Monday, November 30, 2015

#sistersofinfluence: Kai Dickson

Y'all I am so excited to tell you about something I have had on my heart for a while now. It is no secret around here that I love how the body of Christ can encourage one another and build each other up. No man is an island, especially as a follower of Christ. I especially love how women can work together instead of compete; how they can embolden when there is the temptation to compare. It is so imperative that we remember that God has given each one of us a race to run; a purpose to fulfill. He has placed each of us where we are for a specific reason, and there are no coincidences about our families, jobs, and homes. That's why I am so excited to begin a new series called Sisters of Influence, where I'll be featuring women I know that are living intentionally right where they are. No two women have the same story, and yet each one is running their race and glorifying God in their own way. 

{Elissa Ewald Photography}
Today, I have the privilege of introducing you to my dear friend Kai (Ky-ee) Dickson. She and I go waaaaaay back. The following events are true:

Freshman year at UGA, I was an obnoxious loud but friendly girl who just wanted to be friends with everyone. Kai lived in my dorm and also attended BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministries) with me. We had a lot of friends in common, and I tried to be her friend and say hi to her when I saw her on campus, but she would avoid eye contact with me and keep walking. I just figured she didn't see me at first, but then I thought that she didn't want to be my friend! One Saturday at a party hosted by the Christian fraternity BYX, we were next to each other, and I said, "Hey, Kai, take a picture with me!" and the rest is history. We lived together for a year and a half, have traveled together, and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding. Plus she's a boss. For reals. She's insanely smart and it is kind of ridiculous. I'll stop blabbing and get to the good stuff, though.

Tell us about yourself. Who are you?

Hey y'all! My name is Kai J. Dickson, and I'm a 26-year-old living in the east Atlanta suburbs. I'm an attorney, and I work as a prosecutor for my local solicitor-general's office. I'm part of the family of Passion City Church, where I get to serve in the student ministry as a seventh-grade leader. I'm a HUGE introvert, but one of my giving love languages is quality time, so I love that I get to spend time with my mom and sweet dog; my amazing small group Bible study members; friends from college, PCC and elsewhere; and students from a local middle school where I serve as a WyldLife leader. I love books, reading recent Supreme Court decisions (I cannot believe I just wrote that), live music, email, rain, and road trips to Athens to see my friends and watch the Dawgs play between the hedges.

How did you come to know the Lord?

I grew up in church, but I never believed that God really liked me. I felt like I was constantly letting Him down, and even though I accepted Christ when I was 11, I never fully trusted Him. College was an amazing time of growth for me- I learned what it looked like to be a consistent and obedient follower of Jesus, but I didn't fully learn who I was in Christ until really about 18 months ago . My mom (with whom I live) was dealing with some medical issues, we were struggling financially, and I was dealing with the stress of taking the Bar Exam and searching for a job, while also carrying the remnants of a heart that had been badly broken from a bad relationship and poor choices. I realized that if I was ever going to heal and find hope, I would have to confront the lies that I had believed about myself and about God and figure out what truth was.While I can't say that I'm all fixed and everything is perfect, I can say that Jesus has revealed himself to me in beautiful ways. He is good, faithful and kind, and I cling to that truth- His truth- every day.

What do you think it means to be a woman of influence right where you are?

One of my favorites verses is Colossians 3:23-24: "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." I think that's exactly what being a woman of influence right where you are means: doing the work Jesus has called us to and working with heart and vigor. I love looking around me and seeing the work that my female friends are called to: some are teachers; some, event coordinators; others accountants, artists, coaches, counselors, designers, moms, ministry leaders- the Lord lets us do such neat things! But I think so often we look at what someone else is doing and become a little envious, and we question God, asking why we can't do something as cool as what they're doing. What we- and I include myself in this, because I have been guilty of it as well!- have to do is look back at what God has called us to, and focus not only on doing our jobs and living our lives well, but living in a manner that attracts and points people to Christ.

How does the Lord allow you to shine His light through the practice of law?

I work in the area of our office that prosecutes traffic violations and county ordinance violations, which means that most of the defendants I come across are people who've just made poor decisions, such as running a red light, speeding, or drinking alcohol in public. One of the things the Lord has shown me is just how much grace we humans need, and I get the opportunity to extend grace to people so much while practicing law. I'm a firm believer in law and justice, and for protecting my community, but I'm also a huge proponent of grace and straight-up kindness. I'm still trying to find the balance between being faithful to the law and pursuing justice while also doing my job in a manner that exemplifies grace and Jesus, and what I'm finding is that it's literally a case-by-case approach. Sometimes more grace is needed; sometimes more punishment is needed- but what's always needed is me treating defendants, defense attorneys and my colleagues with grace and kindness.

What is your favorite verse or passage of Scripture?

Seriously, how much of a law nerd am I that my favorite passage of Scripture is talking about the law?!
Hebrews 7:11-28
 "Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron?  For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him,
“You are a priest forever,
    after the order of Melchizedek.”
For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:
“The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever.’”
This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost[b] those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.  For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever."

What is one truth you want others to remember and cling to?

That we are so incredibly loved by God. That He sees us, adores us and rejoices in us. He calls Himself Father and calls us His daughters and sons, His beloved children, and oh goodness, He is so very good.

And last but not least: coffee or tea?

Coffee, all day, every day! (Literally.)

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