When Kari Bollant was growing up, she dealt with a lot of fear. In high school, she led a double life. At church and with her youth group, she was a “good girl.” But during the week at school and with her friends, she was living another life. And all of that just added to her fears; she knew in her heart that she was far from God.
“During the week I would do whatever I wanted, and then go to church and pretend to be good. I would go to the altar and tell God that I was going to love Him. But I was trying in my own strength and I just couldn’t do it.”
When she graduated from high school, she realized that one of her friends from youth group was going to the same college. The pressure of living a double life became too much. She knew there was no way she could keep it up in college. Her youth group friend would see who she really was.
“I thought, I can’t do this all the time. It’s too hard. I need to pick a side.”
Before her freshman year began, she visited the campus. There was a chance to sign up for student groups, so Kari found the Chi Alpha, an on-campus Christian Ministry, table and signed up for everything.
“I literally grabbed a pen and signed up for everything they had. A pastor said, ‘That’s great, but this one is before school starts and it’s for leadership.’ I just said, ‘I’m going.’”
Thankfully the pastor agreed, and a few weeks later Kari found herself on a retreat in OshKosh, Wisconsin. That’s when God grabbed her heart.
“I had been so worried about just getting my foot in the door of heaven, and God breathed life into me. He made me a new creation, to the point where I thought heaven was just a really cool bonus. I had heaven in me, and I was alive, and I was compelled to tell others about Him.”
With the double life behind her, Kari was all in. She began sharing about Jesus in the dorms and college bars. She became a small group leader, and a leader in the college ministry. Her life had been radically changed, and God had given her a passion to tell others about Him.
As she grew in her faith, her willingness to surrender every part of her life grew, too. After college she married her best friend Matt, and life became a whole new adventure. Matt’s career in coaching women’s basketball meant moving frequently. Every year included the potential that Matt’s job would change and they would have to pack up and leave. It was an unpredictable life and fed Kari’s struggle with worry.
“Early in our marriage, I was a worrier. I was a planner, and I liked to know exactly how things were going to work. I would let my mind imagine the worst case scenario.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 was a huge help to her.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
It talks about taking captive every thought and making it obedient to Christ. Kari repeated that verse over and over again. It didn’t change overnight, but gradually Kari began refusing to worry or fret. When she surrendered her worries to God, she found freedom. She learned that God is faithful and she could trust Him. That foundation of trust has been essential as their family has followed God on the adventure of life, moving to 5 different states, and for 7 different jobs. God has been faithful every step of the way, to provide for their family, and to use Kari to share His love. It’s led to some amazing stories.
Hear Kari’s inspiring story in Chapter 10 of Epic.The journey of life