I was so nervous to walk into church and start my journey in understanding and opening up my eyes to the possibilities of what CityLife Church had to offer me. I had never really been to church before except for weddings or christenings for family and friends. My sister was the one who told me about CityLife and asked me to come along and try something new because she knew I was searching for positive change in my life. I reluctantly said yes but I knew if she could do it then so could I.

We started going every Sunday with our kids and I would listen to the worship songs not knowing any words to the songs, but thank you Lord, he knew I needed a little help because there are words on the screen in front of me so that I could follow along and not feel so lost while adding a few words here and there and trying to smile my way through it.

I ended up walking away from church after a few Sunday services feeling good but still very little understanding of why I was still attending every Sunday, other than the coffee is great and it gave me time to catch up with my sister and the kids.

After a while I kept seeing the Alpha program being spoken about in service and kept saying to my sister “I think I need to try this Alpha program, maybe that might help” but I never made any attempts to do so till one morning we were sitting in service and I heard it again and I turned to my sister and said “We need to do it, because I was not going to do it on my own!” Little did I know she had already signed up days before and thought I had too…

So there we both were in the middle of service, second row from the front in the auditorium, trying to sign me up for Alpha and trying not to bring attention to us while the speaker was talking.

I walked into my first Alpha program with my sister thinking to myself “What have I done!’’. “ This is not going to work for me.” But I kept going because I made a commitment to myself that I was going to go with very little expectations, because honestly what did I have to lose other than a couple of hours on a Monday night for a few weeks, one day away and pay $5 for a dinner I didn’t have to make myself.

By the last night of Alpha I had come to realise what it was that I was missing. Not only was I a little happier, I had this sense of overwhelming LOVE but couldn’t explain it. The Alpha program was running at the same time as the Super Ordinary Heroes series, and I learnt about so many amazing humans that have walked this earth before us but Ruth stood out for me the most.

I reflected on my life journey before CityLife Church, the Alpha program and Ruth, and to me it feels like I have been running in circles in the middle of a great big storm wishing and waiting for it to be over. But it just kept going round and round till I eventually knew I had to surrender to the fact that I can’t do it all on my own anymore but still didn’t know how to actually surrender.

Until I attended Sunday service and heard and felt Jo Saxton speak truth into my soul. So at the end of her service I decided to put on a brave face and step out of my comfort zone, even though my head was screaming no, yes, no, yes… so like I always do, I waited till others walked up first because I didn’t want to feel like the only one standing there and the attention was now on me, and I felt like I was all red in the face and a ball of nerves because I knew if I didn’t take this leap of faith and just dive head first straight in, I was going to miss my opportunity and then walk away regretting not having done it because of my fear of being seen. So I quickly walked to the front of the auditorium and grabbed Ellen’s hands because she was someone I knew, and finally surrendered over everything I had been trying to juggle for years on my own and allowed the Holy Spirit into my heart for the first time.

I know I still have a long journey  ahead of me, but I look back at the person I was that first walked through the doors in January to the person I am today 7 months later and I can easily say that I am at PEACE with myself and the chaos that is still circling around me but I am not alone.

I am now in the middle of the storm looking up at the sky thanking God every day for my sister showing me the door to walk through and showing me Alpha, Ruth, Jo Saxton and every person that I have met at CityLife who have welcomed me and who I will continue to grow with. This was my leap into faith.

Laura


Posted in July 2019


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