So when I volunteered to write for Barnabas Man, I wasn’t really sure what I had actually gotten myself into, but I realized that I have a good story to tell, at least from my viewpoint.
Of my four daughters, my oldest was always the one who bucked the system, broke the rules, tried our patience, and was the furthest from God. Raised in a Catholic Church, she found early on that it was not her path to be on. Although I really don’t know the details, something one of the priests told her after a confession sent her down the road to not only disbelief, but “un-belief”. It was at that point that she decided to “flee” the church and all religion. We only asked her to not try to influence her sisters in any way until they were old enough to make their own decisions. When going to church on Sundays, we got a wry smirk from her that clearly said “suckers…”.
Fast forward 13 years….
After getting married and having a child of her own, she felt something missing in her life. She knew that as her family grew, she would need spiritual help. She felt a calling after all this time. The Spirit and the bride say “Come” And let the one who hears say, “Come” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. Revelations 22:17
She asked her new neighbor in Little Elm if she knew of a good church close by and was told Hope Fellowship, so she decided to try it. She was totally blown away by Pastor John and the welcoming environment. So much, in fact, that she urged my wife and I to come and visit because felt we could also connect on the same level. I must tell you, from the very first service at Hope, I was convinced that this church was my own personal “missing link” but that is a story for another time.
My daughter, the former atheist :), began to volunteer at the church. She began to read scripture and inspirational literature. She began to listen to worship music. She began talking to us (her family) about Christ! One Sunday morning two years ago she made the decision to be baptized and give herself to Jesus Christ! “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”Acts 2:38
Kristen is now on the staff at Hope Fellowship and is currently on her second New York mission trip. She is the Student Coordinator at the West campus and is actively involved with the Young Adults group on Thursdays.
Why did I tell this story? I truly believe that God works in his own mysterious way and that he has a plan and purpose for all of us, and it manifested in Kristen at the time that he wanted it to. God put Hope Fellowship in her path at exactly the right moment, and the ripple effect is touching my family and many others in her life. I am sure many of you reading this have similar stories to tell.
In Him we were also chosen as God’s own, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything by the counsel of His will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, would be for the praise of His glory
And in Him, having heard and believed the word of truth—the gospel of your salvation—you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the pledge of our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:11-14