“When I was invited to the Vineyard a little over 6 years ago, my life was a mess! I was broken in every area–physically, I was recovering from a total hip replacement surgery and couldn’t drive; emotionally, I had just left a 32-year marriage filled with addictions (his) and co-dependency (mine); and spiritually, I had stopped attending church several years earlier as I was so disgusted with all the hyprocrisy surrounding the Catholic church. But I knew I was missing the word of God and community.
So that Sunday morning when my friend called and asked if she could bring me to church, more because I was going stir-crazy in my apartment, I said ‘yes’. I was pretty impressed with the delicious free coffee and that you could even bring it into the service with you. But the message grabbed my heart.
A few weeks later, when I could drive myself, I returned and again was blown away by what I heard and saw in the Vineyard, the true presence of something so much greater than I had ever felt before but desperately wanted to be a part of!
I started coming regularly and within a couple of months attended a Newcomers Class. Because I liked everything I heard, and leaving my Catholic guilt behind, I joined the church. Best decision of my life! I also started attending classes and felt like a sponge soaking up everything I could as I had never heard the Bible taught so simply and beautifully before and my soul was parched! I thought I knew who Jesus was, but I was never shown how to have a personal relationship with him. Through the messages, I was invited into that kind of relationship and now I see what I was missing all those years.
Then I attended the Gospel of Wholeness class and it was life-changing for me. I met with a peer counselor who helped me work through the pain I was carrying from my divorce. It was amazing to have someone pray for me and know exactly what I was thinking and feeling and asking for healing in all those areas. I started volunteering at the Bookstore, I took more and more classes, I joined a small group and all of a sudden I was part of a community again! God is so good!
Then 4 years later, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and as I sat in my chair talking and praying and crying to God, he told me he ‘rescued’ me from my marriage (I would have never thought of that word!), he brought me to a church where I’m surrounded by people who love me and care for me and pray for me; a church that believes in hands-on prayer and miracles–for just this time in my life. How cool is that and how blessed am I??
It’s been an amazing journey filled with tons and tons of God’s grace and, yes, I am filled with joy and hope as I see his handiwork all around me. I’m so proud to be a part of a church that sees the needs of our community and goes out and does something about it. I’m excited to see what he’s up to with our entire community and with me personally, as I know it’s going to be good.”