By Kari Kirkham

I’ve been a Christian since I was seven-years-old.  I still remember meeting with my pastor and being baptized shortly thereafter.  I understood what I was doing, but to be honest, it was not this earthshaking event for me.  Looking back, I can see what a pivotal moment that was in my life.  I just don’t think I understood the magnitude of the decision I was making at the time.   

I am a people pleaser by nature so I believe this naturally rolled over into my relationship with the Lord.  This fear of letting others down kept me from making a lot of the mistakes my peers made with the party scene and guys.  However, because my focus was so heavily on wanting to please the Lord and be good, I lost sight of His heart for the lost and hurting around me.  I had good intentions, but my focus was off.  I could very much tell He was pulling on my heart, but I didn’t always know how to respond to that pull.  I was at a place in my life where I was still trying to figure out my personal relationship with the Lord.

My pursuit in my relationship with the Lord led me to Christ for the Nations.  I had some great professors and learned so much, even to the point of becoming a little puffed up.  It amazes me how in my relationship with the Lord, I can think I’m getting “it”, but can still be missing “it”.  By “it”, I mean His heart, the things that most concern Him, the things He is most wanting to work out in me so that I can be salt and light to a lost world.

We just need to be the most willing, loving, humble, and obedient.

I’m at a point in my life where I’m owning my faults and saying ok, Lord, here it is, let’s fix this.  (If my husband reads this, he might be asking, really?  I’m still working on it babe!).  This means it is time for me to let go of insecurities and comparison. Can I even tell you how long I have struggled with these?!  It’s not good ladies, not good.  The truth is, we don’t have to be the most beautiful, smart, popular, funny, stylish person to be used by God.  I know this isn’t a newsflash to anyone, but I still need the reminder when it comes to God being able to use me.  We just need to be the most willing, loving, humble, and obedient.  Jesus said in John 12:24-26, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also.  If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”

I’m ready to be all in.  I’m ready to let go of lies that have had such a stronghold on my life and exchange them for His truth.  I’m ready to be open and vulnerable instead of living life on the sidelines out of fear of what others will think.  Most of all, and hardest of all, I’m ready to stop focusing on myself, let go of the American dream, and be all in for the life He has for me and my family, where nothing but the Lord matters.  I want my relationship with the Lord to guide and transform my marriage, how I raise my children, and how I interact with the people around me.  I do not want my Christian walk to simply consist of having a good, happy family that looks pretty on Sundays.  I want it to be a walk that helps share Jesus’ love and freedom.  We have the good news for crying out loud, I need to live like it!  I’m no longer interested in being a good Christian just for myself.  I want to join with my brothers and sisters in Christ and do something for the kingdom of God, whatever that may look like, and, I don’t know yet.

I’m ready to stop focusing on myself, let go of the American dream, and be all in for the life He has for me and my family, where nothing but the Lord matters.

One thing I do know, is that since moving to Katy, I have been blessed with an amazing group of friends.  These ladies are teachers, cross-fitters, moms, entrepreneurs and event planners.  We meet weekly to seek the Lord together, keep each other accountable and challenge one another.  We get real with one another, have fun and share the things He is stirring in us.  We are willing to be used by the Lord in the spheres He has placed us.  I mean my sphere currently consists of my family, HEB, Life Time Fitness and Chick-fil-a.  Nevertheless, I’ve started asking the Lord that I would no longer enter these places with my own agenda.  I want to be sensitive to whom the Lord would want me to encourage, smile at, or just say a quick prayer for in my head.  I want to be salt and light and I want to. be. all. in.

Meet Kari Kirkham

Kari and her husband, Bay, live outside of Houston with their two beautiful children.  Kari is busy settling into Houston life and has quickly gathered her neighbors together for play dates and a Bible study.  Kari is as cute as can be and has a gift with people. She and I have several close mutual friends and I am always excited when our paths cross. She is one of the most likable people I have met and leaves everyone filled up with a little more love in their tank.  Her servants heart, sincere friendship, love for others, and passion for growing in the Lord are just a few of the qualities you will find when meeting Kari.  I love the authentic words she shares with us and I know you will relate to her story to live a life "All In". - Jamie