Growing up in a deeply Christian home, and I had a personal relationship with Jesus for as long as I can remember. However, I was naturally introverted and my family moved around a lot, so I never really got to know anyone well enough to share my faith. I also developed a distrust of others because of some of the people and communities my family met and was hurt by along the way.
For these reasons, I never sought out a church community. I thought that seeing the word preached and explained by another, along with study and contemplation of the Bible by myself, and prayer by myself and with my family, was enough.
I have lived a lot of extremes in my life. Moments of immense joy and prosperity, juxtaposed with moments of incredible sadness and poverty. In all of these moments, I have always sought to praise God, pray, and ensure that God was a major part of my life.
I’m reminded of Mark 4:36 when Jesus called the storm on the boat with his disciples. He was there for the worst parts of their journey, and he was there to show them the best part. By simply being there and present with them through it all, he showed them the error in their faith and taught them and – and by extension us – how resilient our faith should always be.
I am a sinner, and through Jesus’s death on the cross for us, and subsequent resurrection alone am I saved. I have been on a slow and continuous journey of spiritual growth in my faith, and with God throughout my life. Most recently, God has softened my heart, and he has shown me the errors of my ways in rejecting and fearing the community that is the church. I now feel ready and excited to publicly share my faith with this community, to share my trust and love in God and his plan for my life with you all, and to grow further in my relationship with God with your help.