When we find Apostolic ladies who are making intentional decisions to follow their God-given callings and change their world in the process, we take notice! We came across one such world-changer, and she is…sixteen years old! Who says young people can’t do amazing things? (Read I Timothy 4:12 for more of our opinions on youth and purpose.) Without further ado, meet Kara Anderson!
Hello Kara, we’re thrilled to be featuring you on She’s Intentional! Will you tell us a little about yourself? Where you’re from, your church, your hobbies and passions…what stirs you to writing?
Thank you! I’m thrilled to be a part. Well, I’m a 16-year-old student with some diverse interests. I have a passion for writing, civic involvement, humanitarian efforts, God & His work, and empowering people in their individual strengths. Though I now live right outside of Sacramento, California and am a member of The Rock Church, I was raised in southwestern Michigan. There’s truly a myriad of inspirations that lead me to write, but I’ll generally attribute it to analyzing the world around me (I always have gotten a little too excited when assigned an essay). I’m left-brained, but I’m also a female. So I like to think that God has given me writing as an outlet to explore His work in a bit more creative way.
According to your Twitter feed (J), you are an alum of the National Student Leadership Conference at American University & also a member of the National Society of High School Scholars – clearly, leadership and scholarship means a lot to you. Can you give us a little background as to how you got involved in these groups and what education means to you? How does scholarship shape your life?
I’ve been blessed with extremely supportive parents, who empower my pursuit of my unique strengths. Education and leadership training mean a great deal to me; my father’s worked extremely hard to develop himself for the benefit of our family, and that’s only motivated me more. I was raised in a home where a lot of value is placed on education, and I’ve adopted that priority for myself. My dad’s work with Apostolic School of Theology has shown me first-hand how impacting education can be on a Christian lifestyle — with or without a secular career. As for how I got involved, Google certainly came in handy! I did some pretty extensive research on leadership conferences for young people, and settled on the one that suited me most. It turned out to be life-changing. I would certainly recommend other people do things like this; there are tons of different programs out there! My experience with this particular leadership conference really opened my eyes to the reality of how I can make my big dreams actually happen, and how they interact with the plan I know God has for me. If my recommendation could make another girl have a similar experience, I think it’d be life-changing for them, too!
On your blog, Renew the Grapevine, you share your ideas and opinions on the world through a Christian worldview – how did this come about? Do you see writing playing a role in your future? Is it something you will pursue?
The idea of a blog, initially, was as an outlet for my writing bug. As a teen, it’s often difficult to gain any real traction for professional experience. I didn’t care if anyone actually read my rants or not, I just wanted to get them out there! Renew the Grapevine specifically came, though, after several days of contemplating how I should direct the site. I decided to attempt to consider societal issues in a positive way, rather than just contribute to the gossip already heard through the grapevine. I definitely consider writing to be in my future, but I’m not planning to attempt going full-time. Writing, as important as it is to me, isn’t my sole passion. It’s one thing that’s flexible enough to be a hobby… if any success comes from it, I won’t complain!
You have accomplished much, even though you are still in high school! How do you stay so busy and get it all done? Do you have any tips for other young ladies who are wanting to make a difference and change in their world?
When you love to do something, it isn’t a chore. For me, doing a bunch of extracurricular activities isn’t something I begrudge or only do for the benefit of a college application, but they’re actually the hobbies I love busying myself with. I realize that my interests are commonly different from most girls’ (mainly because I’m the only person I know who attends school board meetings for fun), but I also know that there are tons of other young women out there passionate about what they wholeheartedly believe in. They should go for it! There are two main tips I’ll give: surround yourself with strong mentors and don’t get discouraged. One or two wise role models is worth more than five unattached supporters. I’ve been very blessed to have two specific people in my own life who have contributed a lot to my successes thus far. And, don’t be discouraged when everything doesn’t work out on the first try! Keep perspective on why you love what you love, and never stop looking for new opportunities.
How does your faith and relationship with God influence your decisions and writing? When did you discover your passion for writing?
I struggled with finding myself in God’s will for quite a long time. Being women, we don’t typically have the conventional options that men do. Within the past year, I’ve come to the realization that all are called. Even better? We’re fearfully and wonderfully made. So to me, that means that God will use me in the way that He knows best. God has influenced my writing, too, in some unique ways. Every writer is a reader. When I read classic works — everything from Charlotte Brontë and Herman Melville to our founding fathers’ statements — I’m reminded of the ultimate Author. And it inspires me to work even harder to become the best I can be. At the risk of sounding cliché, I’ve always been a writer. It’s always come naturally. But as I’ve reached my teen years, it’s evolved into a style more appropriately tailored for my talents.
Do you have any advice or a favorite scripture you would like to share with other young ladies?
A scripture that’s always meant a lot to me is 2 Corinthians 12:9.
“But he said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (NIV)
This verse always lifts me up because although I am fully aware of my manyimperfections, God’s perfection is constant assurance that they’re there for a reason. I think that’s so amazing, and it’s important to remind others that his grace is always enough.