Look at God:

The water’s cold, but that’s okay, been in worse situations. Maybe it’ll wash away what’s wrong with me. It’s Sunday morning and I’m in church. Not my typical hang-out, but three months ago when invited, curiosity urged me to show up. Now, as I wade into the baptismal pool, I can’t help but wonder what I’m doing. My heart screams—this needs to happen—but nothing in my life has changed. Matter of fact, I’m high right now.

My name is Katie Nicklaus and the church is South Oak. It’s in Lake Placid, FL—the town where I grew up. From as far back as memory takes me, every aspect of my life has been messy. Born into what anyone watching would call dysfunction, I attempt to escape by running off with a man I think can save me. But coming from insanity drives you to insanity. This relationship took me to a place much lower than the bottom shelf I fell from.

Out of control and emotionally wrecked, smoking meth became my escape. Meticulously trained in the cooking procedure—with ingredients available 24/7—why would I say “no” to what I then considered freedom? I couldn’t and didn’t, not even during pregnancy. Attempting to avoid the shame of this behavior catapulted me further into chaos.

Before I knew it, I had three children. I spent years manufacturing and consuming drugs with my small kids in the next room, until that horrific day. The day the Department of Children and Family showed up and snatched my babies. The suffocating anguish of this incident was like nothing I’d ever experienced. Devastating. This drove me deeper into darkness. And the cost?
All parental rights.

Finally, during the birth of my fourth child, I promised myself that no one would take him from me. I’d change. But how? I honestly had no clue.

Church, as I said—not my thing—yet I’m here every week. Damaged and disgraceful, but it doesn’t seem to matter here. Don’t fully understand it but I know God is moving. He’s reaching down into my self-destructive lifestyle and lifting me from the turmoil.

From a distance, I watch and listen to this lady named Texas. She seems so sincere. After weeks of mustering up courage, I introduce myself. The warmth of her hug makes me feel loved. She invites me to join her DNA group. Within weeks of attending, I feel comfortable enough to confess my continued use of alcohol and prescription meds. I even tell her I was high during my baptism, she doesn’t flinch. Instead, she loves me and continues to tell me the truth—over and over—until I believe it.

For the next two years, whenever I call she answers. We laugh and cry together. She encourages me and prays with matter-of-fact assurance. Her continued guidance helps me understand that Jesus loves Me, despite myself. The best news? Growing an interactive relationship with God has refreshed my thinking and rescued me from every life-sucking lie I believed.

Now, thanks to my Celebrate Recovery training, I am fully convinced that Jesus alone is my Savior and Freedom. And the miracles just don’t stop. I’ve made contact and am attempting to develop a relationship with two of my three children. Yes, the ones I’ve had no contact with for 14 years. My youngest son William is a secure and healthy boy. I work driving a school bus and am purchasing my very own home. A fantastic job and a home I own. What? And only weeks ago I married an amazing man. One who loves the Lord—and me—with all his heart. Before this happened, a group of ladies from church threw me a beautiful wedding shower. All these are things I never dreamed possible.


Most importantly, I have an authentic connection to God. He knows me and loves me completely. No matter what I face, I’ve found Him to be 100% faithful. He’s everything to me. He led me into the church, into the water, and into a whole new life. I am forever grateful to Texas Stready’s ministry, A Radical Difference, for all they’ve done to help me break free from the bad stuff and grab hold of the good.


Written by: Tom & Texas – TNT





  1. Katie, I love your beautiful life story of redemption and your journey to freedom in Christ. Hearing stories about God’s incredible faithfulness towards his children is such an inspiration. May He continue to use your testimony to bring others closer to Him!

    • Thank you for your comment of encouragement to Katie. Means so much. Our God deserves this kind of recognition.

  2. Loved reading Katie’s journey of hope for herself this morning. A fellow Celebrate Recovery member living out Step 12 of giving back not only encourages others but continues to encourage her to keep keeping on. Thank you Texas for your authentic, life-giving message of a being a life transformed by the power of surrender to an amazing Savior.

    • What an awesome comment. Thank you so much. Light in Christ is definitely something to be celebrated. Woo Hoo!!!

  3. Katie it is an honor and a privilege to share in your life growing into a beautiful, strong and determined young woman, mother and now wife.

    God definitely has a plan for you. Many have spoke into your life and now it is your turn to speak life into other women who face trails and tribulations.

    You are loved by so many.

    • So true. Every word said – so true. Katie is a joy to watch and be with. God is now using her to do great things in other people’s lives. Awesome. Thanks for your love and input. And especially your comment.

  4. I am so overly proud of you Katie, I have had very close people to me deal with addiction, been through the lowest darkest parts and see God work miracles! You are never alone and I will continue to pray for you to move mountains, and let your testimony touch others! If you save one person with your testimony, you will def come out a winner! You won the big one, By accepting God as you savior and letting him lead your heart! Congratulations with continued prayers!

    • Thank you so much for this beautiful comment of celebration and encouragement. Tells us all exactly the kind of Christian you are. A real one. I hope you will read other blogs and leave comments as well.

  5. What a beautiful and inspiring testimony Katie has! I’ve known her for quite awhile and feel so blessed to be watching her blossom in her life. Her ability to encourage others to let Jesus heal and work in their lives! Her love for Jesus and people shines through! ❤️

    • It’s an awesome thing. I have loved watching and being a part of it. Super exciting. Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment. That is very important and matters to me. I appreciate it.

  6. This is so powerful. Thank you for sharing your story and letting people know that there is absolutely hope. So excited for you and know the Lord is going to help so many people through you!

    • It’s the truth. Thank you Jenna for reminding Katie of that. Such an honor to have the privilege of encouraging and supporting others. So glad you left this comment.

  7. I am grateful to have been a part of Texas’ story for all of her adult life, Through the very bad early years of addiction and, now, the WONDERFUL, God redeemed present, and future still waiting to unfold.
    My husband and I have been prayerful and financial supporters, of A Radical Difference for several years and we have known Katie since she first came to SouthOak. It has been amazing to watch God at work in her life as he has transformed her into a woman of God. We are delighted to see all the blessings God has bestowed upon her because of her obedience and the decisions she has made to change her life and submit to His call and direction.

    • I believe the two of you were my very first monthly donors. And never once have you missed a month. I could not do any of this without the love and support I have from the two of you and others like you. Katie is only one of the thousands of stories I have. Hard to keep the tears from falling at the thought of it. The gratitude just won’t quit. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment.

  8. The tears won’t stop as I try to focus to write this comment. I am overwhelmed by the power of such a gracious God! The faithfulness of the saints to disciple and love each other is encouraging!

    • It absolutely is. I am so honored to have the role I have. There is a lot of sadness and defeat that comes with this job but when people overcome and the victory shines through, it blows that other crap straight out of the water. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It means so much to me and is also an encouragement to Katie. Thanks again!!

  9. Wow! This moved me to tears!
    God is so good and forgiving!!!
    Our minds are our own worst enemy, we feel so trapped we can not escape. Like steel cages of pure deceit!
    Yet, God is ready, willing, and waiting to pull us out of that dark deep hole we’ve been digging! No matter how deep we think we are! Bless you Katie!
    Thankyou for having the courage to share your story! God loves you! We love you!!!

    • Thanks for leaving a comment. Next year I’ll be telling the story about you. Your desire to do the right thing and be different is so strong there’s no way God won’t meet you where you are. Super excited to be a part of it. I love you.

  10. Katie, Yours is a wonderful testimony. Jesus is transforming your heart to look more like His. I can see the change just looking at your before and after photos. I hope you will continue seeking His truth and living ‘His way’. This is a journey that never ends in this life. I thank God for the heart of people like Texas who consider it a privilege and calling, to journey with you. We all need encouraging accountability partners to remain free and keep the most important thing in life first- loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.

    • I know this will mean so much to Katie. It has been such a privilege to help her get to this place. I must say it has been easy because she was ready and willing. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this article and leave a comment. This is a blessing to me and Katie as well. Love you.

      • What a fantastic testimony! Our sweet Lord always has a plan but we often have to be really low before we realize it. The wonderful things God has planned for Katie are so exciting. Her sharing her journey is going to help so many people who are in this same downward spiral. Now her spiral is only upward. To praise the Lord every day and live to tell others how wonderful their lives can be. So good of you to mentor, lift, and encourage Katie and so many others. Thank you Texas. You’re both in my prayers.

        • What a beautiful comment. It is such an honor to have the position I have and I never want to forget that. Thanks so much for leaving a comment of encouragement for us both. You’re a fabulous supporter and I’m lucky to have you.

  11. This is an idea direct from Him, Texas. Thankful for Tom coming along to lighten the load and bringing along his creative energy to these blogs…looking forward to the next very encouraging installment!

    • I am so entirely grateful for your love and support. What I see God doing is absolutely astounding. Super excited to be able to share it with my audience. Thank you for taking the time to read and for leaving a comment. Much love to you.

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