This time on One Faith, Many Paths, I’m interviewing a longtime FB friend Karly White, who I’ve known since my days in the Fans For Christ FB group. She is married to her husband Edward, and they have a newborn son named Hezekiah.
1. What was your childhood like? In some ways, it was very idyllic. I grew up in the beautiful Appalachian mountains of West Virginia and white Christmases during my childhood, and have fond memories of things like playing flashlight tag on summer nights, and sledding in the winter with the neighborhood kids. In other ways, it was pretty bad. My mother had undiagnosed bipolar disorder and could be verbally abusive, which got worse after my brother Keric died in infancy from HLHS, a rare heart condition. West Virginia is also a predominantly white state, and my father is Cuban. My parents were always very lonely and pretty excluded from our community. I didn’t really think about until I was older that racism played a part in that.
2. How did you become a Christian? My father is a Pentecostal pastor, so Christianity was a huge part of my upbringing, so I was always aware of scripture and Jesus’s ministry. Like most teenagers, I went through a phase where I questioned whether Christianity was a bunch of magical nonsense or not. Ironically, what brought me to faith was a fantasy novel. I read the Chronicles of Narnia the year my nana (my mom’s aunt that raised her) died, and on the plane ride to her funeral, I remember looking out the window at the patchwork of land beneath me and thinking, if there was a being like Aslan, the lion God-figure of the books, who was merciful, loving, regal, and righteous, I wanted to follow him. In the next moment, I remembered that CS Lewis was a devout Christian, and Aslan was his version of the Christian God. That’s who he was describing in his books, and that’s who I wanted to know and follow. I’ve wrestled with my faith a lot over the years, and still do, but I still want to follow that God.
3. What is your occupation? Currently, I’m a stay-at-home mom. I do freelance writing and editing and am currently working on a novel and regularly blog.
4. What is your favorite biblical passage? Tough to say. When I was in high school, Ps 143:7-8 meant a lot to me, as the NLT says, “Come quickly, Lord and answer me, for my depression deepens. Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you.” It was reassuring to me when I was struggling with depression. In more recent years, Isaiah 62:4-5 was given to me when I was praying for wisdom from God about whether I should marry my now-husband. The passage in the ESV says, “You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight is in Her and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you and your land shall be married For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” There are many more, but those specifically always stand out to me.
5. Who is your favorite biblical figure besides Jesus? I love the stories of strong women in the Bible: Esther, Ruth, Mary, Deborah, Jael, but over the years the story of Joseph is one I continually come back to. There is so much reassurance and hope in his story, so much of what Christ would later reveal in Jesus. The fact that he was able to forgive his brothers, the fact that he took bleak circumstances and was able to rise above them.
6. What evidence do you think proves God’s existence? I think there is evidence all around that God exists. I believe all of the fields of study; science, math, art, literature, the course of human history, all point to a divine power, not random chaos. As a mother, I still look at my son all of the time and marvel at the awesomeness of how he was formed. I know the science behind his conception, but I do not understand how a totally unique human being with his own personality and soul was growing inside me.
7. How did you meet your husband? My husband actually went to college with a good friend of mine who would eventually marry my brother. After she married my brother, my brother and my now-husband would occasionally get together to jam and play music (they are both musicians) and I met him in passing many times. Eventually I just decided to take a chance on getting to know him better, and the rest is history.
8. How did your family react to him? Your friends? As I said, he was already friends with my brother and sister-in-law so they of course already liked him. He’d met my parents a few times as well, already. They liked him pretty well, especially after he visited me during an illness and basically stayed by my side holding my hand the whole time. There were some concerns (at least by my mom) about not fitting in with his family or culture, which I politely ignored. Some of my extended family have made more racially charged comments like “couldn’t she marry a nice white boy?” which just aren’t even worth responding to.
9. What is your denomination? I don’t really identify as any particular denomination. I’ve always been attending somewhat Evangelical churches, but I do long for some of the ritual of high church. My family currently attends a church out of obligation which God will not yet release us from, but we long to find a home church of our own, and expect God will lead us there in time.