I moved to Arlington from Clarksburg, Maryland, in February 2010 to be a part of Redeemer. Almost as soon as I heard that the church was going to be started, I began putting my things in boxes, even though I didn’t move to the city for a year and a half. I knew very quickly that God was calling me to be a part of this church. I had a lot of ideas of what it might be like to be a part of Redeemer, but God had something entirely different planned.
I’ve had chronic health problems—migraines and stomach problems—for close to ten years; I’m pretty used to it. I have to eat healthfully and rest a lot, but it’s never been that big of a deal until a month after I moved to Arlington. I started getting sicker than I’ve ever been, and my health has been getting gradually worse since then. However, over these last ten months something really wonderful and unexpected has happened.
God has used people in my church to show me that He loves me and is right beside me as I walk through this trial. He has provided everything I need in a way that leaves me with no question that He is guiding my steps with His loving hands. I don’t like asking for help, so at first I wouldn’t do it. I’d be trying to figure out how I was going to get to work and the grocery store that week, and I’d get an email from someone asking if I needed any groceries. One day I was really discouraged and literally on my knees talking to the Lord, asking Him to give me strength to keep going, and I was interrupted by a text. “Lord? Did you just text me?” Not exactly, it was from someone in my church: “Psalm 50:15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” It’s that simple? I have called on the Lord, He says He will deliver me, and then I will give Him the glory for it. There was the strength that I needed.
As things with my health seem to be more confusing than they were a year ago, God has built up this guard for my faith in the way He’s provided for me so specifically through His church. They’ve cooked, cleaned and done my laundry; driven me to and from work, doctor’s appointments, and the ER many times. They’ve sat with me when I couldn’t get out of bed, brought me books, and read, sang, prayed and talked with me again and again about my loving Father who sent His Son to die so that I would not be punished for my sins, but instead spend eternity worshipping Him. This God would never abandon me, His daughter.
As I write this, I haven’t been to work in five weeks, and I’ve missed more church meetings than I’ve attended because I’ve been too sick to go. This isn’t at all what I had in mind when I packed my first box so many months ago, my little heart so full of thoughts of what God would do in and through this community of believers in Arlington. But what God revealed to me has been better than my wildest dream.