For five generations, my family has been a part of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. My dad is a fourth-generation minister in the denomination, and the IPHC is all I have known my entire life. I am thankful for the heritage and legacy that I have as being a part of the IPHC family. I grew up in a small town in the upstate of South Carolina. My dad was my pastor until he took the role of the Discipleship Ministries Director in our conference. He remained in this role for 16 years. I continuously saw God’s faithfulness working in my parent’s lives.
After graduating high school, I attended Emmanuel College. During my sophomore year at Emmanuel, my dad felt the Lord calling him to return to a pastoral position. My family moved to North Carolina, and I was not a fan at first. South Carolina was my home, and it felt as though everything I had ever known was swept right out from under my feet. That’s the place in my life where everything “comfortable” was taken away. I now know that God had a purpose in that move and it was not just for my parents.
The summer of my junior year in college I came to Oklahoma, where I had the privilege of being a part of The Awakening Summer Internship. During that summer, I traveled the world and encountered God like never before. I have always had a passion for missions, but that summer confirmed a call that the Lord has placed on my life. I learned that God did not call me to be comfortable. He called me to surrender my will for His and to follow His voice wherever He leads me.
Fast-forward to a month before college graduation. I had to make a huge decision. I had seen the Lord work miracles and move greatly in my family, but it was time for me to experience His faithfulness personally on a new level. I knew that if I moved back home, I would be comfortable and complacent. God had shown me that deep roots in one place only bear fruit in one place. I knew that was not my call and my purpose. God wanted me to take a step of faith and follow him into the unknown.
I graduated with a degree in early childhood education. I have always loved children, and I think that is one of the main reasons I love missions. I have the opportunity to meet children from all over the world and show them the love of Jesus. It is my heart. I knew I wanted to continue to work with The Awakening in the summers so I applied for a first-grade teaching position at Oklahoma Christian School. I found out a month before graduation that I got the job! I was blown away by what the Lord was doing in my life. People did not understand and some still do not understand to this day. They would ask me questions like, “Why do you want to move halfway across the country and leave your family and friends?” I knew this was what the Lord wanted me to do. It was not easy, but it was a time of closeness with the Lord. He revealed to me some of my heart’s deepest dreams during this time.
So here I am in Oklahoma, teaching first graders at an amazing school and working with the internship team of The Awakening. That is God’s faithfulness. He puts things in our paths that may look like huge problems (like your family moving away from all you have ever known) just to show you how He works all things for our good and for His glory. I don’t think I would have moved to Oklahoma if my parents had not been sensitive to the Holy Spirit leading them to North Carolina.
My heart for this generation is for each person to capture a glimpse of the heart of Jesus. When you see the heart of Jesus, you can clearly see the passions, dreams, and gifts that He has placed within you. The God who made you is not going to hide His desires from you. He will make it plain. He will make it clear. When you know the heart of Jesus, you will love like Jesus. You will want your life to look like everything that He is. The journey will not be easy, but that is what makes it beautiful. Trusting God and his plan is the most beautiful act of faith that a person can do. Through this faith journey, I always cling to the story of Habakkuk. I love Habakkuk’s honesty with the Lord. He was not afraid to be real. So often, I think we feel as though we must make our prayers pretty before God. God wants real. He knows our hearts already. Habakkuk brings his complaints before God and God answers him.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 says, “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end- it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”
I encourage you to write your vision. Make your requests known to God. Run this race of faith and do not give up. A God that loves you so much is with you and He is waiting for you on the other side of every trial that you face. He will be faithful to you.
By Kalie Richardson
For five generations, Kalie’s family has been a part of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. After attending Emmanuel College and serving as an intern with The Awakening, Kalie is now teaching first grade at Oklahoma Christian School. Her parents, David and Traci Richardson, pastor Redland Church in North Carolina.