'Follow your HEART' was the motto Katharine Hartnett lived by until heartbreak prompted a search for deeper meaning in life.
Looking for a "fulfilling life", Katharine says, "I just wanted to look cool and thought I'd find satisfaction in parties, clubbing and drinking."
Her celebrity role models encouraged her to stay 'in fashion' and Katharine became obsessed with buying clothes.
"Every weekend I went to clothes stores and bought lots of dresses. But once I would get them, they felt like nothing, so I felt I had to go buy more," she confesses.
In her pursuits of friendships, clothes, music, movies and hobbies, Katharine remained unsatisfied, as she recalls, "deep down I was always searching for something more, for a true and pure love."
Amidst her turmoil of unhappiness, she sometimes thought about God as her parents were Christians and had put her in a Christian school.
"I knew there was a God," she comments, "and that what I was doing wasn't good, but I did not want to worry about that yet."
The lack of satisfaction and meaning continued to plague Katharine until she reflected on the peaceful life of her parents.
"I began to pray and ask God to show me the way through my problems because I wanted something deeper. As I turned to Jesus Christ I found true satisfaction," she explains.
In her journey towards God, Katharine read these words from Jesus: "For whoever will save his life [selfishly for himself] will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it" (Luke chapter 9, verse 24).
She felt deeply convicted by these words and decided to replace weekend visits to the clubs with quiet time studying her Bible for more answers to her burning questions.
Suddenly following her heart and living how she pleased seemed much more trivial than what she discovered God had planned for her in His Word, the Bible.
"My friends thought I was a nutcase for not wanting to partake in parties and clubbing events, but the conviction that I had wronged God in every way was so strong," she explains.
She began searching for a Bible-based church and joined her mother and her scientist father Dr John Hartnett in family Bible studies.
As she read about Jesus' "real love" in going to the cross to provide her forgiveness, Katharine says, "I demonstrated my love for Jesus by being obedient to Him and putting my faith in Him."
"I believe that God, in His undeserved kindness, chose to save me and His Truth led me to repentance. I committed my life to Jesus by giving up control of my life because Jesus gave up His life for me when He died on the cross."
The outcome of this, Katharine says, was that "God satisfied my soul with His Word, so that I no longer crave things that I once 'needed' for satisfaction.
"Although I may not have a lot according to the world's standards, I have much more in Christ Jesus who died for me, and more in everlasting life to come."
Apart from eternal life, Katharine says there are many blessings that come from being a follower of Jesus.
"God often reminds me of a comforting Bible verse when I am feeling depressed or sad and time with Him is the only thing that lifts me up and gets me over the hump."
To others who find themselves caught up in unhelpful addictions, Katharine says, "Jesus came into the world to save sinners. By having faith in Jesus, that He is God the Son and He took the punishment for your sin, you will be saved. Jesus will never reject you, leave you heartbroken or lonely because He is with you always through the Holy Spirit (see John 14:23)." •