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With All My Heart - Katie Barrs’ Story

I spent my teenage years in a gut-wrenching game of tug of war between my desires and God's.

I attended NewSpring's Fuse ministry once in a while, where God showed me I was missing a true relationship with Jesus. He continually knocked on the door of my heart, and I tried to ignore Him. I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was in eighth grade, but the joy and passion I felt for Him was soon drowned out by all of the sinful choices I was making in high school. Parties, gossip and going behind my parents' backs with drinking and sex put my life in a downward spiral. I managed to ignore God's voice and avoided a relationship with Him that could have truly changed my life.

Letting my boyfriend go

As a senior in High School, I attended the Gauntlet one last time and was convicted of my sexual sin. I wanted to obey God and give up that specific part of my life, but my boyfriend didn't understand. I was drawn back into the sinful lifestyle that kept me from fulfilling the commitment I'd made in eighth grade. I desired to surrender everything to Jesus and give Him complete control but only managed to pick up some "good" habits thinking they would outweigh the bad. I surrounded myself with Godly people, attended church, read my Bible, tithed regularly, and even went to an Ownership Class. I wanted to get plugged in to volunteer with Fuse and work with young girls, but the door just wouldn't seem to open.

I had to learn first and foremost that I am beautiful in the eyes of God

The relationship with my boyfriend was what was holding me back. I knew in my heart God wanted more for me than him but he would say my expectations weren't realistic. His language was always so demeaning and vulgar toward me, and eventually I came to see my worth through his eyes. No matter how many times I read in the Bible that I was beautiful and priceless, it didn't matter because I was being told by him that I wasn't. There was a moment while at work one day that Jesus spoke to my heart so vividly that I felt my whole mindset change in an instant. Suddenly I believed what Jesus wanted for me. I believed what true love looks like in passages such as 1 Corinthians 13. I had to learn first and foremost that I am beautiful in the eyes of God. Then, I began to find the strength to get rid of everything that was holding me back from a full commitment to Jesus. I broke up with him. 

Focusing on Jesus

Letting my boyfriend go led to letting go of many other desires and plans I had created for my own life. It was one of the most difficult things I've ever done, but at last I was able to turn my back on my old lifestyle and focus on God's plan for my life.

This time when I reapplied to Fuse, the door was wide open and I became a small group leader. Within a few weeks, I also started serving in KidSpring, and I was so excited for the opportunities to tell children how much Jesus loves them and to give them tools to work through the temptations and stumbling blocks they will face. Once I allowed God to take over my life and truly made Jesus my Lord, as well as my Savior, I was able to follow Him with my entire heart.

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