15 Nov Meet Kelly
Kelly has been a part of our family and ThouArtExalted Ministries from the very beginning. OH YES . . . 4th grade—back in 2007. Today, she is a rising sophomore at Queens University where she plays on the women’s softball team. I have watched her “play” on the field of life where curve balls are often pitched, and I have watched Kelly catch these difficulties—not dodging them in fear, but filtering them through the grace and love of Christ. It is a joy and an honor to share her story with you. – Annie
By: Kelly Winter
I was never raised in church. My family was not against Christianity, but church on Sunday mornings was simply not a part of our routine. It wasn’t until Annie Pajcic contacted my mom when I was 9 years old, and asked me to join her and 25 other 4th grade girls in her living room one summer for an “Art Camp.” Little did I know those moments in Ms. Annie’s living room would change my life forever.
The summer of 2007 was the first time I heard the truth of Jesus Christ. His power, His peace, and His desire for a relationship with us was all new to me. The idea that God wanted to know ME, out of all the people in the world, struck me.
Not completely understanding Him and all His greatness, I still felt His presence like never before. That summer, I decided to give my life to Jesus Christ. I knew I wanted to deepen my understanding of Him and have a personal relationship with Him. While my faith has continued to grow, it has not always been easy. Like most girls, I have had many moments of doubt and uncertainty.
When I was in 9th grade, I decided I wanted to play collegiate softball. I did not realize the amount of pressure this would put on my life, and it became a huge burden on my shoulders. Self-doubt crept into my mind as I had coaches tear me apart and colleges turn me away over and over again, leading to many nights of tears and panic.
Right before my senior year, I spoke with Ms. Annie and she reminded me that God had a plan for me and that it was GOOD. We talked about her Project 29:11 Bible Study and I immediately recalled this verse:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I believe God was speaking to me through Ms. Annie, and now looking back, I can see how much He worked in my life. Every college that turned me away, lead me to the college I am currently attending. I could not ask for a better place to call home.
As difficult as this experience was for me, I would not change any part of it because it has deepened my faith more than I could have ever done on my own. It has taught me how to truly trust God, rely on Him, and know that His plan for me is my greatest treasure. I have peace knowing that I do not have to worry about my future because God is in control. I can let go.
Without ThouArtExalted Ministries, I do not know where I would be in my relationship with Christ. Not only did Annie Pajcic introduce me to Jesus, she also taught me how to deepen my relationship with Him, and study His Word.
A college girl living for God’s glory, Kelly is now serving as a counselor and mentor to younger girls at our summer Art Camps, is active in international mission trips and Young Life, and thrives as a leader on her collegiate softball team. She is making a positive impact in her home, school, and community.