Karen Kierath

Loganville Campus Children's Pastor

There isn’t anything noteworthy about my story. No major event. No edge-of-your-seat story line.  I was just living my life, going through the motions.

I was born and raised in the Midwest, in a Catholic home like most everyone in the Midwest was. It was a “standard” home with two parents, three kids and a dog. My parents were awesome. They made sure we felt loved and secure. Church was something we attended on holidays but didn’t participate in - outside of forcing us kids to attend PSR (public school religion classes). I for one, came out of church the same way I went in. I was taught to believe in God, that He was in charge and that if I did more good than bad, I would go to Heaven. It sounded good to me. I never really thought about Heaven; it was an “imaginary-real place”. It was out there somewhere, but I didn’t need to worry about it.

My husband, Dan, and I were married Catholic and did our best to attend church and raise our children Catholic. When we moved to Atlanta, we continued that, but it wasn’t working for us anymore. Our kids gave us more grief than ever about church, and honestly, Dan and I didn’t see the point of going. We quit going to church and things were pretty much as they always had been. . . fine. Going through the motions, having fun and living our lives.

When my youngest was in middle school, he started attending a youth group on Wednesday nights with some friends. It was then that I thought we needed to go back to church. We visited a few churches before landing at Graystone. It was here that we learned about a relationship with Christ and that the Bible was meant to be read. Slowly I began to volunteer and tentatively joined a small group. In that small group, I began to understand faith. I saw it in the women who were pouring into me, being patient with my questions and apprehensions from being raised Catholic. Soon my husband began to volunteer and join a small group. The same transformation happened for him. Then we both dedicated our lives to Christ and were baptized.

Not long after that, our family suffered some terrible tragedies. Looking back, I know that if I hadn’t had a relationship with Christ while going through them, I would have come out of them broken or damaged. It is because of my relationship with Christ that I came through them with a profound sense of gratefulness.

Christ has strengthened my marriage, my relationship with my children, my friendships, and given me a sense of peace unlike anything I’ve ever known.