Crucified with Christ: Meet Kayla!

I have been blessed and encouraged to hear from our different interns about how the Lord is working in their lives and has drawn them to Himself.  This blog concludes our series introducing our current group of interns.  Kayla is the final intern to introduce. Kayla began her internship in July and has jumped into observing counseling and encouraging residents with her joyful spirit.

Hi All!  My name is Kayla.  I am from Columbus, Ohio.  I already know your next questions… I am kind of short-of (not really) a Buckeye fan.  Honestly, I don’t care about sports and just say that I am so I don’t get in trouble with the masses of people I know who are.  However, when it comes to my relationship with Jesus, I am not a fan, but by God’s grace, a completely committed follower. My greatest passion is Jesus Christ, with Philippians 3:8 being one of my life verses.  I desire to know Christ and to be like Him.  I LOVE to invest in others and help them to do the same.  Place me in a coffee shop with a young girl who wants to grow in her relationship with Christ, and I am in my happy place!  If you want to get to know me, you probably need to get to know my family a little, too. I am the oldest of six kids (I promise you, there is never a dull moment).  My youngest sibling is 5.  With 14 years between us, I am 19.  We are a family who loves to run.  Both my parents ran track in cross-country in high school and college.  I guess you could say running is in my blood. 

I love to tell people about how God got a hold of my heart!  He is such a gracious and merciful Father and I am so thankful for His redeeming work in my life!  Growing us as a pastor’s Kid, I thought I was a pretty good person.  I assumed because I knew all the Sunday School answers and my life revolved around church, I was a Christian.  But surprise, surprise, I wasn’t.  At nine years old, God took my family through a hard season as my dad was hurtfully excused from his pastoral position.  One week, life was fine and then next week we moved, never to return to that church, my friends and everything I knew and loved.  My perfect, peaceful world was ripped from me.  So I blamed God.  He’s in control of everything, right?  If He truly loved me, He wouldn’t have allowed this to happen!  Three years of bitterness, unforgiveness, and anger were what God used to reveal my heart (Titus 3:3-5).  I tried to be “good” on my own.  I couldn’t.  I tried to forgive the people who had hurt me.  I couldn’t.  At age 12, God finally used my brokenness to bring me to the cross.  I now saw my need for Jesus.  I realized my need for the gospel and that there was nothing I could do to be good enough or earn my salvation.  Two years later, at age 14, God intersected my life with another transformative truth.  Not only was Jesus my Savior, but if Jesus was my Savior, He also had to be my Lord.  To follow Jesus, I needed to daily surrender to Him, submit to His authority, conform my life to His Word and allow Him to use me however He wished.  And so I can confidently say, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  (Galatians 2:20). 

How did you hear about the VOH internship? Why were you interested in coming here to serve for a year?

Two years ago, I attended the Biblical Counseling Training Conference.  This is where I heard about Vision of Hope.  I thought it sounded like a neat opportunity: working with girls, exposure to biblical counseling, getting involved in the Faith community, growing in relationships with other interns.  However, I had other plans for my future, until God changed them and brought me here!  And I am so glad He did! 

What are you excited to learn and grow in at VOH?

Primarily, I want to grow in my relationship with Jesus.  Moving away from home, my church family, and friends has been a challenge.  Everything here is new: new relationships, new church family, new ministry, new living space.  And new isn’t easy for people like me who HATE change and unpredictability.  So, this is a perfect opportunity for me to cling to Jesus!  Also, there is a daily awareness that I can’t be the intern God wants me to be without His help.  These girls don’t need me.  What I say or do will never produce change in their lives unless the Lord is at work!  To be effective, I have no choice but to be dependent on Him.  The Lord has already been drawing me closer to Himself and I am excited to see how this will continue in the months to come.  Also, I want to gain wisdom through experience.  Part way through my ACBC certification, I have knowledge about Biblical Counseling.  However, as I sit in on counseling sessions and learn from staff and other interns, I want to grow in my understanding of how to apply that knowledge. 

If you would like to learn and minister at Vision of Hope, please contact us for more information on the different ways you could be a part serving the Lord at our ministry. We have both needs and opportunities for volunteers and interns to serve with us as we share the hope of the gospel with hurting women.

Jennifer Cantu
Jennifer Cantu works as a counselor and Shift Supervisor at Vision of Hope. She received her biblical counseling certification from ACBC in 2014. In addition to working at VOH, Jennifer counsels women through Faith Church’s counseling ministry. She is very thankful for ministry opportunities to help, teach and encourage women with God's Word.