I was born and raised in Southern California. When I was 16 I left home with some friends and headed to the Pacific Northwest city of Seattle, Washington. All was good until the money ran out, and the hunger set in. I had never experienced such hunger before. I lost 30 pounds in one month, but somehow managed to make it through. When the famine was over I stayed in Seattle for a little while longer before moving to Alabama, a place I have called home since I was 17.
Alabama has been a sweet home for me. I have a great job, wonderful friends who treat me like family. I love Southern cooking — there really is nothing better. I go to the best church in the world. I love all the trees. The beautiful emerald coast beaches. The four seasons, especially the spring and the fall. Mix all that in with some Alabama football and there is no place I’d rather be!
My favorite Bible verse is Roman 5:8,
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
I was as far away from God as you could get, but God’s love never failed to come after me.
He demonstrated that love to me when my friends left Alabama, leaving me here all alone at seventeen years old. I didn’t have a relationship with God then, but looking back at what He has done for me, I know without a doubt it was His love that kept me. He is the one that provided a job, a place to live, a car and friends. Not just any friends, but godly women who treated me like family and loved and cared for me. Who showed me the love of Jesus and got me started down the right path.
Through one of those godly women, this runaway got her G.E.D. at Jefferson State Community College and then started taking classes there, and later transferred to Birmingham Southern College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. Statistically speaking, there are not many runaways with college degrees. God made what seemed impossible for me possible. He has been so good to me.
If you had told me that one day I would be attending a megachurch, I would have said, “No way!” I began attending Church of the Highlands four years ago. I discovered two life-changing things at this church: 21 Days of Prayer and small groups. There are no words to describe what it is like to pray with thousands of people for 21 days. It is an amazing experience that brought me into a real relationship with God that I never had before.
A megachurch gets small when you get into a small group. Small groups have literally saved my life. My dearest and closest friends are the ones I have met in small groups. When you are able to take off the mask and just be real with people and share from your heart, it changes everything. The friends I have made through small groups are the friends I can call on when I am out on the ledge. God never intended for us to do this life alone. We really are better together.
Breath on Paper is one of those Church of the Highlands small groups. I wanted to be a part of this group because these women are so real and share so much from their heart. C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone.” Breath on Paper has made C.S. Lewis’s words come true for me.
If you liked this post, feel free to share it with your friends on Social Media. If you have a minute…Leave a comment. Its such a great encouragement to hear from you!