As we celebrate Radius’ 4th birthday I want to share how much my life has changed since the first time I walked through those doors.
To summarize my life prior to Radius, I was a MESS. Not a hot mess, just a mess mess. (If you’d like some details feel free to read my testimony here My Red Cord). I was lost and struggling with depression around the time I first discovered Radius. In my desperate time of need, God was moving in my life without me even realizing. I will never forget the first time I visited.
Do I remember the message? No.
Do I remember the exact date? No.
What I do remember is the way I felt…connected. Connected to God and to this group of strangers I didn’t even know.
I also felt a little awkward.
My first time was like most other people when they come. There was a big orange tent with smiling faces, I was given a gift (my Radius cup I still use at work to this day), I was forced to walk around and shake peoples hands that I didn’t know! It was exactly what I was looking for… a church where I couldn’t hide in the back of a big building then slip out at the end, going unnoticed.
If you have had the pleasure of coming to our church you will know that repeatedly we are reminded the church is not a building, it is a group of people moving out into ever-widening circles to change our world.
Over the last few years, Radius has challenged me and my relationship with God in many ways...
My first small step of faith was joining the Welcome Team. I was a little nervous since I didn’t even know anyone’s name. I also embarrassed myself more than once when I asked someone if it was their first time only to learn they had been coming for months. I was the new one. However, through that awkwardness, I have met so many wonderful people by simply greeting them as they walked in the door.
Second I joined a Radius home group. I started connecting with people on a more intimate level and learned others were struggling with depression just like me. We shared our stories and encouraged one another, helped each other. I plan on starting my own home group in the near future.
Next, I was challenged to write and share my testimony. Radius taught me that our stories are meant to be shared (may our story bring you glory).I have shared some of the hardest parts of my life. One of our core values is “We are called to the mess”. By sharing my story it has allowed me to further heal and help others.
Also, I am more than halfway through reading the entire bible and will be finished by the end of this year….. I completed not 1 but 2 fasts with God…. I found my calling in life... I was baptized…. This list really could keep going but I think you get the point. My life has changed.
What makes Radius so special you may wonder? It is the people, not the building. It is the people who have walked by my side and listened to my story while sharing theirs. It is the people who love unconditionally and do not judge. It is the people who encourage you and cry with you. So you may think “If I start attending Radius maybe my life will change too”. I can tell you it is much more than simply sitting in that chair every Sunday morning.
Pastor Blake reminded us Sunday that we can do things we never thought possible when we step out of our comfort zone. Here at Radius, we will challenge you to do that, to embrace the awkward. We are called to love everyone, to not be afraid of people's messes and to walk with people who are broken. I was completely broken when I walked through that door the first time. Now I pray that God will allow me to help others through this mess called life.
Thank you Radius and Happy Birthday!
~We are not an obligation or destination, but a mission and movement. — Acts 1:8~