Tim and I had been attending Prairie Lakes church in Cedar Falls for around 5 years. It’s a wonderful church and every pastor that preaches there does an amazing job. Not to mention the worship band is pretty awesome too!
The church was so good in fact, that it ran us out…and I mean this in the best way possible!
Tim and I have been faced with many challenges over the years and it seemed like every Sunday we sat in church, we were the only ones in the room. No matter what obstacles we were facing, and no matter what pastor was preaching…they always nailed our situation dead on. Often times Tim would come out of the service telling me he had fallen asleep (not really)…but meaning that he knew God was trying to get our attention through the sermon we had just heard as well as comforting us in our time of need!
It was also the pastors from PLC that listened to us when Tim and I struggled in our relationship from all of the stress of finances and sickness. And they encouraged us to attend financial peace university-which I would highly recommend as a must for anyone who hasn’t taken it! Not only does it help with money but it also really makes you aware of so many other underlying issues in the marriage! We absolutely loved this class!
As we continued to listen to the sermons every week, Tim and I realized we were simply staying comfortable and not really growing in our faith. We were not getting involved! God was challenging us to make a move! It was because of Prairie Lakes, that we would begin taking steps in our journey and begin to make God the priority…we even made a big scary step…joining a small group 😬😉
And once we joined, it wasn’t scary at all, but instead the people were extremely kind, caring, a great support and wonderful at holding each other accountable for our own personal relationships with Christ! Not to mention challenging us in our spiritual growth as well as developing some meaningful friendships!
So, after some praying, Tim and I decided that we should try to be more involved in our own community. And while it was extremely difficult to leave Prairie Lakes, we started looking around at local churches. We began visiting Grace in Waverly and the worship band grabbed my attention immediately with the powerful songs and great music!
And, the very first sermon we attended, we again felt it was directed right at us. A new series on broken and blessed. When Pastor Jim started preaching Tim looked at me …and I knew exactly what he was implying. We had found our new church home😊
The kids are also able to participate in the Wednesday night ministry at Grace due to it being in town! There is something for all four kids and they love it! Even better, they are excited to share with us what they did and discussed during the night!
Grace also has classes the adults can take, which Tim and I did a class on parenting…but if there are no adult ministries then Tim and I have the chance to run errands or enjoy dinner to ourselves while the kids are at church! It’s a win win all the way around!
PLC also has a great kids ministry on Wednesday night, but with the extra 25 minute drive, we often declined to go due to the fact we wouldn’t get home until pretty late in the evening, considering it was a school day. This was a big reason we began seeking out to find a local church…wanting our kids to get more involved and develop a stronger relationship with Jesus!
It was a very hard decision to make but Grace made it a little easier! It is because of Prairie Lakes that Tim and I began to really evaluate our roles as Christians and the fact that we needed to be doing more! We want to continue our walk in Christ and we want to be more involved…even if it might be out of our comfort zone…to make a difference in our neighbors, in our town and in our community…and this is exactly what PLC had been encouraging…to reach people from our own little part of Iowa!
And as for Grace, everyone welcomed us from the day we stepped foot in the church, extremely friendly and inviting! My radio interview had actually been shared with them and they immediately offered to help us in any way that they could, most important though, they began praying for us!
The sermons have also helped me to get a better understanding of the bible! The pastor does a great job of explaining what the scripture actually means, something I really struggle with being able to do on my own! Not to mention the church members also do some really great things for those in our community as well as others around the world. How can we not want to be a part of this church?!
God also used Grace to challenge me in facing one of my biggest fears…public speaking! I was given the opportunity to share my testimony…which the first thing I learned, next time…I need to have Kleenex with me!!!
Once I got up in front of everyone I really struggled as I realized in that moment that it had been over 15 years since I had actually spoken in front of anyone, specifically, my college stage fright class so…I panicked!
Sure I’ve done radio and TV interviews but that was just me and maybe 3 extra people tops in those situations, not a whole congregation looking at me! I tried praying for God to calm my nerves, but that only made me fumble with the words I was trying to read out loud! 🤓
But, God did get me through it and I was able to share how God continues to bless us through all of the brokenness. I just hope I got the message He intended for me to get across through my tears, trembling voice, sniffling and crumpling of papers!
We really feel that while Grace is a smaller church, it is a perfect fit for our family and we look forward to seeing what God has in store for us as we start out the new year. Tim and I are so thankful that God continues to put people in our lives that help us to grow in our faith…even if it means facing some of our biggest fears!!😉
Here is the link to my testimony…