About a year-and-a-half ago I moved back to Decatur and was in search of a church to call home. Two of my friends and I decided to go to youth group at CrossRoads Church. I was feeling kind of anxious about going, even though I attend on Sunday mornings, just because I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t know if there would be other kids from school. I didn’t know if I would be expected to talk in front of a group or share my thoughts and feelings about the sermon. I just didn’t know what to expect. To limit some of my worries I checked with my friends Liz and Iliana to be sure what time they would get to the church, that way we could all walk in together and I wouldn’t be alone. We got inside, and so far so good. During the praise and worship I felt pretty comfortable and the service was good, too. Then we broke up into small groups, but luckily it was only me, Liz, Iliana, and one other girl from school who I already knew, and our leader Brittany. Brittany, I found out, is the youth pastor’s wife and they just moved here from California. She is super bubbly and sweet, always smiling and even hugged us during our introduction. At the end of small groups Britt got our numbers and gave us another big hug on the way out. At this point I was thinking she was super sweet, but I didn’t know how to feel about how eager she seemed or the two hugs she had given me.
Next Wednesday comes along and I get a group text from Britt with the details about church and asking whether we would be there or not. My friends and I decide to go, and once again we are greeted with big hugs from Brittany. This week I was very moved and impressed by worship. I was impressed with the kids around me and how involved they were. I knew this was the place I needed to be and I knew from that moment, it would be my home.
I begin attending youth group every Wednesday and i’m pleasantly surprised by the impact it was making in my life. I have always been a believer and had faith in God, but the relationships I was building with the people at CrossRoads were also building my relationship with the Lord. I loved how Brittany was sincerely interested with what was going on in my life and always checked up on me. Also, my friends from church and I would hold each other accountable and make sure we were doing the right things, hanging with the right people, and being dedicated to God.
Although our small group started off with just a couple of girls, my circle has widened to include new friends that each bring a different virtue, opinion and worth. Having multiple christian friends is beneficial because when I am going through something, more than likely someone else has already been through it and can give me good advice on how to get through it. I recently went to a girls conference and heard a speaker preach on finding friends in the same river as you. This means having relationships with people who believe in the same things as you and who enjoy the same activities as you because trying to be friends with someone floating down a different river than you are can be very difficult.
After a little over a year, I am very involved with this youth group and there’s no second thought to what I will be doing on a Wednesday after school. Not having a church home may not seem like the typical problem to be solved but in my life, it has been the biggest life changer. CrossRoads Church and the people who go there have greatly impacted my life and my personal relationship with God for the better, and I am very thankful for that.