An Experience of God’s Family

February 19, 2024

{Pictured is Abigail, 2nd from the left, with her mom, 3rd from the left, and some of the many CFC members that have become family}

It might sound crazy to say as someone who’s moved halfway across the world… but I’m not lying when I tell you I actually really dislike change. Trying new things scares the bejeebies out of me. I’ve always been so fearful of the possible outcomes or the ‘what ifs’ of change. Being the sentimental person I am, the thought of having to ‘let go of’ or ‘say bye’ to something has always been hard for me. 

In 2021, when I decided to move from Australia to America, the Lord was clearly opening the doors for it to happen, but I had very mixed emotions. I had faith for it and peace knowing God would go before me and meet me, but I also had a gripping fear. I went back and forth for ages on whether or not this was ACTUALLY where God was leading me. I’d moved plenty of times before, but this felt so extreme to do alone, leaving behind both my family and my community.

After about two weeks of being here in PA, I remember having that “what in the world have I done” feeling, and I started questioning everything. It was Christmas time, I was already homesick, the food was weird, I felt alone, and culture shock was hitting me like no tomorrow. I questioned why God had brought me here and if I had made a mistake. I remember journaling about how I knew this adventure would be hard, but not expecting it to be this hard or feel this alone.

At the beginning of January 2022, I wrote out my goals for the year and prayed that God would surprise me, and that I would be open to jumping into church community and have the heart position to give 110% to the church community, whatever that looked like.

The Lord, in his kindness, heard and answered my prayers! Days in, I got to meet people my age, got plugged into a Community Group, and was adopted by some beautiful families whom I love dearly. As time went on, I was continually shocked by how God so quickly surrounded me with people who welcomed me in like their own and cared for me deeply, when I had only met them weeks ago. 

At first I thought maybe this was just because I had a strange accent… but here I am two years in and still as loved and cared for as ever by our church community, whom I now call family! 

Jumping to January 2023, I got really sick from a typhoid vaccine I took for a mission trip I was meant to go on. I was in and out of hospital with intense migraines and abdominal pain, no real answers or end in sight. I was scared and frustrated and wondered what God was doing.

But once again, the Lord showed me his incredible love and mercy through the church community by surrounding me with people who went above and beyond to care for me and look after me. I was humbled and in awe at the kindness and compassion shown to me when I definitely did not deserve it. I remember thinking, “There is something unique about this body of Christ that makes me feel at home and loved, and it could only be from God.” 

The care I received, still to this day, blows me away! The cards, the prayers, the flowers and messages from people I hardly knew. It all was an incredibly beautiful insight at the extreme compassion and love that the Father has for his children. A wonderful reminder of how the Lord uses his people, a God-created community, to care for and show his love to others. 

God’s heart and care for his own goes far deeper than we’ll ever know this side of heaven. His desire for you to know his nearness and his heart for you is evident in so many ways, and church community is just one of them. 

Change IS hard, and new things ARE scary. But we have a God who goes before us and cares so deeply for us. He provides in ways that you don’t expect and gives you things you didn’t even know you needed. We were not created to walk alone. God uses the body of Christ in our lives to show a beautiful glimpse into his vast, earth shattering love and heart for his children. What an amazing gift the church community is! I thank God and praise him for it continually.

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