SEARCHING FOR LIFE

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The fabric of every community is its peoples and their shared story. How people come to the NEXT community, what they discover here and how they are transformed is a sacred story.

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing just a few of these sacred stories.

The first is of one of our students who came to NEXT searching for life…

 

 
 

Before NEXT I was awfully lonely and unaware that people who loved God and thought about Him as much as I did are in fact actually bubbling up all over the world. I felt like the way that I wanted to love God meant that I would have to love him on my own.  I didn’t know that trust, vulnerability and relationships were important to a good life because they just threatened me with abandonment and disappointment.

And there was something else. I felt afraid to question the Bible because it felt as though I would be dissenting against Christianity itself. In fact, if I am to be really honest, I hated the association of ‘Christianity’ in general. Christians seemed to me, sheltered, dull and narrow-minded people. The church provided me with a place to sing, but otherwise I found it entirely impersonal and uninspiring. Tradition, in my mind, seemed necessary in church because of the lack of sincerity.

The truth is I probably would not have been in church for much longer if I hadn’t come to NEXT.
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As a result my role models were never in the church. Instead they were people who saw something in the world, saw some sort of good, love or spirit and they chose to connect with it. They were not spurred on by religious culture or family expectations. They just had a love for what they believed in and they decided to sing, paint and talk about it. I had such love for my ‘secular’ friends and such a mixed up view of Christianity that it felt like if I was going to be a ‘Christian’ to them I would have to be condemning.

The truth is I probably would not have been in church for much longer if I hadn’t come to NEXT.  I can’t help but wonder what I would think of God now if I hadn’t taken the step of signing up – I would never have discovered the joy of sharing Him with others and never uncovered the delight of learning from others about Him.

I have fallen in love with everything that is steeped in rich theology, which means that great architecture, wonderful hymns, liturgy and traditional church services have become so appealing and delightful to me.
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Throughout NEXT I have slowly come to realise that people aren’t inherently like vampires – who, struggling with their own suffering, suck the life from each other in order to keep going. Instead, I have realised just how lonely I was without having people to talk to about God sincerely, or even having people to hug and hold hands with.

It has taken me many months to learn that I deserve to be especially cared for – that I am seen entirely and not just my appearance and my projected likeability. I did not know I could love God more than I did and perhaps I don’t, but I have learnt to love Him better. I can feel God’s redemptive work in me healing me where I have been wounded, in my body and thoughts, both of which are as much me as the other.

I have also been awakened to the humanity of the Bible and how it can handle me wrestling with it and especially that many theologians have different schools of thought and that it is no less faithful to disagree. I have always loved philosophy and studying theology has introduced me to a love for concepts and the fullness of meaning.

I was searching for a life I could live well and I feel this is becoming my reality more and more.
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In light of my experiences at NEXT I have found that I cannot escape this new life that I have begun. I can no longer slip away through laziness. I know the only way for me to exit this life of faith and seeing people with love would be if I purposely decided to.

I have fallen in love with everything that is steeped in rich theology, which means that great architecture, wonderful hymns, liturgy and traditional church services have become so appealing and delightful to me. I am so entrenched in love for people who have loved God well and who have lived life well. There is something about doing things with excellence which so inspires me. I was searching for a life I could live well and I feel this is becoming my reality more and more.

 

 


One of the great privileges of being part of the NEXT community is being able to witness people taking these next steps on their sacred journey and being able to walk beside them.

For those of you seeking more of life, seeking to discover life in lost and forgotten places, afraid of asking questions or reaching the boundaries of a Christianity that has become to small … we would love to journey with you too.

You can discover more about NEXT by clicking here, keeping up to date by liking our FaceBook page or checking us out at our Open Night (details below)

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OPEN NIGHT DL 2015

NEXT Open Night

THURSDAY 15TH OCTOBER 2015, 7PM

NEXT Open Night is your opportunity to find out what you need to know : what is NEXT, how does it work, and whether it is a good fit for you.

Check out: next.asn.au/open

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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