Has something ever happened in your life that was so good that it left you completely awestruck – just utterly mind-blown? Like there was something you’d been wanting and hoping for and dreaming about but never imagined it would really happen until it actually came true? That’s what it’s been like for me since I found my way back to God and found myself at home at Hoboken Grace.
You might be reading this and wondering, “Who is this girl?” Well, hi! I’m Alex, and I am so new to Hoboken Grace that most of you reading this probably have no idea who I am. It’s alright because I am going to change that. Once you’ve read this, and you see me at church or out in town, I hope you will stop me and say hello because I am eager to meet you.
I have not always been a Christian. I’ve been exposed to Christianity, but wasn’t raised in the church. I actually went through the motions of becoming Roman Catholic when I was 18, but I would not have considered myself a believer. I think I always wanted to be, but I just couldn’t seem to find my place.
I experienced a lot of tragedy in my life at a young age and I blamed God. As I grew into an adult, I still felt like I had no control over anything that was happening to me and around me. The harder things seemed to get, the more I blamed God. By the time I graduated college, I had turned my back on Him completely. I closed my eyes, covered my ears, and turned my heart and mind off to Him. I eventually became lost in my vices, which led me down a path of indulgence and self-destruction. I somehow managed to grow an ego as big as the sun – and that pride was probably my biggest downfall.
Fast-forward 10 years and I found myself as a single mother who’d lost everything I had ever worked for and most of my relationships. But little did I know, God was there the whole time, watching me, nudging me, dropping little hints and giving me signs. I’m only just realizing this now, of course.
My first service at Hoboken Grace was this past Easter Sunday. I got to witness several people get baptized, experience the most important Christian holiday on my very first day, and find a home for myself and my daughter so that we might get to experience God the way He has intended for us.
Our stories are not going to be the same. Each one of our relationships with God is so very personal, but we are not alone and not entirely unique either. I feel like every time I meet someone new at Hoboken Grace and get to know them a little bit, they tell me they never could have imagined they would be working or serving at a church, but they can now see how everything that they have ever been called to do has led them here. If someone would have told me 10 years ago, five years ago, even one year ago, that I would be who I am and where I am today, I wouldn’t have believed them for a second. But as lost as I was, I can see what the Lord was doing in my life to prepare me for what He has planned for me.
As God would have it, I was connected with the Communications Team and have been blessed with the opportunity to reach out and learn others’ stories and share them with all of you. I can’t wait to see how God is going to use me in this way, and if it is you He puts in front of me, I can’t wait to meet you!
If you’re new and you don’t know where to start, it’s OK. I didn’t either. I think the best thing I did was get myself to a service, walk up to somebody wearing a nametag and say, “Hey, this is my first service. Can you help me?” From that point on, all the dots have started to connect. The more people I meet and the more I engage with what we are learning every Sunday, the better I am at discerning what God has in mind, and the better things are starting to work out in my life.
Most of the time the Lord isn’t going to show up in some grand, Hollywood, deus ex machina sort of way. He most likely will come quietly and when you least expect it. Amid all the chaos that life can throw your way, and all the distractions you might experience as you go along, pay attention to that still, small voice. He will lead the way.
Alex is the newest member of the Communications Team, and she’s looking forward to this opportunity to get to know people and help them share their stories.
If you would like to share your story or are interested in this team, email firstname.lastname@example.org.