Great question! I used to ask myself that I lot. As a matter of fact, my ex used to tell people I had left to “find myself.” I was angry at that for a long while until I realized he was right (in that I needed to find out who I was, but of course that wasn’t why I left!). After leaving, God showed me something important. Having other people tell me who I was for so long, I needed to find that out for myself.
Ever see the movie “Runaway Bride”? In it, there is a scene in which Richard Geer tells Julia Roberts, “You don’t even know what kind of eggs you like!” He had asked her previous fiancés and they all said her favorite eggs were the same as theirs – three different eggs of course. She had become what others wanted her to be. So, near the end of the movie is a scene where every type of egg is laid before her on the table and she is trying each one. Then it hits what she likes. She had become who she was supposed to be! My life has been like that. And I like me! (Most of the time. Hey, we all have our days, right!?). By the way, I love lightly poached eggs on crisp toast!
So here I am… and here is my official bio…
As an author, speaker, counselor, college professor, and as a survivor of domestic abuse, Kate brings a unique perspective to the issues of domestic violence. She remained in an abusive marriage for almost 20 years, for many reasons we all too often hear – the children, no resources, no place to go, no support and fear. In an attempt to leave her abuser, she turned to her Christian community for help. Her experience and testimony will enlighten you to the issues that many face when suffering abuse is seen as less important than keeping the marriage together. Five weeks after leaving her abusive husband, Hurricane Andrew hit. She and her three children lost everything except each other and God. Feeling totally alone and in despair, she reached out again to her faith community. Again, she was not given support. It also was a reason she married her second husband, a minister whom she thought was different. The only thing different was the acts of abuse he perpetrated.
After a healing journey which included looking at her childhood abuse as well, Kate began to use her experiences to propel her to make changes in her life. Feeling a calling from the Lord and with His help and healing, as a single mother she graduated from Trinity International University with her BA in Psychology and MA in Counseling Psychology, attaining both Summa Cum Laude. Currently, Kate is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and has a private practice. She has been an Adjunct Professor at Trinity International University since 2001. In 2007, Kate and her godly husband, George, began an initiative to unite the Christian community and its leadership to address the issues of domestic abuse and founded the Christian Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, a not for profit ministry, and she serves as its president. Living in Freedom and Empowerment (LiFE), a ministry of CCADA helps people to learn to live in healthy relationships. This ministry addresses issues of child, teen, adult and elder abuse. Kate recently completed her Master’s in Divinity equivalency degree and is obtaining her Doctorate in Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
After many years of serving the Lord as a Director of Christian Education, Kate began working in the field of abuse professionally. She worked for the Department of Children and Families and the Guardian Ad Litem Program inDadeCountyprior to her association with Women in Distress, aBrowardCountydomestic violence agency. Since 1999, Kate has been involved with a local domestic violence agency in various capacities – as a counselor to adults and children who have survived domestic violence at both the shelter and the outreach center, as a supervisor in the counseling department, as a Training Specialist, and currently as a volunteer and adjunct trainer. Her professional and personal experiences with domestic abuse have given her a multi-faceted view on the issues caused by domestic abuse to both adults and children and give her a distinct perspective.
Kate continues to present workshops, seminars and teachings to faith groups and congregations on relevant concerns, including those associated with domestic abuse. She serves the professional community in Dade, Broward and Palm BeachCountiesby presenting seminars on spirituality and faith and their impact on abuse issues. In addition to the tri-county area, Kate has been a presenter at statewide Domestic Violence conferences in Orlando on related topics and has spoken nationally on the issues. Because of a dire need, Kate wrote “Healing the Broken Places: For Women Healing from Domestic Abuse,” which is a Bible Study/Healing workbook design to assist those needing a healing touch from the Lord. She is published in Mutuality Magazine with an article entitled “A Bridge to Meaning and Ministry” (Autumn 2010 Vol. 17, 3). She has also design “Working with Children Who Have Been Affected by Trauma” (2004) and developed a “Parenting Group for Parents Who’s Child has Been Affected by Trauma” (2002).
In 2001, Kate testified before the Florida Governor’s Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence, sharing her testimony and advocating for increased access to Victim’s Relocation Funding. She has been invited on local radio and television programs to discuss domestic abuse and its dynamics, and has appeared on such stations as 1520 AM Faith Broadcasting Network, WLRN radio and TV, WEDR radio, TBN’s “Joy in Our Town” program, and Comcast Cable’s “Whose View, God’s View.”
Kate is passionately committed to helping others understand the effects of domestic abuse and its ministry implications so that all are safe and free from fear in their own homes. Only with His help is it possible. She delights in speaking on the issues to any who would listen and is available for trainings, seminars and speaking engagements. Her testimony is a powerful example of what God can do to mend a broken life.
To have Kate speak at your event with her powerful testimony of God’s faithfulness, please feel free to contact her at katej@LifeAbundantlyFree.org