During the first week of Master’s Commission, in late September 2005, each student was asked to write a letter of what they hoped to experience in their relationship with God during the school year. We were handed Katie’s sealed letter at her funeral service, and we opened it the night of her scheduled graduation on June 11, 2006:
I love you so much. Thank you for taking me so far with you. I know that there is a long way to go, but we’ll go there together, so everything will be okay. God, I’m very nervous about being here. It’s hard leaving everything behind, but I know and am reminded that Christ did the same thing. Please help me this year to draw closer to you and so close that I can feel it. In this year, I don’t want to do things halfheartedly or be casual about you. I want to give you my all this year and I know it’s gonna take a fight.
God, I want you to invade my life and my heart and take out all of the areas that are soiled, heal those that are broken. I pray this year that I will get rid of the fear of man and the constant aching for acceptance. Instead, I long to find my contentment and acceptance solely in you. Help me to be obedient to you and give you everything right away, instead of you having to take things away. Lord, I need you to be with me now. I pray that this year I would begin to accept your unfailing love for myself and others and that I would share the love you’ve shown me freely. Dear God, teach me things about you this year. Help me to get over any perfection-minded thinking and for your grace to simply be enough for me. I pray that I would accept your grace. Also, God, please help me to be a giver, even if I don’t get anything back. Lord, I want to be like Christ and I can’t do this on my own. Teach me to be humble, I pray. May I always keep in mind that I am just a pen and you are the hand and I can only be really used if you write with me. Otherwise, I am useless.
Thank you for taking me here. I pray that you would help me to learn surrender, to learn your heart, to know you by heart. Help me to follow your desires for my life, not mine, even if it means never getting married and dedicating my life and missionary work solely to you. You desire obedience better than sacrifice. May my heart be obedient to your voice and not afraid of what others think this year. Help me to get over that. Help me to know how you really feel about me and not be lacking in self-worth because I think I don’t measure up, because I know I always measure up to you, because you made me. Help me to think of the ministry you’ve called me to not as a burden or a sacrifice, but a joyous opportunity to give back what you’ve given me–to say thank you.
Point your finger on my heart, I pray. Mold me, literally, into the woman of God that you want me to be. I feel as if we’re on the verge of something and it’s very exciting but it’s also going to be challenging. My heart’s desire is solely for you. May I put my whole heart into this program. Convict me. Test me. Mold me. Change me. Use me. Love me. Take me to where I never thought I could go.
Help me to be nicer to people, even if they seem annoying, because you love them. Help me to treat people the way you would were you in the situation. Even if kindness is “abused” by the world’s standards, may I keep focused that I have a reward in heaven I’m working toward, not material wealth that quickly fades, and not to uphold a high opinion of myself so people think I am a good Christian. Help me to have more of a servant’s heart and be less selfish–to give and give, and trust that you’ll give back. Strengthen my faith, I pray. Help me to believe, to know you’re real, and pray that way.
May I see people as you see them. May I love you more. May I open up more and figure out that I can never quite figure out your love. May my testimony bring me and others closer to you every time I say it.
Help me to find you here, to be more real. God, help me to live day by day instead of always worrying about what might happen, because all I have is now. Remind me of heaven and hell daily, I pray.
Help me to be sensitive to your voice and not preoccupied with the logic, because how logical was it for Noah to build an ark? Make your word rhema to me, I pray. Make it apply, Lord, I pray. Help me to lay my life down, to be an unnamed hero, to not hog the spotlight but just be happy serving you. I need help with that. Help the people back home, I pray. Help the entire youth group to draw close to you. Help my parents and family.
Help me, finally, to love the Lord my God with everything in me, and when I get selfish, to love my neighbor as myself, and find out what this really means. I am yours for the next 9 months. Help me to hold nothing back. Take it all. Don’t go easy on me. Don’t let me quit. When I fall, I pray that you would pick me back up. Help me to think of the cross when I get weary. Help me to know that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us. Help me to find out new things about you every day. Help me to be able to resist the attacks of the enemy. Help me to love you more and to really fall in love with you this year. I give it all.