Kate Battistelli toured for two and a half years in the Broadway National Tour of The King and I, playing Anna opposite Yul Brynner as the King for 1,000 performances. Life was good. But then God showed her how to make it even better. She is now a wife to Mike, a mom to Grammy-winning recording artist Francesca Battistelli, and a grandmother to Eli, Audrey, Isaac, and Wyatt.
Somewhere along the way, Kate also realized that she was being called to write books, and to inspire and encourage people like you and me. By all appearances, her new book, The God Dare, will do just that.
Kate and her husband live in Franklin, Tennessee.
You have a performing arts background. What started you on your writing journey?
Back in 2011, God dared me to write my first book and I wasn’t a writer. I’d always loved to write and journal but I was not a trained writer. Here’s how it happened. We’d homeschooled our daughter Francesca with a large homeschooling group in Orlando where we lived at the time. They were getting ready to celebrate their 20th anniversary and asked my husband Mike and I to come speak about what we did to raise our daughter to find her purpose. By this time, she’d already signed her record deal and her songs were getting lots of airplay on the radio. We told the homeschooling organization ‘yes, we’d be happy to speak’ and afterward, as we chatted about it, Mike and I came up with fifteen intentional things we’d done to raise her to find her destiny in God.
A week later we gave our talk and the next day I was praying and thanking God for those fifteen things and that’s when I heard God speak these terrifying words in my spirit: “Those are book chapters.” I reminded God I wasn’t a writer, I had no platform or college degree and no way to get it published, but I kept hearing Him repeat, “Those are book chapters.” So I found a friend who was a writing coach and showed her my idea and she helped me get the book written and published. I realized God was triple-dog-daring me to step out and do something that made absolutely no sense at the time. But it makes total sense now!
“I reminded God I wasn’t a writer, I had no platform or college degree and no way to get it published.”
The Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that will ultimately bless us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
I have, numerous times. I call them ninety degree turns but I love the phrase Divine Detours.
I met my husband in the Broadway National Tour of The King and I starring Yul Brynner. I started the show as the understudy to the leading lady, the I in The King and I, and after a few months, had the wonderful opportunity to take over the role of leading lady. I met my husband a few months later when he joined the tour as the associate conductor and we quite literally fell in love across the footlights. We both were convinced the theatre would be our life but God had other plans for us.
About two years after giving our hearts to the Lord, we both began to get the feeling God was calling us out of that world, which made absolutely no sense in the natural, but often God’s call doesn’t make sense at the time. We prayed about it and got good counsel and decided to move out of New York and into a home business and homeschooling and leave the theatre behind.
We wanted fame and fortune but thank God, in His wisdom, He allowed our ceiling to become our daughter’s floor as her desire has always been to make His name famous. Because of our backgrounds, we were able to guide Francesca and help her navigate the music and performing world in the early years of her career. At the time God called us out of the theatre world, it made no sense and all of our theatre friends thought we were crazy as our careers were going well. That’s why I call a God Dare a spiritual bungee jump. It’s guaranteed to be a wild ride but when you obey, there will always be fruit.
Let’s talk about The God Dare (Shiloh Run Press, June 2019). Please tell us about it.
A God Dare is that crazy, impossible dream or wild adventure God is inviting you to join. You know you aren’t equipped but if God calls you to it, He’ll equip you to do it. If you believe God is daring you, typically it will be scary and make you move out of your comfort zone. The best way to hear it is to pray and ask God for confirmation that it’s really Him. Ask a few mature Christians or your pastor to pray with you that God will make it crystal clear.
A God Dare is simple. It’s God’s yes. It’s His gigantic smile and nod of the head, His holy high-five begging you to believe. Begging you to take Him at His word, to once and for all let go of fear, doubt, guilt, and pride and say yes to His yes. It’s God’s offer to each of us to choose to be chosen—to say yes to His magnificent plan for your life! We only know what’s possible but the impossible is God’s comfort zone.
Why did you write it?
I look at the American church and, for the most part, it has gotten soft. We don’t take risks, we don’t want to leave our comfort zones and we don’t want to step out. My desire is to challenge and encourage each reader that God has a plan specifically for them. I’m convinced each of us is here to change the world but we have to be willing to obey, step out and do it afraid. I’m praying and believing The God Dare will encourage many to take their own personal God Dares and change the world right where they are!
“We don’t take risks, we don’t want to leave our comfort zones and we don’t want to step out.”
A few fun questions…
You’re a scratch cook. (Readers: Check out Kate’s recipe index!) What is your favorite comfort food?
I’d have to say my husband Mike’s famous meatballs! They are amazing and when we make them, the whole house smells fantastic!
What Bible passage or story best describes your journey of faith?
I’d have to say the story of the woman caught in adultery and forgiven by Jesus. I’ve never committed adultery but I did get caught in sexual sin as a teen and ended up pregnant at eighteen and having an abortion way back in 1972, before Roe vs. Wade had become law. When I got saved at twenty-nine I knew Jesus knew what I’d done and I knew He loved me anyway. His redemption is real and has been proven over and over again in my life.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
The truth is, I’m the little girl trying to walk in high heels but I see myself as the female lead!
Thank you, Kate! It’s a pleasure to have you as a guest at Divine Detour.
Thank you so much for having me, Kathy!
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