Sunday, March 9, 2014

I found Awaken a few years ago after hearing about them through an info meeting I attended for The Virginia Beach Justice Initiative.  I was shocked to learn  that a CHURCH was actually helping a human trafficking awareness and outreach organization. After all, Human Trafficking, abuse, addiction, and sex aren’t topics that I would normally associate with church outreach.  But sure enough, Awaken was doing something crazy.. it was challenging our city…AWAKENING it.  Awaken says it’s a church for the broken, yet redeemed by Christ's sacrifice.  That’s deep.  It’s hard for someone who’s been hurt, who’s been broken and shamed by a painful past, to stand tall and let their scars be shown; to say “I may have been a broken vessel, but in God’s eyes, I am a masterpiece"

Everybody has a past, whether we choose to share it and use it as a vessel of hope and mending is up to us.  I completely feel encouraged and blessed to be a part of a church that lets me use my wounds  and battle scars as proof of Gods amazing grace and love.  Gathering the courage to attend my first service at Awaken was scary at first.  I knew I wanted to have a home church, I even did some church hopping with hopes of finding a church that simply just felt right.  But time after time I was let down. With Awaken, I instantly saw a church that wasn’t afraid to step out of traditional comfort and reach out.  I knew right away that Awaken would be a place I could call home.  A place where my family could grow and be challenged spiritually.  

It easy to stand on the sidelines and talk about change, it’s easy to gather and make plans to create change, but to physically reach out to someone and create change takes courage, spiritual strength, and purpose.  This is why I’m so excited to see the impact Awaken will be making through their RE:Awaken 2016 campaign.  Change is scary, stepping out of the norm is scary.  But fear is something that will always be there, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it”, Nelson Mandela.  I know that together, we can triumph and make an impact despite our fears.

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