Walls Coming Down
“I grew up in the church, we were always there, but my friendships weren’t there.”
Heidi grew up being a part of a local church but she never found connection there. Through college she lived a one-foot-in-one-foot-out of church lifestyle. When she gave her life to the Lord to be committed to him, she knew right away she wanted to get involved and active in a church, but because of past hurtful friendships, it took her a few months to get to the point where she felt she could trust people again.
Heidi’s testimony is about the walls coming down. God began to prepare her to open her heart to people and did it in the most unexpected way: Through serving.
After signing up to serve in her local congregation, Heidi was surprised to find the women she served with in childcare and the people who came through the door as she was greeting, were the very people she began to build relationships with. Serving was a safe place for her to be able to take the walls down and it opened up doors for believers to speak into her life and encourage her bringing discipleship.
“I hear so often, ‘I just can’t get to know any people at church,’ and I think to myself, ‘just start serving.'”
Surviving the Storm
Vendors were booked, dress was getting altered, plans were in the works. Stephanie was engaged and preparing for a move across the country to become a wife. One ordinary day only months away from her wedding, the phone rang and in a moments time, the sweetest season of her life suddenly became the hardest.Stephanie was excited to be married to the man of her dreams when unexpectedly the engagement was called off. With shattered hopes, she found herself at the end of the road feeling empty and broken.“For three months, I cried every day…I felt the lie I was damaged goods and that no one would ever want to be with me.”In this season, aching with a broken heart, there were many days Steph felt she had nothing to offer. Each time, when it seemed she had reached her lowest, someone would text, call, visit her or come alongside her with encouragement and prayer. “Pastor Dave was monumental during this time, he was able to sympathize with me.”Understanding the power of her thoughts and words, she declared over herself the very things she wasn’t feeling, “You will be happy,” she would speak over herself. Daily she had to make the choice to stand in truth, “I didn’t always succeed, but God was gracious with me in those moments.”A year later, though there are still unanswered questions, her heart feels free. “I walked through the hardest season of my life and made it through. Now I know that whatever I face, God is with me.”Maybe you find yourself in a difficult season like Stephanie was. We invite you, come find hope in the body of believers.
Don’t Lose Your Hope
Sparks flew as Rachel and Jesse met, fell in love and tied the knot to be married knowing they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. Getting married in their late twenties, the newly weds soon decided to begin trying to have children right away knowing deep down they felt the desire to start a family and be parents.After a year and a half and no news of an exciting baby announcement, they began to grow discouraged and concerned. It wasn’t long after, the doctor informed them they wouldn’t be able to have children.. . . .
Fast forward 7 years, miracle baby on the way, excitement was bubbling for both Rachel and Jesse when delivery day came. The dream in their hearts to be parents to a beautiful healthy baby was about to come to pass! It wasn’t until they were in the midst of delivery when they noticed the doctors faces, something wasn’t right. Then began the journey they are now on today.“It took us 6 years to get pregnant,” says Rachel, but as soon as baby Eliana Hope arrived, and complications began to unfold, disillusionment set in. “I didn’t think God would allow this to happen.” Their miracle baby was born and immediately put on oxygen, for 10 minutes little Eliana was not breathing. “All I could think after delivery was, ‘Why can’t I hear her crying?'” Then the seizures began.During these months Rachel and Jesse have been on a journey fighting for their faith. Not understanding why God would allow this to happen, maybe you can relate. Sometimes faith is a struggle, you may find yourself struggling to stay positive, choosing to believe God is for you and your family. We don’t always understand why God allows us to walk through uncertain circumstances but we do know every opportunity is a chance to grow in faith. “Don’t give up on your hope.” Rachel advised those who find themselves in similar situations.“Sometimes when you’re in the storm it’s all you can think of, but we have to keep refocusing our gaze on the Lord and say, Our God is bigger than that.”
– Jesse & Rachel