He was from a large family from Indiana, raise by two solid Christian parents. He would grow up in the faith. Whenever the church doors were open, his family was there. He would continue his walk with the Lord into college and his twenties. He would serve in various churches, even in areas outside his comfort zone. However, like most of us, when it came to waiting on someone special, he would find it difficult. There was simply no one out there for him, well he thought. Also the fact that he was very shy, wasn't helping. So he decided to move to Florida in hopes of finding better work and a mate. The only problem was, he wanted God to bless his efforts versus asking God if this is where he wanted him to go. Tom would learn some hard lessons. Lessons of not following God, of dating and marrying the wrong woman, of allowing his wife to lead him (even away from church) and being out of fellowship with our Savior.
Thirteen years would pass of a hard marriage. His wife was not open to any Christian counseling and they would eventually divorce. Tom would find himself defeated, discouraged and broken. He turned to God, ashamed that he had not listened despite repetitive efforts by God over the years. God was listening. God had always been listening, waiting for Tom to turn. Waiting for Tom to remember.
God would be faithful and help Tom find a new church where he could serve. Where he could grow in his faith once again. Eventually Tom joined local church in Cary, NC. A church that valued him in the Lord. However, this church didn't have a singles ministry. Tom remembered from his younger days how important it was to be in a group. From accountability to friendship, to leadership and community it was a valuable resource. As he prayed, he would get invited to a new start up singles ministry, called Connect 4. He was a bit fearful, not knowing anyone but felt the Holy Spirit nudging him to go. From the first day, shyness and all, Tom would feel like he was at home. That was almost a year ago. He has never looked back.
Q: As you continue to pray about your time with us in September for the Ignite Retreat. Pray also for your place in your church, in your community. What is God asking you to start, to belong to, to help grow, to ignite.
Eph 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.