“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
We love to hear real life stories of how new believers found their way to Impact Church, what God has done in their lives and how our New Believers program has helped them. We thank Katelyn for sharing her story. Watch here for future stories.
Most of my life I was lost, broken and constantly seeking to fill the void I had felt as long as I could remember. These feelings manifested themselves in many ways (e.g. depression, eating disorders, addictions), all of which were self-destructive and left me feeling emptier and more alone. I literally believed death was my only way out. I finally reached out and began a journey of recovery. I developed a working concept of God as my ‘higher power’ who helped me through each day (although I was still against organized religion and this idea of ‘Jesus Christ as the only way’). As I began making important lifestyle changes, my life started looking up. However, I sometimes doubted if I could maintain these changes, as I often felt unfulfilled while simultaneously expecting more of myself and striving for ‘better’.
Through one of my recovery groups, I became friends with a Christian who invited me to Impact Church. I eventually came out of curiosity (and honestly probably more out of ‘people-pleasing’), but I was quickly struck by the powerful music, entertaining sermons, and the strong messages of God’s love and mercy.
I continued coming (semi-regularly) and began meeting with Pastor Cheryl. She listened to my story and my doubts about the Bible and Christianity, and she patiently and lovingly shared with me her experiences and taught me about Jesus.
I came to learn the truth about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I came to understand the difference between religion (performance) and relationship (grace). I came to see how Christ really is the solution to all of life’s ups and downs and how He is more than just a historical teacher or the way to eternal life. He is the exact representation of God and His presence is very much alive and tangible today.
I accepted Jesus into my life on July 20, 2014 amidst a fountain of tears as I received Him as my Redeemer. My lifetime of poor decisions and tragic circumstances no longer defined me! I was baptized on March 29, 2015 as an outward expression of the internal changes I was experiencing in my thinking, feeling, and interacting.
I have also found it helpful to intentionally get involved with the church community through Wednesday night small groups, the Impact mentoring program, and other events to build new relationships and continue learning. As I get more involved, my faith grows, and the more my faith grows the more I want to get involved!
My life has become increasingly manageable, joyful and purposeful. I am finally comfortable with who I am, as I have found my identity in Christ. He comforts me, guides me and strengthens me, and, no matter what, I know that I can trust Him. Most of all, I have discovered that Jesus is REAL, He is GOOD, and He LOVES each and every one of us. I pray that everyone gets to know Him and experience the unconditional love and acceptance that has transformed me from the inside out.