Katy Nichole: God Makes All Things Possible (Part 2)

John FarrellBy John Farrell12 Minutes

Even through her battle with a chronic condition like scoliosis, award-winning Christian artist Katy Nichole’s trust in God keeps her strong and gives her the energy to keep going.

John Farrell: You said that you’ve been a Christian your entire life, but what is your testimony that has led you to where you are today?

Katy Nichole: I actually have two of those and I’ll talk about the time when I was younger where I came to Jesus.

I was growing up in church, but I didn’t truly know Jesus until one day. I was at elementary school and someone in the class was talking about how they worshiped Satan. I went home and started sobbing. I told my parents this. I was like, “I thought everyone believed in Jesus.” My parents were like, “No, honey, that’s not how this works.” They asked me the question, “Do you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you believe that He’s the way, the truth, and the life?” I said, “Absolutely, I do.” That was the day that I accepted Jesus into my heart.

That was the first time really for me where I realized I love Jesus. I love Jesus so much and I want him to be the center of my life. I was only like 10 years old and I still didn’t really know what it meant, but at the same time I was pretty serious about Jesus.

Fighting Scoliosis

Then when I was 15 years old, I had spinal fusion surgery for my back because I have scoliosis. They put metal rods and screws into my spine. When I came out of that surgery, I was unfortunately in a lot of pain that was not just physical pain, but it was a mental thing. I had severe anxiety, severe depression, and I had no motivation to do any of the things that I wanted to do before. I was just so incredibly frustrated at my life. I was even a little bit angry at God. I was like, “I don’t understand why this is happening to me. I don’t understand why bad things are happening when I believe in You. I love You, Lord. Why are you letting these things happen?”

I realized very quickly that God wasn’t doing those things to me. He was allowing those things to happen to me. And it was because those things are things that shape us. The pain is something that God can turn into beautiful things.

There was one moment in my life where I picked up a bottle of pills on my dresser and said, “It would be that easy.” I was so angry, but I felt the Lord say to me, “He wasn’t done yet.”

I wasn’t actively attending church. I wasn’t reading my Bible. I wasn’t intentionally having a relationship with God in that moment. Feeling as though that was God speaking those words over me, I think it’s just one of the most incredible things and it saved my life. I ended up choosing from that day forward to follow Jesus in a way that I had never followed Him before. I held onto those words for three long years. I went from doctor to doctor trying to figure out why I was in the pain that I was in and just being incredibly frustrated at how my life was going. Again, being mad at God. It wasn’t God’s fault.

I think a lot of people could probably say in their hardest moments they blamed God, and God’s not to blame. But I ended up having a second back surgery. They said my only option was to take the metal rods and screws out of my spine. I said, “Do what you have to do. I don’t know if I’m going to make it to tomorrow.” So, they went in and removed everything. And I’m telling you, when I came out of the surgery, I saw the light again for the first time. That consuming anxiety, that consuming depression, was finally lifted off of me. A weight was lifted off of me that I immediately felt when I woke up from the surgery.

I knew from that day forward I had a purpose, and my purpose was not singing the songs I sing. It wasn’t standing on a stage. My purpose was living for Jesus wholeheartedly and not just being halfway in, halfway out, but truly loving Him with my whole heart. That was right about the same time I started Christian music and started singing for Jesus rather than trying to do my own thing. I tell you, when you think you can do it on your own, that’s when God is going to humble you.

JF: So, your faith helped you through some of the darkest times of your life when you were facing these medical challenges.

Katy: Yeah, for sure. I definitely had to lean on Jesus. I had to trust that He was the one who was going to carry me through because I genuinely wasn’t doing anything on my own strength. I couldn’t. I just didn’t have any strength left.

When we don’t have strength left, that’s when God zooms in and saves the day, but it didn’t happen without me saying, “God, I need You.” It didn’t happen without that.

I think we can ignore God as well and I knew I couldn’t do that because I had been a Christian my whole life. I knew I couldn’t do that. I knew how different it was when God was the center of my life.

JF: How are you today? Are you pain-free?

Katy: No, I’m definitely not pain-free today, but I’m doing so much better than I was at that time. I think of life as a healing journey because there’s never going to be a day when the things I’ve dealt with go away. I still had two back surgeries. I’ve still got nerve damage. I’ve still got an underlying condition that I didn’t know about and that I found out about after my second surgery.

So, I deal with a chronic condition. I could say I’m chronically ill, but it doesn’t own my life. I trust in God to keep me strong and to give me the energy I need and keep my health good and strong. I go to the doctor regularly to check in on things that might not be great tomorrow. But as far as I can say right now, I’m doing great and I’m healthy and I’m happy and I’m able to move way better than I was in those three years. So, I can praise God for that.

JF: I know that your story has probably inspired millions of people, especially those who have scoliosis and face the same kind of challenges that you have medically. And I’m sure you will continue to be an example to those who are struggling.

Katy: Thank you. I’m really grateful for that. I’m just grateful that God has moved in my life in a way that I can share this story and hopefully help other people.

Writing and Performing

JF: When it comes to your songs and the song-writing process, what is that like?

Katy: I wrote with other writers and producers. Every song on there has at least two writers, if not three. I do a lot of my writing prior to coming into the room and collaborating, but I’m very much a songwriter at heart. No one’s writing these songs for me. I’ve been writing songs since I was 16 and I’ve dedicated a lot of my life to becoming a better songwriter. I love being an artist. I’m grateful to do that as well, but ultimately, I want to write God-glorifying songs. That’s my first mission before anything else is to glorify God in everything that I do, especially in the songs I’m writing.

JF: You’ve had the opportunity to perform in some special venues like the Grand Ole Opry and Red Rock Amphitheater, just to name a few. You’ve also performed alongside or with some pretty big names. What has it been like to appear in those big venues with these big names that you may have grown up listening to and being a fan of?

Katy: Honestly, I can say that it is just so special because I could’ve never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be standing on the same stage as Chris Tomlin. I don’t know if a lot of people would think that that’s going to happen in their lifetime. But I can say that I’m just incredibly grateful because I looked up to so many of these people and I have written songs that have been inspired by songs that these amazing artists have written. They are so incredibly talented, so incredibly gifted and the Lord has gifted them and I’m inspired by them. So, praise God that I get to do what I do because it’s a blessing. It’s a huge blessing.