Before I came to Nashville, I lived in Florence, South Carolina. I got a job working for a steel company, and because of that, ended up moving to Nashville. Being in a new city and having lots of different distractions slowly led me to not attending church at all for a period of about two or three years.
From Loss to New Life
In the early part of 2020, I experienced a relational loss that definitely had a bigger blow than I think it would have if I’d had people around me. I was in a place of feeling depressed and lonely, really feeling like I had been in a place that I didn’t think I would ever be in.
I happened to meet with Hunter Melton and ended up getting plugged into his Bible Reading Group, which was really the first start of the community that I experienced. Through that, I was able to meet some people that I got connected to a LIFE Group with. I also made some friends that are not in my LIFE Group, but who are friends that I meet with weekly who have been a great encouragement to me.
Connection within Community
I’ve been able to be in a Bible Reading Group and in a LIFE Group. I’ve become involved in the Young Professional Ministry. Through the growth of the Bible Reading Group that I was first attending, I’ve also been able to start and lead a new Bible Reading Group out of that.
Community for me is the greatest expression of God’s love in my life. There are just characteristics of God that we can’t see without other people pointing them out to us.
God’s Grace at Work
Having the church and the community rally around me in the way that they did and so quickly going from a place where I had felt that loneliness and deep depression and being encouraged the way that I hadn’t—coming out of that was something that was really miraculous. Especially to look back and to think about the place that I was in and to think about where I am now—the grace of God in my life is the only explanation for that.