God is Changing Lives at Journey Church! Here is Leah’s Story

Our vision at Journey Church is to help OTHERS experience the TRANSFORMING love of Jesus Christ. This is Leah’s story of finding that LOVE.

Leah BugdenFinding a home at Journey Church

I first came to Journey Church to reconnect with a friend. That Sunday, Kelly was preaching about the gift of being single. It was no coincidence that I was there. God wanted me to hear this message. Before coming to Christ, I felt imbalanced, incomplete. I suffered from the feeling of not being enough. That’s the worst feeling in the world.   I was uncomfortable in my own skin. I was trapped in a world of indecision out of fear of change and making the wrong choice. I was afraid to let others in. What I craved for most though was a deep, intimate relationship with someone, someone who would love me for I am but I honestly was trying to figure out who I was. Although I didn’t fully understand yet, God was trying to start a relationship with me.

I immediately felt at home at the Journey Church. I felt like I had walked into an incredible loving family that welcomed me with open arms. I felt celebrated. I felt apart of something bigger than myself. I joined Kelly’s life group at Journey and built relationships with both community members and members of my church pushing myself out of my comfort zone to reach people through loving acts of kindness. Being a part of the life group helped me to start to become more vulnerable with people. I began to feel my relationship with God start to grow and my heart began to change.

Experiencing God’s Transforming Love

It took me a long time to truly let God in. Over the summer I was in a low place, overwhelmed with anxiety and self- doubt. I didn’t know what to do. As I stood in the ocean with open arms I cried out to God asking him to save me. God revealed himself and met me right where I was and pulled me out of darkness. That moment changed everything for me. God knocked down the walls that I had built up around me and invited me to embrace the vulnerability. I didn’t need the walls anymore.

God is transforming my heart. These past few months God has brought out the leader in me; where there was doubt there is now this new sense of confidence roaring out like a lion. I now really see that my voice has value. I feel more grounded. I don’t feel alone. I have the confidence to speak up for myself and shake up the status quo a little bit.

In these past few months, God has painted a very clear picture for me of my purpose in life. He has taught me through meeting me where I am at in the work that I am doing that my purpose in life is to be a playmaker. I am someone who leads a life full of love and joy and meets people, especially kids where they are at, creating environments that encourage them to explore, take risks and embrace vulnerability. This is something that I continue to challenge myself to do every day. I came to church deeply craving connection, deeply craving this desire to feel apart of something bigger than myself, to feel known. Through our blossoming relationship, God has helped me let others truly get to know me and I feel so blessed to continue to grow more deeply in his love. He has taught me that life is all about relationships; the rest is just details.

If you are out there today and are wondering if God is real, He is. He is real and loves you and wants to be in relationship with you. I encourage you to get involved. Get involved with a church that feels like home. Take a leap of faith; jump right in. You may be surprised by the grace you will receive.

God is the greatest friend you can have. He accepts you just as you are. You are enough.