It’s always an honor to cover businesses that exist to help others, and I happened to be assigned one such article that interested me as a Houston-based editor for Katy Christian Magazine and fashion writer.
Kara Diehl (Johnson in 2014 when the article was written) began her career in fashion jewelry with a mission in mind. She envisioned her bracelets — brilliantly monikered as “gracelets” — as a source of faith and comfort, as well as a way to help combat human trafficking. According to Kara, Houston is a large epicenter for trafficking.
Human Trafficking Ministry — I’m often asked which bracelet is my favorite. I can honestly say I love them all, but I enjoy using the powerful scriptures in the Child of God Bracelet most. Working in a safe house for sex trafficking victims, I came face to face with the desperate cry of women for true love and identity and I use the scriptures from the Child of God bracelet daily. We work with Redeemed Ministries to collaborate on various projects as well as donate a portion of our proceeds to help rescue and employ women out of the sex trade. To learn more about Redeemed and the trafficking ministry, visit https://www.redeemedtx.org/https://www.gracelets.com/about-gracelets.html
Thus, the article below is written from the lens of a faith-based writer as well as a fashion writer. You can see another snippet of my work as a fashion writer here.
Meet bracelet designer Kara Diehl. Her “Gracelets” are an outpouring of love for God and a way to help others come to know undeserved, unfailing, and unending grace. “This jewelry enables you to wear your Bible!” she explains.
Hope and Healing
Kara’s story is less about her and more about redemption, healing, and the plans God has for us all. Her New England childhood was spent in a broken home. She never attended church. Through her troubled teen years, she sensed something was “missing” that nothing else seemed to fulfill.
She jokes that the Lord brought her to Houston in 1999 for a job in the middle of the Bible Belt to get her attention. She started attending church because it seemed to be the right thing to do as a new wife and mother. Up until that point she tried to fill in the holes and heal from such a tragic childhood.
In 2001, she met and fell head over heels in love with Jesus. That’s when the true healing and redemption began. He began to patch the holes and Kara overflowed! She wanted to share her newfound faith with her friends, family, neighbors, mailman, Starbucks barista, and the lady at the drive-thru window.
When her enthusiasm seemed to be a bit overwhelming to others, she realized that actions often speak louder than words. That’s how the concept of “wearing the Bible” came about.
Kara first experimented with jewelry design in 2001 by twisting crosses out of wire. She once saw a bracelet that told the story of Jesus using beads as symbols, and it opened vast new possibilities for sharing concepts of love, healing, redemption, grace, and truth.
For instance, the Hope Gracelet pours through multiple scriptures as a devotional tool and daily reminder to keep our hope in the Lord. According to Kara, “My bracelet themes are created as life events touch my heart. The Hope Bracelet was created during a time of great struggle and desire to hold onto the hope and peace that only God could offer me.”
Kara hand strings each with genuine crystal quartz, mother of pearl, freshwater pearl, and cat’s eyes beads with an antiqued gold adjustable clasp to fit all hearts and wrist sizes. Other styles include Mother’s Prayer, Story of Creation, Daily Devotional, Wall of Heaven, and a special Purity Gracelet.
A Woman of Action
Kara learned about human trafficking in 2010 and was heartbroken. “Houston is the capital,” she says. Many ignore the dark and evil atrocity, but Kara trained with Home of Hope and Chrysalis Mentoring to help trafficked and at-risk girls. Through mentoring she learned what the phrase “God uses all things for good” really means. “I was able to relate to the brokenness in these girls and the deep emptiness and need for healing. AND I HAVE A CURE!” she says.
She created a Purity Gracelet to declare a woman’s worth and value. Kara wanted to breathe this concept into girls. “Studies show girls who have pledged purity with a ceremony of its significance and who are supported by others in doing so are more likely to keep that pledge,” she says. “THAT is the beginning of healing in this sex-saturated, instant-gratification and tolerant culture.”
Girls can make the pledge with or without a bracelet from her website. “I’m praying for 100 girls to take this challenge — to be a light and shine like stars among their generation!” Kara encourages girls to share stories after taking the pledge.
Learn more about the Gracelets fashion line (Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings, and the Men’s Warrior Line) and Kara’s mission on her website, on Facebook, and at Redeemed Ministries.
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