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Passion Meets Purpose #23: My Healing Miracle From God with Katy Nichole

Her song In Jesus’ Name (God of Possible) is growing quickly with over 150 million impressions across social media! Sarah is so excited to introduce you to Katy Nichole on this episode of The Passion Meets Purpose podcast. Katy tells us that “God is in the smallest of details.” We are excited for you to hear more about how her song came together and also the healing that God performed in her life.

Interview Links:

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Katy Nichole: God is moving in your story right now. God is in the deep, like the smallest of details, he can take what’s broken and he could turn it into something beautiful, even if you don’t see it in that moment, because I think I’m still in this place because I’m healing every single day. I’m looking at these broken places and I’m like, how will we get to the restoration? How will we get to the healing? But I’m like, I’ve seen it before cause we know he’s going to, I know that he’s going to come through. The breakthrough will happen. And a lot of times there’s a lot of tension before that breakthrough happens. We have to be stretched. We have to be a little bit uncomfortable and that’s okay. That’s okay, because God is still there still present in those moments.

Sarah Taylor: Her name is Katy Nichole, and although she’s a relatively new artist, she’s already got over 150 million impressions across social media. Her song in In Jesus Name (God of the Possible) is already massive. We’re just trying to catch up to it. She’s going to tell the story of how it was written. She’s also going to talk about her personal healing in her own life after two grueling surgeries and the miracle that God did. I’m so excited to introduce you to Katy Nichole.

Let’s begin at the beginning. Talk to me about your growing up years, siblings, and your and parents.

Katy Nichole: Yeah. So well I’m from a small town in Illinois. I moved when I was 12 years old to Arizona because my dad’s job. But in Illinois, because it was such a small town, it was just, we were all really close. Like everyone in that town was really close to each other.

And I kind of started to decide that I wanted to sing in that in those years, you know, growing up, I was in church choir and I did like school things. And I just really fell in love with, with music. And my grandma sings. She’s the only person in my family who has like a singing gift and loves to sing.

And she’s always just really supported me in that. And I would sing with her at her church and those are some of like my most special memories, like learning how to sing and kind of just falling into that, and it becoming a passion for me. When I was a child, I would sit in our basement with like headphones on and I would just listen to music all day long and I would just learn like tons of different songs.

And it’s kind of how I figured out what kind of music I liked. And it was also just when I fell in love with just music in general. Like, I really, I really love that. And we had a piano in our basement as well, so I would go back and forth. Like I would try to teach myself how to play the piano and then I would go back and I would learn how to sing songs.

And eventually I put those two things together and I was able to play the piano and sing at the same time. But my family really supported me in all this. They really, you know, cared to see, see me succeed and they put me in anything and everything that they could. You know, voice lessons, like they put me in different plays and, you know, everything that they possibly could, they knew what made me happy.

And so so I was able to do that and I actually have three siblings. So I have two older sisters and one little brother and they aren’t in music, but they always wanted to see me succeed in that too. And we’re very supportive of that. And I’m always a tag along to the different things that I did and were very, like, they sacrificed a lot to just be there and to support me. And I’m really grateful for that.

Sarah Taylor: So for as long as you can remember, music is what made you feel like you came alive?

Katy Nichole: Yes, absolutely. I felt like it was the most of myself when I was singing or if I was listening to music, it felt like my happy place.

Sarah Taylor: Another thing that happened in childhood is when you were five years old, you were diagnosed with scoliosis.

Katy Nichole: Funny enough, I always knew I had a health condition that like was going to put me into like different doctor’s appointments and different tests and eventually surgeries and things like that. But I, as a child, I just didn’t pay attention to it. I really didn’t know what was going on. And you know, doctors were telling my parents that, you know, she may not be able to walk.

She may not be able to run. She may not be able to do those things. And I didn’t know that. And so I was going to do them either way. I was in tumbling. I could do like a bajillion backflips, and I wanted to be so active. I would, I would just push myself, even if it hurt, I would just do it because I knew that there was someone holding me together other than myself. And I just always believed that the firm foundation was God, even when I didn’t even see it like that. Like I just knew that I wasn’t able to do it on my own strength, but somehow I was doing it. And later in life was kind of when I, I discovered, okay, this is God, and this is not me. Like I didn’t, you know, a lot of people would be like, you’re so strong and like, you know, you can keep going, even when it’s hard. And I’m like, well, I don’t do it. So I don’t do anything. God does that. God keeps me going. If it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t keep going. And I knew that from the age of five, that if I, I believe that I was being held together, then I was being held together.

Sarah Taylor: Take me to the age you were when all of a sudden you couldn’t push past to anymore, and a doctor advised to do a surgery and you’re right at that age, I actually have a daughter 15 years old, so it’s right at that age now. And I look at her and it’s like, that’s when your life is becoming exciting, that’s high school. That’s friendships. That’s the last thing you want is that to be the moment you get sideline.

Katy Nichole: I was 14. I was turning 15. It really was the pivotal moment in my life of kind of, I was just coming out of middle school, just going into high school, and, you know, I, I was already kind of struggling self-esteem at that age. And I think a lot of kids do because it’s just an awkward phase of life. But when a doctor says your only option now is to surgically place rods and screws in your back in order to keep going. That’s terrifying. But I think, again, there’s just this part of me that always just trusting. Whatever happened to me, I was going to be okay.

I don’t even know where that came from. I don’t know where that confidence came from, but I know that in the moment that a doctor said, Katie, you’re going to need surgery. I was like, okay, if this is what has to be done, then I will somehow get through it. And I don’t have to worry. After having that first doctor say, you need surgery, my parents were like, we don’t know how we’re going to do this. The surgery costs thousands and thousands of dollars. And it’s not always covered by insurance, and in our case, it was not fully covered by insurance. And we would have been in debt as a family. And my mom made a call to the insurance company and basically they told her that there’s this hospital called the Shriners hospitals for children and they will do the surgery without cost, you know, they’ll do it and, and you’ll, you’ll be okay, you’ll get through this. And so we went for that second opinion, they said the same thing, you’re going to need surgery. And it needs to be quick. It needs to be really fast because you’re, you’re moving at a, at a rate that you could be in a wheelchair very, very soon.

And I think hearing those words was probably the scariest thing for me. And it was probably the moment I, I realized, okay, my life could be really hard if I don’t get the surgery, if I don’t do this and I don’t just, you don’t trust that this is what, what needs to be done. And so in August of 2015, I went into spinal fusion surgery and I came out of this surgery with two metal rods and 13 screws in my back.

And they had to basically break my spine in half in order to put it all back together. Kind of like a puzzle, because I was born with a birth defect. I have a rare form of scoliosis. So idiopathic scoliosis is the type type of scoliosis that lots of people have. There’s you could probably in a room of 10 people, at least five of those people probably have scoliosis because scoliosis is actually quite common, but the type of scoliosis I have is one in 10,000 babies born, and it can be debilitating. I was very blessed to not be in that debilitating place because a lot of kids will have surgery at the age of five, but I didn’t have it until I was 15. And so I’m coming out of this surgery, my whole body was in new form. Like I was two inches taller. I’m really short. I’m really short. I’m five feet tall.

Okay. And any inches I could get, I was grateful for because I was like, God, please make me taller. But I came out of this surgery and I felt the change in my body, something was different, you know. And they, they had said that they were like, these are all the things you’re going to need to know when you come out of the surgery.

And one of those things was you will have probably have post-surgical depression and your body’s going to feel a little weird for a whole year. Once that year is over, if you still feel weird, if you’re still facing this depression then let’s talk about it. So I go a year and now it’s 2016 and all of a sudden I’m realizing that I don’t feel very good. I don’t feel very good at all on my, my body hurts just everywhere. I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I didn’t have motivation. I’m that girl who, you know, pushes through and I, I have this, you know, This ability to go, even when it hurts, but now I can’t. And that was the most frustrating thing that’s ever happened to me because I just wanted to go out and do what I felt like I was being called to do.

And I always felt like I was being called to music. I didn’t know that it was Christian music at that time, but I did know that I love music enough that it was the one thing that could always push me forward. It just, it wasn’t enough anymore. And I wasn’t being able to push through those things. And I started to face this just extreme cloud of depression. It was so severe that I couldn’t, I honestly felt like I couldn’t. And even looking back on that time in my life, I don’t really remember a lot of it because it was so dark. In the anesthesia, I was under for eight hours. So it’s a lot, anyone, but on my very small body that it just the chemical imbalance, it can really send things into a spiral.

So another year goes by, and now it’s been two years after this surgery and now we’re in 2017 and I’m in my junior year of high school. So we’ve gone from my freshman year when it first started to now my junior year of high school, and I’m still in this place. I’m still so frustrated every single day. I’m trying to find ways to parse through it and nothing is working. And I really just, I came to this place of like, I don’t want to do this anymore, God. I, I knew God a little bit more in my life because I started realizing that was the only thing I had. If I had nothing, I had everything if I had God.

And so I really just started calling upon his name and, and it’s where I started to pray and journal. And I started to talk to God in that way. And later we’ll find out that that is how Jesus Name came to be, but it really is something that I just feel like that’s how I talk to God. And I have these conversations and I had hit a really low place in my life, to where I said, God, I don’t want to do this anymore and I’m trying to find a way out. And I picked up a bottle of pills and I was like, it’s that easy. It’s that easy. And I just, I don’t know what it was, but this wave came over me of hold on. I’m not done yet. I was like, okay, you’re not done yet. And I don’t know why, because I want to be done. But I just trusted that. And I went to doctor after doctor. I talked to different people about, you know, what are my options for pain management. And most of them were not what I wanted to hear, like pills and, you know, Like shots, you can get in your spine to make it not so painful. And and I did have, you know, we tried a couple of things and nothing, nothing was working.

And eventually a doctor came onto my team who was like, well, we can remove the rods and screws, but the damage that it could cause could be a lot worse than what you had before. And so that was terrifying. That was, that was probably the scariest moment for me when I was really like, I don’t know what to do with this. I don’t know what to do, but I, I knew I didn’t have another option. And it was kind of like that first surgery where I was like, okay, this is what has to be done, this is what has to be done. And so 2018, now we’re on year three and I it’s still mind blowing to me that it was three years ago, the darkest place I’ve ever been in, in my life.

I mean, desperation. I was, you know, calling out to God every single day in hopes that he would just somehow pull me through this and that, you know, I’m see the light again. So in, in December of 2018, right before 2019, I went in for my second surgery and they removed the rods and the screws. And when I came out of the surgery, well, number one, it took five hours instead of the eight hours that I was under the first time. And they did it completely opioid free. The surgery was actually a trial that they were, they were trying to do. And, and you know, so many things could have gone wrong, so many things. And what happened was completely the opposite. When I came out of this surgery, I woke up and I saw the light again. It was the craziest encounter that I’ve ever had of the Lord, like, I never seen anything my whole life that looked like that. When I talk about miracles, I promise you, I mean, I seen miracle, but I promise you that this one, this one was it. I was like, and really, we see God in so many little ways in our life, and that just make us even more grateful for those bigger moments.

And, and when I came out of this, this smoke cloud that I was in, I was just like, wow, Jesus. I know, you know, I know you know, I don’t know how I know you, but I know you. And so after the surgery they took x-rays and my spine was actually straighter than when the rods were. No one could explain that medically there’s no science that can cause that. There was nothing.

No, no, Jesus did that. And wow. That’s all you can say is wow, because I came out of this and God gave me a purpose. He gave me a purpose to keep living for him. You know, the motivation was always music, but I didn’t really know what God was calling me to until the name of Jesus was in those songs. And I wrote my first Christian song about two months after I had this surgery and it’s a song called Shine, and it’s based on Matthew five 16 to let your light shine before others so that they could see the goodness of God. And after the surgery, I really made it my mission to just shine that light in whatever way that I could. You know, I’m human and I’m going to fall short of his glory every single day, but if I wake up every day thinking, okay, how can I be more like Jesus? That’s all he was asking me to do.

And this whole time too, I know that through that three years, I treated people in ways I wish I didn’t. And I look back on that and just so heartbroken and so genuinely sorry to anyone that I had hurt in that season of my life. And now in, in my, you know, moving forward, that’s why I think it’s even more like, I want to just follow the heart of Jesus.

I just want to follow the heart of Jesus and note to anyone maybe who’s listening to this, I just want you to know that you’re never too far gone because I look into my past and I’m, I’m disappointed, but I’m also like, God, didn’t ask me to carry that. God didn’t, didn’t ask me to carry the shame. That’s too much for anyone to carry. And I can, I can let go, I can let go of the weight and I can let him carry that because he’s a lot stronger than I am. And so just, you know, now as I go into this new season of my life or I’m completely changed, I really want to be changed. Not, not just in my body, but in my whole being. My whole spirit.

Sarah Taylor: Take me back to the journal. What’s it like to go read those and tell me where you found inspiration for this song that is already being carried around the world at a record breaking rate.

Katy Nichole: That journal, man. The one that I use during that time is quite depressing. Right, right before that surgery, I took a break after that. In 2018, there’s no journal, which is interesting because you’d think that the journal would happen in that season. But I think what happened is that it was song. It was songs instead, God was giving me words to write these songs. So there’s no journal for 2018, but we go into 2019 and what we see is just God turning everything around. And I started to record music that, you know, God has given to me, and life, you know, started to, it really did start to look up after this surgery.

And when I looked back on the one that was in that three years, That one’s really sad and it breaks my heart that I was ever in that place, but I also am like, but look what God did. Look what we had here to here, you know. In 2020, when COVID began and life was really weird is when I really started to dive into this whole prayer journaling thing. Life looked kind of weird for me in that, in that time and it kind of was again where I’d hit this like place of depression. And I actually started to face anxiety in a way I’d never faced it before. And I think a lot of people probably could say that in the year, 2020, even now, you know, it’s a weird, weird world we’re living in. And so prayer was really the only thing that I could, I could truly lean on.

And so I started writing in this prayer journal and I started praying prayers that I’d never prayed before. And just kind of learning how to pray because a lot of my prayers were just desperation, but now I just wanted to give thanks to God for what he was doing, and how he was working in my life. The doors of opportunity were kind of starting to open in 2020 for, you know, record labels and different, you know, Christian music opportunities that I never could have seen coming. I never thought I was actually going to be in Christian music, even though I had started to work, you know, I actually worked with Joshua Havens, from The Afters, cause he was our worship pastor at the church that I went to in Arizona, and he mentored me and he, you know, led me kind of into Christian music and into worship.

Sarah Taylor: What a great mentor.

Katy Nichole: Amazing! One of the best people I’ve ever met.

Sarah Taylor: I just have to pause you for two seconds, does he have a level of like fatherly pride right now that like to watch what’s happened?

Katy Nichole: Yes. He literally texted me right before this. Literally talking about all of this sent me the screenshot up. He’s like Sarah Taylor, where she, she, she commented on this.

Sarah Taylor: Everyone’s just so excited. Everyone’s just so excited for you. Okay. Sorry. Go back to what you were saying.

Katy Nichole: He’s totally one of the best best mentors literally anyone could ever ask for. And that taught me so, so much about what it means to just have a heart, to do this, have the heart, to, to walk into,

you know, the calling that God has on your life. And he motivated me more than I think anyone in my whole like music career. He just really pushed me.

Sarah Taylor: Give us one of the nuggets of wisdom that you’ve gleaned from him so that everyone else can benefit from his mentorship.

Katy Nichole: Yeah. Well, man, it’s truly just to, to not really care what people think of you, unless they’re in your close circle. He has always reminded me that, you know, people are gonna say what they’re going to say, but the opinions that truly matter are the ones that come from the people that you love, and the people that you care about, and God places, those people in your life to hold you accountable for, you know, certain things.

And I mean, he’s held me accountable in so many ways and really helped me through some tough seasons. I mean, obviously, you know, doing this it’s, it’s been hard. There’s a lot of pressure that’s put on, on a person. And so he just constantly reminds me to just keep doing what God is asking me to do and not care about what the world says. Just truly be set apart in that.

Sarah Taylor: Take me into the writer’s room with David Spencer and Ethan Holtz, when this song in Jesus’ Name was birthed into the world.

Katy Nichole: Yeah, it was just really cool cause I kind of got to talk a little bit about my story and a little bit of where I was at in that moment. This was August, 2021. So this was not that long ago. I was about to move to Tennessee from Arizona, so like just, there was so much going on. I was staying in Centricity has like a condo that we’d stay in, so I was like on a writer’s trip, and that night before we went into the writer’s room, I actually had written something. And it was basically, let there be healing that circumstances change. Let the fear inside flee in Jesus’ name. And this was all I had. That was the little, the little part that I had in the song. And when I went into the room, I think it was Ethan, he said, I think we should turn this into a prayer. People need prayer. That’s what we need to do right now.

And I thought it was going to be the course in that moment, but actually what it ended up being was the bridge to another song, so that I pray for your healing, but circumstances will change… That was originally the bridge of a song called God of Possible. And that song, they didn’t match. The chorus of God possible didn’t match to this bridge that we had written. And so all of a sudden we were kind of like, How could we turn this into the chorus of the song rather than the bridge? And there are about a million versions of this song. I’ve written it like so many times I was writing different parts, Ethan was coming up with stuff.

We were all just working together to figure it out. Yeah. Truly. It was something that God just orchestrated. So the day of the right, you know, we came out of this. Right. And didn’t really think anything of it when we got the song back, we, we weren’t thinking anything because it hadn’t been posted on, on Tik TOK yet. And I actually, I posted this little video and I didn’t really think much of it. I was just posting content for tick tok like I did every week. Like it was just the norm for me, and I woke up the next day and I was, people like this song, people are resonating with this. I was, I was kinda like, I knew there was something special in saying a prayer over somebody, but I genuinely was just like, whoa, this is really crazy.

Look what God’s doing right now. And so I didn’t really think about it until the label was like, Hey, do you want to finish the song? Like, do you wanna write in Jesus’ name? And so I, you know, spent again hours creating millions of different versions of the song and talking to Ethan and being like, okay, what are we going to do with this?

And one day I sat down at my piano after having a really hard day, and I was like, what do I need right now in this moment? And I was like, I need someone to speak the name of Jesus over me. And so I, so the verses of the song that are now, I speak the name of Jesus over you in your hurting, in your sorrow, I’ll ask my God to move. And truly that was, that was something I was like, This is what everyone needs to hear. Everyone needs the name of Jesus spoken over their life. And there we had it, we had the song, it was, it came to life.

Sarah Taylor: Talk about why it matters to speak the name of Jesus over somebody.

Katy Nichole: Well, that’s, that’s where the healing will come. Right? So I, I really believe that with my whole heart and only because I can say I’ve seen it with my own two eyes.

Sarah Taylor: I think that’s where the authority comes from. Like before I knew your story, I had only heard the clip, but the way you sing it is more than just singing powerfully. It’s singing from a place of I’ve been there, I know this to be true. And so I think that that energy is just picked up by those of us that hear it. It’s like, okay, this woman believes it. I think for a lot of people, maybe they are where you are yet. They are in more like Jesus, I believe. Help my unbelief.

Katy Nichole: Yes, absolutely. That is so, so true. And I think what I want those people to know is that God is moving in your story, right? God is in the deep, like the smallest of details. He can take what’s broken and he could turn it into something beautiful, even if you don’t see it in that moment, because I think I am miss still in this place because I’m healing every single day. I’m looking at these broken places and I’m like, how will we get to the restoration? How will we get to the healing? But I’m like, I’ve seen it before, so we know he’s going to do it again. I know that he’s going to come through. The breakthrough will happen. And a lot of times there’s a lot of tension before that breakthrough happens. We have to be stretched. We have to be a little bit uncomfortable and that’s okay. That’s okay. Because God is still there. He’s still present in those moments.

Sarah Taylor: Ethan and David are such gifted songwriters. I think Ethan’s been like songwriter of the year for the past two years. Much like you gave us a nugget of wisdom that you got from the mentorship of Josh from the afters, give us a piece of something that Ethan or David said to you that you hold.

Katy Nichole: Well, Ethan, we’ve had a lot of conversations, kind of just about stories. And we’ve just had really great conversations between, you know, each other’s stories and like, how God has used those things. And really like a lot of the songs that Ethan and I have written together, it’s just been about god’s going to take this broken thing and he’s going to turn it into something really beautiful. And Ethan has some of the most incredible, like lyrics, just insane supernatural, like it’s crazy. I just really look at the way that he’ll take an idea I come into the room with, and he’ll run with it. Like he will just, well, you know, like he’s, he goes quickly and he, he really goes from like the deepest parts of the story and makes them come to life. And and I always feel like the holy spirit is present in the room when I’m with Ethan too. I feel like he just really brings that to the table. And I’m, I’m so grateful for that. I really am, because I know that, that’s why people can feel the holy spirit in those songs is because we were in a room that was just filled with the holy spirit the whole time.

And David is amazing too. And he just kind of like ran with this, this track. Like we started to go in a direction. I was like, this is amazing. This is amazing. And as we were writing the song, I feel like the one thing, you know, David is so, so sure about is like being authentic and true to yourself in the writing process.

Sarah Taylor: I saw, a video of you that was recently posted on your instagram. You were hearing your song on the radio for the first time. And you were hearing the DJs, they gave a summary of your story, of your healing journey. And they also talked about how this song has been running faster and everyone else has just been chasing to catch up with it. It got shared all over tick-tock and other social media. It jumped to number one on iTunes. Like just the stats behind it are like Niagara falls. So talk to me about that moment. And if anyone wants to see it, all they have to do is go to your Instagram and they’ll see your reaction, but you were very emotional hearing your own story be told, and then your song on a, a world premier in every state, across the country.

Katy Nichole: That was the craziest moment ever. I I’ve listened to all these different Christian radio stations, like growing up and I’ve always thought, you know, it would be really cool if I, if I wrote a Christian song and heard it, you know, on one of those radio stations. And hearing it, it was, I was like, this isn’t real. This doesn’t feel real right now. The moment was so special because it wasn’t really about, you know, hearing my song on the radio. It was more about hearing this testimony of how God could turn everything around, and he did. That’s just my hope for everyone. That’s my hope for everyone. So when you hear the song, I hope that you aren’t thinking about the person, but rather the story. I hope that if there’s a person in your life that you need to pray for, that you will, you will speak these words of life over them. And that’s what they are. They’re not just lyrics to song. This is truly something you can speak to God over, over your friends, over your family, over your church.

I just, I want to hear the name of Jesus be magnified. It’s not about me. It really is just about how God is going to move through someone’s story and God is going to breakthrough. He’s going to breakthrough

Sarah Taylor: Our thanks to Katy Nichole, to Chris Love at Centricity Records, and Katie’s manager, Steve Ford. To our producer, Scott Karow with Terra Firma, and of course, to you for listening or leaving a rating and review, and for letting us know who you’d love to hear on an upcoming episode. My favorite stories are also how the podcast is impacting you as you find your passion and purpose. I’ll see you in two weeks.

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