“God was so faithful to me at a young age, even when I didn’t know how to love Him back. He offers that same grace to everyone. I always thought my story was inadequate or boring, but it’s not. It is a testament to God’s power and love. I was just as dead in my sin as the person who seemingly was so far from the Lord with a lifetime of poor choices. I didn’t fully grasp that for a long time. It’s a miracle that I know Jesus, even though my life hasn’t included drastic, outward rebellion.”
Katie: “Our stories are very similar. When I was nine years old, I accepted Jesus into my heart at summer camp. Although I didn’t understand the full truth of the gospel, I knew I wanted a life with Christ instead of one away from Him. Choosing Jesus at a young age means much of my story is God protecting me from the difficult circumstances, temptations, and relationships that a lot of people face.
“As I grew older and more intimately in my relationship with Christ, I found joy. It wasn’t just going to church and knowing the right answers; Jesus wanted my heart, and I was willing to give it to Him. I was willing to lose everything else for the sake of knowing Christ (Matthew 10:39). Some people have to ‘hit rock bottom’ to know they need Jesus. My rock bottom was just in really shallow water. Everyone has different stories but the need for a Savior is the same. This need and dependence carried me later in life when my circumstances were challenging. I knew could lean on Jesus and Scripture instead of depending on anything else in the world.”
How have you seen the Lord’s faithfulness in your life and marriage?
Kevin: “Katie and I are by no means perfect, have it all together, or choose Jesus in everything. We still fall short and are constantly in need of grace. The only reason we’re able to continue in life, marriage, and serving is because the Spirit lives inside of us.”
Katie: “Often we choose to succumb to the idols that get in our way of our relationships with the Lord like selfishness, control, people-pleasing, or general comfort. Sometimes we choose those things instead of Jesus, but we are quickly reminded that those are not fulfilling.
“Kevin and I started dating in a season when we were both confident in who we were in the Lord. We weren’t looking to each other to fill holes in our hearts, because we were secure in our separate relationships with and identities in Christ. We both had the same mission and purpose. Getting to dive deep in our faith together to build a strong marriage with Christ as our foundation has been so sweet.
“Ultimately, Kevin and I don’t know why God planned our lives the way He did, but we know that we are undeserving. We choose to spend our lives responding to His Grace and being faithful to God because God has been faithful to us. No matter how our lives look, through comfort or trials, we recognize our need for Jesus first and foremost.”