Thursday, June 5, 2014

Renovated Lives - Kathy Grant

Project:Re3 is a movement of people, unified in our belief that God's grace, Christ's love, and the Holy Spirit's guidance empowers us to rebuild a firm foundation from the rubble of the past, and through obedience, hard work, and prayer, we will restore, rebuild and renovate our hearts, our city, our nation and the world.  As a movement of people, one way to gain insight into Project:Re3 is to get to know the individuals that comprise Project:Re3.  Each week, our "Renovated Lives" post will allow someone from Project:Re3 to share how God has renovated their life. 

When I was considering who to feature in our Renovated Lives post, the first person that God laid on my heart was Kathy Grant. Anyone that knows Kathy would describe her as friendly, sensitive, sweet and caring.  Kathy has an amazing heart, and I hope you will enjoy getting to know her.

BG:  Where did you grow up and what do you do now? 
KG:  I spent my life in Summerfield, NC.  I attended Summerfield Elementary School, then Northwest Junior and Senior High School.  During my last two years of high school, I attended Kerwin Christian School in Walkertown/Kernersville.   In some ways, attending Kerwin was a great decision because it made me question everything I knew about Christianity.  However, it was also a bad decision because I felt judged all the time.  I graduated with a class of 8 others and I think being part of a small school helped me come out of my shell.  I graduated from High Point University with an English degree specializing in Communications.  

I worked at Channel 8 for 5 years doing everything from writing to producing and reporting.   I helped produce the community affairs morning show so I would get to meet celebrities like Minnie Pearl, Eddie Fisher and others at 5 AM.  I loved sitting on the assignment desk and listening to the police scanner and trying to scoop the other stations.  I now work for United Healthcare using Word or html to write policy documents.

BG:  Tell us about your family.  
KG:  I have been married to Bob for 30 years.   We met on September 9 and married on January 7.  We have one son, Jason, who is 29 and lives with us.  He is engaged and planning a 5/15/15 wedding.  My mom lived with us and passed away in 2012.   I still am getting over losing her.

BG:  What are your favorite books, television shows, movies, websites, blogs, etc?
KG:  There are three books that I keep going back and reading again and again - The ShackChoosing to See, and 1000 Gifts.  Ann Voskamp, who wrote 1000 Gifts, also has a great blog that always touches my heart. I also love to read Rob Bell, and I recently discovered Malcolm Gladwell.   I love books that make me think outside the box.   I am currently reading The Same Kind of Different as Me.   As far as television, How I Met Your Mother was my favorite show but I did not like the series finale.  I am excited about the return of Newsroom! That show makes me feel like I am back in the newsroom again.   I also love Under the Dome.
BG:  What music are you listening to?  
KG:  I love fun music.  I honestly like everything from Katy Perry to Justin Timberlake to Band Perry.  As far as Christian artists go, Steven Curtis Chapman and Third Day are at the top of my list.

BG:  Do you believe in big foot? 
KG:  NO!!

BG:  What ministries are you most passionate about at Project:Re3?  
KG:  I am passionate about the food pantry.   I really want to be able to put together a family ministry.   Strong families are important and I want to be able to offer help so families can learn and be able to stand on their own feet.   If they need help with searching for a job, managing their money, or keeping their home from being foreclosed, I want to help them. Helping these families may involve working with them at Project:Re3 or may require a referral to an agency that Project:Re3 has developed a relationship with.  The goal would be to make the families self-sufficient.   As far as international needs, my heart is in Guatemala.   I love the children and people of Guatemala.  From my visit to Guatemala, I know just $150 will buy a child a wheelchair.  This knowledge makes me consider every purchase I make.   I guess that also leads to one of my struggles - I am working on balance and understanding that I can’t save the world. 

BG:  How did you end up at Project:Re3?
KG:  About ten years ago, my son talked Bob & me into visiting a church that met in a movie theater in Kernersville (this was Mike & Beth's first church).  We went and loved it.  On our second or third visit, Mike mentioned in a sermon, "We are all God's Masterpiece."  I audibly gasped out loud.  This was the first time that anyone had told me that I was God's masterpiece. That sermon stayed with me.  I also think Mike is the best speaker I have ever heard in all my years in church.  I feel like the Holy Spirit uses Mike's sermons in a powerful way.  You may think you know everything about a verse, but Mike challenges you to look at it in a different way. He also has an awesome wife.
BG:  I will pay you later for saying that Kathy :)
KG:  Overall, I would have to say, I feel at home at Project:Re3, and I feel God is working in my life through the sermons.  I always say Project:Re3 is the only church in the area I would ever attend.

BG:  You have mentioned a number of times that you spent your entire life in church. What is your life story? 
KG:  I received a New Testament from the Gideons when I was in 3rd grade.   I came home, asked mom to pray with me, and accepted Christ in the corner of my bedroom.   In my early years, we attended a Methodist Church.  When I was 16, my dad decided the Methodist church was too liberal and we attended an independent Baptist Church.   We changed Churches again when I was about 18 (we went to another independent Baptist Church). So between these Churches and my Christian high school, I had lots of exposure to legalism.  Instead of feeling that I was drawn near to God, I felt pushed away from God even though I was a Christian.  I felt that the sermons and communication at church and school was that our motivation for salvation was to escape Hell - there was no emphasis on having a relationship with Jesus.  Being in those kinds of services made me question my salvation.  This doubt led me to pray the sinner’s prayer over and over.  It has taken years, and my mom's death, to help me experience grace and grow as a Christian.  I still have a long way to go, but I fell like I am on a good path.  

BG:  I know losing your mom has been very difficult for you.  Is that your biggest struggle right now?  
KG:  It’s hard to think about memories of mom and not be sad.   I also struggle with pondering theology - Armenian vs. Calvinism - I am struggling to simply claim Isaiah 55.  I have to remind myself that God’s ways are not our ways and we will never be able to comprehend many things in life.  

BG:  What is your favorite Bible verse or story and why?  
KG:  Jeremiah 29:11 and Isaiah 55: 8 – 9.  My favorite verse for years was Romans 8:28   I would say all of those verses bring comfort and make me feel safe and hopeful.
BG:  If you were 80 years old, what advice would you give your grand kids? 
KG:  Don’t worry about the small things.  Most things work out so don’t waste time worrying.  Be happy and live your life.  

BG:  In reflecting on your life, what life experiences have been difficult, but made you stronger?
KG:  I watched my dad struggle with dementia.  Those years were incredibly hard becuase he spent his last years remembering the difficult life he had as a child.  It was incredibly hard to watch him suffer.  Also, I struggled with my mom's death.  I have learned that you either move closer to God and try to work through it or you give up.  I have chosen to become stronger.

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