On July 21, 2017 I met Hannah. She was working as an event planner with a local liquor store, and I was representing my start-up microbrewery at an event. We began dating and she asked if I would like to attend Crossbridge with her. I said yes and walked through the doors not knowing what to expect.
I was blown away by the message, the people, and the sense of love, understanding and acceptance I felt.
I decided this wasn’t half bad and kept coming back.
In October, Hannah confessed that she had been struggling with alcohol and prescribed stimulants for years and was not able to break free on her own. After her treatment, our relationship and activities together changed dramatically. I didn’t know exactly how someone who co-owned a small craft brewery could date someone in recovery, but I did know I wanted to figure it out. Thinking back and looking forward, I completely believe that it was only through our faith in Christ that we are thriving and engaged to be married.
I knew that God was working in my life and revealing his destiny for me. I could not deny that, but I could deny the next issue he was calling me to face. After so many years alone, the Devil had gotten his hooks deeply into my mind and used the lust and sex-saturated culture to plant behaviors that undermined my capacity for intimacy and connection. Once again Crossbridge and God responded to my need through the Conquer series.
I’m far from recovered, but do not carry the shame and guilt that I once did.
For the first time, I feel a stronger sense of control, a potential for purity and a freedom from the bondage that enslaved my mind.
As the winter of 2017 turned to the spring of 2018, I slowly realized how attending church had changed from an obligation to something that I desired and eagerly looked forward to. Each Sunday, I continued to let my guard down and listen. I felt like a hole in my life was becoming filled. I wish I could say there was one single “AH HA” revelation where God spoke to me, but instead I began to notice his small whispers. In March one whisper seemed louder than the rest so we both signed up to run the Chicago marathon with Team World Vision. I thought the personal accomplishment of running 26.2 miles and raising money for clean water would be my prize, but God knew that it was the lasting relationships that he was forging during those 6a group runs together.
One of the relationships born out of that was with a man named Brian. As our friendship grew, I discovered he was leading a new campus to Morris and again I heard a distinct whisper telling me to go and serve. I remember asking our instructor during training weekend why he got involved with Portable Church. His stated the comradery and fellowship that is created will become a foundation for connection and friendship unlike anything else. Now when I reflect on my initial reluctance to seek connection though a small group or other involvement, I realize that God put two of them in my life without me even knowing it!
My journey over the past 18 months has not been an easy one, but I wouldn’t change that for anything. I’m still struggling for the courage to declare my faith outwardly, especially to those who may not understand it or believe.
I know that this is a lifelong journey that will continue into eternity. I have come here to proclaim Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior! The resurrected king is resurrecting me!