Finding Hope and Strength

How My Local Church Transformed My Life

Finding Hope and Strength

I’m forever grateful for the youth leaders and volunteers at my local church, who invested in my life and taught me so many important lessons, while I was young and trying to figure out who I was and where I belonged. I cannot over-emphasize how important it is that children and teenagers have voices in their lives, besides their parents, speaking truth to them.

Here are some examples of Truth that were poured into me, that changed the trajectory of my life:


“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” ~ Brennan Manning

This transformed me! To know that the CREATOR of the universe loved me and cared about every detail of my life changed me from the INSIDE out. It gave me a deep sense of peace, joy and security. Because I knew that I was unconditionally loved and accepted by Him, I didn’t have to seek superficial love and acceptance from other things.

Finding Hope and Strength


“Forgiveness is about empowering yourself, rather than empowering your past.” ~ T. D. Jakes

My parents divorced when I was young, and I was holding on to hurt and unforgiveness, allowing it to tear me apart inside. I learned to truly forgive my parents and let the hurt go.


“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

I learned the value in serving others.  I began by serving inside my church with our children’s ministry. Next I served with others in my community, working as a tutor and helping build houses with Habitat for Humanity. Finally, I traveled to other states and throughout the world to do mission work – helping repair dilapidated schools and homes, loving on orphaned children and teaching others about God’s love for them.


“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

I learned that I had leadership capabilities and was given opportunities to lead.


“Fortunately, God made all varieties of people with a wide variety of interests and abilities. He has called people of every race and color who have been hurt by life in every manner imaginable. Even the scars of past abuse and injury can be the means of bringing healing to another. What wonderful opportunities to make disciples!” ~ Chuck Swindoll

My youth leaders discipled me and taught me what it looked like to live as a Christ-follower. I learned how to read my Bible and seek it for wisdom. How to pray and allow God to “speak” to my heart.

Finding Hope and Strength


“These are decisions you make, and when you add them up, they create your life:

  • What will you feed your mind?
  • What thoughts will you dwell on?
  • Who will you allow to influence your inner life?

It’s your choice. Choose wisely.” ~ Ted Egly

I learned to pay attention to what I was consuming (in books, music, TV and magazines) and how it was influencing me. What we expose ourselves to impacts us in a positive or negative way. There is a cause-and-effect relationship to what we take in and what comes out.

I hope this shows you why I strongly believe that every person gains value in being a part of a local, Bible-believing church. I am still – 30+ years later – learning and growing in my life and in my faith. It strengthens my marriage, my friendships and my everyday life.

Kathryn Egly

Regarding my kids, I am grateful to have other adults speaking grace, love, life, encouragement and truth into their lives. I know my kids are not always listening to me, so it’s good to know they have other people providing wisdom and insight, guiding them towards living a better version of themselves, allowing God’s peace and grace to rule and reign in their lives.

“I’ve been asked many times, ‘How do you get your children to go to church?’ Well, we drive them there in the car. I really do understand what is meant by the question. Getting children to do anything they don’t want to do is challenging, but some things are too important to decide by popular vote. One of the surest ways that church will become part of our children’s lives – and that our children’s lives will become part of church –is to start as early as possible, and seek a church with life in it and take the weekly option out of it. Approaching church on Sunday just as certainly as school on Monday is the next best thing to a guarantee. Through this approach, attending church becomes part of our lifestyle rather than a hit-or-miss option. Another way to encourage our children’s participation is to set the example, not only by church attendance, but by plugging in and getting involved.”  – Beth Moore, Feathers from My Nest

I also know that churches aren’t perfect. They are made up of people like you and me that make mistakes. I choose to look for the good and forgive the imperfect. I also choose to serve and help when I see areas of need!

Kathryn Egly

Kathryn Egly is a wife, mom, and author. Residing in the beautiful state of Minnesota, she is a part-time teacher, and full-time referee to her four busy boys. When she’s not mediating epic battles over the last cookie, you can find her fueling up on her two secret weapons: coffee and Jesus. Kathryn’s faith, love for others, and her unwavering commitment to her family inspire her writing. With a touch of humor and a whole lot of heart, she shares her experiences through the written word, aiming to connect, uplift, and remind us all that we’re not alone in this wild ride called life.