Found at Last
Nov 5, 2023 | by The Fellowship
I have attended church off and on all my life, but never really listened in the services or wanted to serve or get involved. I just went most Sundays – most likely trying to make myself feel better. Never did I notice that God was patiently waiting for me.
My life has been filled with turmoil as I kept trying to handle and control everything on my own. Of course, I was never successful which led to me becoming difficult to interact with. I created boundaries and refused to budge. But somehow in the midst of it all, a Bible verse kept coming to my mind: Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
My mother once told me that angels are not just spirits -- they have real faces. My first angel came to me through social media. A prior work acquaintance, she posted some beautiful things about her church and how it was making such a difference in her life. Having just lost my stepfather a few months previously, I was at a low place in my life and had been praying for a church to attend. My friend’s words about her church tugged at my heart.
I asked one of my grown daughters to help me find the church and then attended my first service on Easter Sunday in April 2022. So moved by the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, I knew I would go back. Deeply desiring for my family to also come, I invited them and was overjoyed when they accepted my invitation.
Everyone at the church was so friendly and welcoming. I observed how closely the people embraced every worship song and the words in each sermon. Another thing that caught my heart was that this church prayed for other churches, something I had never experienced. When all visitors were asked to come at least three times and if it was not for them, the staff would help them get connected with another church -- that was amazing. And I had never experienced pastors texting an invitation for me to join them for coffee and conversation. Knowing how desperately I needed God for the rest of my journey on this earth and how my many questions needed answering, I jumped right in!
The Fellowship offered many classes to help me grow and activities with other Christian-based organizations and opportunities to participate in events serving the community. I began by volunteering to serve at the church and got connected to a LIFE group. When I accepted an invitation to an in-depth Bible study, my growth began to soar.
Then I began the first series of FaithWalking classes. Through them, I have been given a much deeper understanding of how past experiences can interfere with my relationship with God. Tools and spiritual practices have been presented that have really given me a better understanding of how to follow Jesus, to mature in my faith and to move confidently in doing the work for which God has called me.
And the growth in my prayer life has been transforming! For most of my life, my me-centered prayers have been for all the wrong reasons. But now I have learned to pray with God and His will at the center of my prayers. I always wondered about how long it took for God to answer my prayers. Was He even listening? Did He realize how much I needed Him right then?
I know now that He does answer in His own timing and for our good and His greater purposes. The answer is not always yes. While we wait, He strengthens our faith and character so that in our weakness we become stronger. I have learned to trust God with all my heart, mind, and soul.
A huge blessing is how He is moving in my family in a mighty way. My daughter wants to be baptized and my nine-year-old granddaughter is asking about baptism. The wall I had placed around myself is chipping away. I now have so much peace as well as desire to serve God. My new life verse is Deuteronomy 6: 5-7: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
All glory be to God! I was lost and now am found! With my new life centered in the Lord Jesus Christ, I have meaning and purpose and peace beyond understanding! Truly, the joy of the Lord is my strength and my song!
You will seek me and find me when
you seek me with all your heart.