A Fresh Start Story
I as a child had a very loving, flowing conversational relationship with Jesus. Believed very much in him and went to a Christian college.
Straight out of college, I went into full-time youth ministry and that’s where the disillusionment began, because I, at a very young age, was working for and with pastors and the first pastor that I worked with was verbally abusive to me.
And so there was a part of me that felt like God led me into a desert and then abandoned me. And said, ‘you’re on your own, just fight all these people’… you know, that were supposed to be supporting me.
What I went through mostly was a hurt, but when I think about it even more I would say there was a loss, because the disillusionment comes from a loss of an expectation that the church that I served would be as loving as the church that I grew up in. So there was some loss there too.
The way I got introduced to Fresh Start – or the way I ended up here is because I had become a very isolated person. I left the church. I left ministry, I left church, I put it all behind me, and believed there was nothing good anymore that could come from that.
The part of the Fresh Start process which was most impacting for me — I would call it a breakthrough — was during the Pour Out Your Heart. And it was the second part of that where you are telling the Lord the desires of your heart.
The group was expecting that– don’t talk to us, it’s time to talk to God and go vertical. And that was really hard. Because it wasn’t hard to talk about my pain this way, but to start saying to God directly, and asking Him again for anything… I just broke down, I mean, I was sobbing. Sobbing. I couldn’t do it. Adn without the help of the group, the women, who loved me and created a safe place for me I’m not sure I could have broken through that.
What I hadn’t done is forgiven the church at large for not being what I thought they were supposed to be to me in ministry. And I needed to believe again that God is present in His church, active in His church, and that there is good that comes from His faith community. And that there was faith community out there for me.
And I’m ready to serve. I’m ready to love. I’m ready to give my time, my energy, my resources, to benefit the lives of others.
It’s never too late for a Fresh Start!