I remember wondering what she would be like; wondering what friendship with Katie would look like. I remember thinking she seemed cool. Of course, I only knew this from creeping on her Instagram. I saw all of the beautiful jewelry she created, and then I saw her jewelry featured on a magazine cover (casual). Most of her pictures displayed her spunky red hair in a top knot, lips pursed, eyes squinted, and a peace sign framing her eye. I could tell before ever meeting Katie that she was her own person.
No Instagram creeping could ever prepare me for the way that I would eventually come to know Katie, though. When she arrived to our home in Mijas, Spain, I helped her drag her bags up to our room, but before she could even attempt to get settled we started talking. We talked about our experiences traveling the world, and how those experiences had shaped us. We talked about our dreams and what we wanted out of our time in Spain, having no idea how those dreams would be fed and transformed by many more conversations just like one we were having. Our bedroom floor would soon become a permanent home to those conversations. It was our safe place to spill out our struggles, our fears, our revelations, our dreams. It became a safe place to word vomit and try to make sense of the thoughts in our brains. But more than that, our friendship became a safe place. The more I got to know Katie, the more I trusted her, admired her, and looked up to her. When I opened up and told her things I didn’t really want to admit to, she loved me through it. She helped me to see past struggles or lies, and to instead find the truth and life within. When I forgot who I was, Katie was always there to remind me. When I doubted my dreams, she boldly told me no. The thing about Katie, is that she has always believed in my dreams; believed in me.
I’ve literally seen this woman weep for me, contend for me. I’ve seen tears stream down her face as she prayed for me, my future, and the impact my life will have. These weren’t tears of sorrow or fear, but tears of excitement and pure belief in my life and its purpose. These tears are some of the most beautiful tears I have ever seen. Katie sees something in me that I often don’t see in myself; something worth excitedly crying about. This woman believes in people and feels for people more than most will ever allow themselves to.
One of the many reasons I love Katie is because of what her own dreams entail. Her big, beautiful, ever growing dreams are wrapped around empowerment. She yearns to empower women who have been trafficked, women who have suffered, women who don’t see a future for themselves. Because the truth is, Katie does see a future for these women. Where others see brokenness, she sees beauty. Where others see impossible, she sees an arguable opinion. Where others see defeat, she sees a garden ready to be tilled. And while these dreams may seem as if they are all in the works, that isn’t the reality. The reality of Katie’s dreams and desires, is that they are already being lived out daily. No, I wasn’t trafficked or suffering under some type of exploitation or physical bondage. But there was freedom to be had in my life, and she helped me find it. She didn’t deliver it to my door in a nicely wrapped package, no, that’s not Katie. She took me by the hand and walked the journey with me. She helped me to see myself the way she sees me. This empowering woman helped me to believe in myself in a whole new way.
Katie, you are a dreamer and a doer. You are a truth seeker and a truth seer. The impact you carry, the authority within you is deep, deep, deep waters. Trust in that and never let doubt seep in. Because Katie Stu, you are a world changer. Never stop believing that truth. You are one of the most inspirational individuals I have ever encountered. I am beyond amazed that I get to call you my person. All my love.
If you need to be encouraged, empowered, smacked in the face with truth…talk to this woman. She is mighty and she is peace. She loves well, and anyone would be wise to get to know Katie Stuart. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org