When 13-year-old Olivia Pitts thinks about her mom, Wynter, she remembers lying in bed with her before school each morning. Her twin sister, Camryn, thinks about the way she and her mom used to read books out loud to each other. And their older sister, 15-year-old Kaitlyn (she likes to go by Kaity), daydreams about time spent doing fun things together: manicures, puzzles, shopping. What the sisters didn’t think of, is how they’ll soon have to overcome tragedy.
Each daughter clearly remembers those details. What they don’t remember as well, however, is July 24, 2018—the day their 38-year-old mother went to be with Jesus after a sudden heart-rhythm issue. The younger girls were only 9; Kaity was 12.
“It was just so shocking and unexpected,” says Olivia.
Camryn agrees: “It’s all just really a blur.”
What isn’t a blur, though, is how the Pitts sisters are continuing to carry on their mother’s mission to help girls around the world grow closer to Jesus.
Kaity, Camryn and Olivia are part of a ministry called For Girls Like You. It features a bimonthly magazine, books, social media pages and online resources such as coloring pages, devotionals and prayers. Wynter started For Girls Like You in 2011 to help young ladies “live and shine for Christ,” as it says on the ministry’s website.
“We do a lot of videos [for girls and their parents], and sometimes we write [things to go in the magazine],” says Kaity. “And we do devotionals for Instagram and things like that a lot.”
The name of the ministry has a double meaning. Wynter wanted to reach girls just like her four daughters—they also have an 18-year-old sister named Alena. So it could mean either For Girls Like You or Four Girls Like You!
“I hope this ministry continues to be a light to girls and shows them God’s love,” says Olivia.
That’s what Kaity wants too: “I hope it makes girls feel known and loved by God because that’s what they are. I want it to help girls with their confidence and have a closer relationship with God.”
Each sister has a different personality: Kaity is very talkative and outgoing; Camryn is joyful and kind; and Olivia is the creative and quiet one who loves to laugh and sing. All three girls asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior when they were in elementary school.
Wynter and their father, Jonathan, taught the girls early on that though life on this earth can be short, life forever can be found through a relationship with Jesus. And that life with God is as good as it gets—on earth or in heaven.
And that is what gives them the most peace in life. Wynter loved Jesus. By faith, the sisters trust that she is with Him now. They miss their mom, and each day can bring its own challenges. Their tragedy inspired their ministry.
“I never was, like, mad at God, but I was confused and really sad,” Olivia says. “My dad kept telling me that God still has a plan, and that we have to trust Him.”
The girls had to learn that even when terrible things happen, God is still good, powerful and in control.
After Wynter died and the girls were working on overcoming tragedy, an aunt moved in with the Pitts family for three years to help them with the transition. The girls grew close to her. Thousands of people from around the world paid tribute to the impact Wynter had on them. And each Pitts daughter saw God move in her life in ways both ginormous and tiny.
“Sometimes my mom dying makes me angry, but a lot of times, I’m thankful for what I do have,” Kaity says. “We saw God through a lot of things after she passed away because there were so many things that happened that blessed us.”
One of those blessings was writing a trilogy called “Meet the Daniels Sisters.” The series, meant for tweens, is about sisters who lose their mom and move to a new state with their dad. It shows the sisters having fun while they figure out life. (Sound familiar?) Kaity, Camryn and Olivia wrote Ansley’s Big Bake Off, Ashton’s Dancing Dreams and Amber’s Song over the course of about a year and a half. Before this, Alena finished her own series called “Lena in the Spotlight,” which she wrote with their mom. The series was released just before Wynter passed away.
The sisters say writing “Meet the Daniels Sisters” was a way to feel closer to their mother.
“It was just, like, carrying on her legacy,” Kaity says. “It was exciting knowing that girls would be reading these books and maybe growing closer to God.”
The Pitts girls come from a family full of creative individuals. Alena acted in the 2015 movie War Room alongside the star of the movie, their mother’s cousin, mega-popular author and speaker Priscilla Shirer. Their dad is also a published author. Anthony Evans, another cousin, is a singer and songwriter who was on the NBC music competition “The Voice.” And Tony Evans, a famous pastor, radio broadcaster and writer of more than 100 books and Bible studies, is their great-uncle.
But being from a Christian-famous family doesn’t mean that life is all unicorns and bubbles. Kaity, Camryn and Olivia still have to do chores. They still occasionally get tired and grumpy. They still get into fights about silly things. And they still miss their mom and have to cope with a life without her.
But their faith in Jesus makes the difference. His presence and guidance are like lights on a dark night. Even when awful, life-changing events take place, they can still have hope and dreams for the future. There is always hope of overcoming tragedy.
Their father sees the way each daughter has blossomed, especially in the last few years. “I’ve watched God grow each of my girls and further encourage them in their gifts,” Jonathan says. “I love how creative the Lord is in the gifts and talents He gives, and as a dad, I’m grateful to be a part of helping to shape these wonderful girls.”
For now, the sisters stay busy playing soccer, running track and helping out with For Girls Like You. No matter what activity they try, Kaity, Camryn and Olivia know they can shine brightly for Jesus.
“I think that God has a plan for everyone,” Kaity says. “It doesn’t matter what age you are, you can have a voice and spread His Word.”
The Pitts sisters learned that straight from the Bible: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12, NIV). Wise advice from the best Author of them all.