A year and a half ago, my life took an unexpected turn as I found myself going through a divorce. The pain and turmoil I experienced during that time seemed overwhelming, and I was searching for something to anchor my soul. It was during this vulnerable period that a friend of mine at work approached me with a simple question: “What church do you go to?”
This seemingly simple question would be the starting point of my faith journey. My friend, who attended Eastside Christian Church, had noticed my tears and struggles at work and recognized the need for support in my life. She invited me to join her at Eastside. Hesitant but curious, I decided to give it a try.
Attending Eastside, I discovered a community of believers who embraced me with open arms. The messages delivered by Gene, particularly during the Fear series, spoke directly to my heart and provided solace and guidance during a challenging season. It was evident that God had orchestrated this encounter, using my friend as a vessel of His love and compassion.
As I continued to attend Eastside, I felt a deep conviction within me to start a small group. The desire to share my own experiences, battles, and the incredible work God had done in my life burned within me. The group became a safe space where we could be vulnerable, transparent, and supportive of one another. Sharing our stories and witnessing God’s transformative power not only brought comfort and peace to me but also fostered a sense of unity and community.
The friendships and connections found in this small group brought a sense of belonging and purpose that I had been longing for. It was through these relationships that I experienced firsthand the life-changing power of being plugged into a loving and supportive community.
Wanting to grow in my faith, I decided to lead a growth track that provided us with a structured path to deepen our understanding of spiritual practices and principles that were previously unfamiliar to us. It offered opportunities for deeper conversations and a chance to engage with God in new ways.
Choosing the growth track for our group was a decision rooted in a desire to as Gene says, take our faith into “the deep end” of the pool. As we collectively delved into the teachings, we discovered fresh perspectives and a renewed sense of purpose. It not only strengthened our individual walks with God but also deepened the bond we shared as a group.
For those who may be hesitant about starting a group, I would encourage you to have an open heart. Trust in the Lord’s guidance and allow Him to lead you on your unique journey. While the unknown may be intimidating, it is often through stepping out in faith that we find the greatest blessings and transformation.
My faith journey has been a testament to the power of community, the healing nature of vulnerability, and the transformative work of God in our lives. Through Eastside Christian Church and the relationships I have formed, I have experienced firsthand the love and grace of God. I am forever grateful for this journey and the impact it continues to have on my life.
If you find yourself searching for meaning, community, or a deeper connection with God, I encourage you to take that first step. Open your heart, embrace the unknown, and trust that God will lead you toward your next step.