By Ally B
"God wants a life for me that is connected with others, knowing and treasuring Christ above all else, and never giving up on what Christ wants for me." --Mike Shelton
I walked into church saying hello to many familiar faces. This was normal most places I’ve walked into in life. Whether it was a bar, a class room, or a meeting I’ve always been fairly social. I’ve also felt terribly alone, and like no one really KNEW me. No one knew my fears, insecurities, and struggles. No one knew what was going on behind my smile. No one knew what I was most proud of or knew the kind of woman I truly wanted to be. I’ve often felt the loneliest in a room of crowded people. That was until I got connected here at Watermark.
As I meet with people every week no matter what the subject matter is I always recommend the same thing: Get into community. Get connected. That is what has helped me the most.
"that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Colossians 2:2-3)
While being connected to other believers "you’re pointing other people to Christ and their pointing you to Christ." Serving in the church and being connected has finally given me accountability, encouragement, and allowed me to be transparent. Some people don’t like accountability, but I see it as a perfect way to be sharpened and grow more like Christ. I’ve loved being able to see God work through my friends, and help transform my life into one with much less stress, guilt, regret, confusion, and loneliness. I’m finally becoming the woman I’ve always wanted to be: a follower of Christ serving God and his people. I’m finally content and have peace. I am more patient, more loving, and more forgiving.
To be honest there are times when I am tempted to go back to doing things the way I used to. I get impatient with God. I’ll think about going back to the bar scene, or dating just date, or spending tons of money on a new wardrobe. In those times I have to remind myself of Proverbs 26:11. My community points me back to Christ and reminds me like Mike reminded us, "Treasuring Christ will always give you something that last. When you’re treasuring something in this world it will always say NOW and it will NEVER last."
No matter what I am tempted with my treasure is Christ (Matthew 6:19-21), and my eyes are fixed on Him (Hebrews 12:1-2). Christ never said following Him would be easy (example: Jesus and his disciples), but he promised it would be worth it. I wholeheartedly agree. It’s so worth it. (Hebrews 10)
You may be networked, but how many people are you deeply connected with?
Praying for you all~