Last weekend in the service, Pastor Kelly said that God uses our giving to the church in many ways that we may never know. I'm going to try to make a long life story really short, but I want to show how much of an impact your church has had in my life.
Ten years ago, I was married with two kids and had everything that life could offer: multiple houses, new cars, all the toys, six figures a year. Life was good. I was doing my own thing, but God had lessons for me to learn.
The owner of the company I worked for got caught embezzling money, and my job was gone. Less than two months later, my wife left me for my best friend. In just a few months, my life was turned upside down. I was left with NOTHING.
I turned to the most convenient fix: drinking. I turned into a bottle-or-more-a-day person for the next nine years. I eventually became extremely bitter towards God and church, and I turned completely away from Him. I just went deeper into the easy-out of drinking.
Fast forward a few years, and I met an amazing girl. When our son was born, God really gave me a heavy heart about the way I was acting in my life with my drinking and all of the relationship problems that goes along with that. I was determined to find something – anything – to help, so we started coming to The Crossing. This was just the beginning, because I knew God wanted my heart.
Pastor Eric made a comment about recovery. He talked about how it was a "thinking problem" not a "drinking problem", and how focusing on God and what He had for us instead of focusing on quitting would be one of the first steps to a new life. I quit drinking, and quit both of my jobs in the same day because of the bad influences that they provided in my life. I trusted God with the first step in what I knew was going to be a long road to recovery.
Fast forward one year to the beginning of 2016. God has been doing great things in my life. We have been able to come to The Crossing consistently since before the holidays. Every single service has been both encouragement to keep going in His promises and also a challenge to press on and not be complacent. I came into this year determined to make it one of consistent attendance and involvement in a church community, in order to grow spiritually and to make this year the start of something good in my life. God-good, not my-good.
At Christmas time, Pastor Kelly talked about not leaving 2016 the way we came in. Perfect encouragement! God designed that entire talk just for me! In fact, with every single talk this year, I feel like God has spoken directly to me with encouragement and a challenge.
God has used The Crossing – the talks, the people, the children’s ministry – to allow the seeds that were planted in my heart to begin to grow. I had tears running down my face this morning during the talk, because I know that God has more for me, even though I spent almost 10 years telling myself that my destiny was in a bottle, and that's all that I could have.
God has been doing a great work, but that is just in MY life; I'm one of many! Thank you for having a heart for what God wants and for allowing Him to work through you.