Often in society today, we hear the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its’ cover.” Unfortunately, that happens to be the first thing we do when we meet someone with forging ‘first impressions’. For example, when you looked at our photo—-What was your first thought? Did it contain something like, “Nice young couple” or “Opposites attract!.” Or better yet, “they look to young to have a story.” Yes, we are fairly young and usually nice—-especially after a morning cup of coffee. We come from different backgrounds and our story may be young but it has fundamentally changed our lives for the better!
Andrew grew up in the inner city and had to battle all the obstacles associated with city life. While he did attend church as a child, his life choices were not always God-like or better yet ‘good for him or good to him.” I on the other hand, was raised in the country. Really! I literally got the eggs from the chicken coup. My only knowledge of God was that doing bad things may end up with “me going to hell!” Often when we don’t know someone personally, others information as well as false impressions may give us a false perspective. I had a false perspective of God because I actually did not know him for myself and even though Andrew grew up in church, he also did not have a personal intimacy with God as Revival Fellowship Church helped us to discover.
While there was much variation in our lives growing up, our core desires were quite universal: this was that deep inner desire to find a place where we truly belonged and were loved for who we “really’ were. Of course, we did not know it but we needed to discover who we really were as well. Revival Fellowship helped us to discover that we were much greater than what and who we thought we were. It was much better then first impressions. In high school, our paths did collide. I know what you are thinking. “High school sweet hearts, whose lust turned into love—end of story. ‘No’ that is not the story. Yes, lust did turn into love, but that love came with many complications and complexities. Often times we human beings place ourselves in complex situations and we need someone to help us unravel things. The love we thought we had for each other was not enough. We absolutely did not have a deep enough inner root or foundation to build that love on because we did not understand what real love was or how to live life for that matter. Life was, well—-hard. Our dreams seemed out of reach or would we so easily give up on them because of the issues we faced. We needed hope. At Revival Fellowship we found that our hope could take on something more powerful and meaningful that could help us to realize our dreams.
Being young and without godly wisdom and strength, we could have just gave in to the mountains we faced. Let’s just name a few: I got pregnant right out of high school. In 2008, our son was born. Soon, that son laid on his death bed after having a blood vessel burst in his brain. In 2009 Adrienne’s Mom passed away and in that same year our son laid on his death bed again. In the summer of 2010, we were evicted from the place we called home. In 2011, we had to leave another place because of financial strain. This time we moved in with Andrew’s family. These mountain like obstacles and circumstances were happening while attending college, raising our child, working a job and struggling with all the other challenges of adulthood and life. All of these factors weighed heavily upon us while we were also trying to mesh our different backgrounds together. In these years of our lives, it would be ideal to say that these issues brought us closer together but they honestly did not. We tried to solve each problem our own way. Yes our own way. It did not benefit anyone. Tempers flared, animosity grew and our relationship day-to-day was on the very verge of collapsing. Somewhere deep inside, we both knew, it was not supposed to be this way. Little did we know that the moving in with Andrews family in 2011 would impact our story moving forward. God was trying to help us.
Andrew’s family was faithfully attending Revival Fellowship Church (RFC) every Sunday and weekly Bible Studies. Because of this, they had a great deal of knowledge and understanding about the Bible. We also noticed how personal and real their relationship was with Jesus Christ as well as their strong faith in him. That faith was impacting their practical, everyday life. It wasn’t religious. It worked. So that same year, we decided to start attending RFC, faithfully, as well. That one positive decision became the most positive turning point in our lives! Each Sunday, we learned and continue to learn how much God truly loves us. Pastor Troy has such amazing regard for what God actually says in the bible and does not give us his opinions but teaches us biblical principles proving the truth in the scriptures. We had so many of our questions about God answered—-things that were commonly thought about God—-that were not biblical. As we learned God, we grew to love him in return. God’s love ended up filling that huge void in our hearts that had been there for so long. We. noticed, a foundation of truth was beginning to form in our hearts and in our lives to really build a future on, as well as our relationship on.
After attending for about a year, we made a major decision that would change our entire lives forever. That decision was to really live our lives based in our heavenly fathers love and care and to stop trying to live our way but rather to live our lives God’s way— for us. This is what the Bible says about that.
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
The NIV version of the Bible says it in a way you can really understand.
If you try to hang on to your life doing things your way, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
The more we came to church and was taught by our Pastors, the more we realized God’s love for us even in the state we were in personally. We really got it. A bell was going off in our hearts every time we heard the word of God. The first impact we noticed was the love we had for God turned into more love for each other—-more than we ever had before——so we married in 2012—establishing a foundation of commitment, love and trust for our family and child. As we continued living out God’s design for us, additional positive shifts and changes were seen in our lives that we would have thought were not possible. We were Experiencing God!
The impossible now became possible because God was with us, helping us and partnering with us. We were in direct relationship with him. That’s one of the most important things that Revival Fellowship Church taught us—-how do I really have a relationship with God!! Often people go to church but have no or a shallow relationship and some people say, I have a relationship with God but I do not go to church. When God is guiding us, he also guides us to a church that helps us to build an intimate quality relationship with him. A good church is not about how many people sit in the pews or if our best friend goes to that church. Our Pastor taught us that you should literally ask God, “Where do you want me to go to church? When you ask, then pay attention, he will guide you. As we continued experiencing God, a major change for us did not just deal with money and possessions, but rather in the way we treated each other and other people. Neither of us had the anger in our hearts that we once had; we actually wake up smiling now with no anger, bitterness or resentment. We drink our morning coffee with joy, filled with purpose, fulfillment and knowing that God is with us—-really with us. God has blessed us and we continue to work daily to live by his Word in the hope of impacting you, the way God has impacted us to live the Best Life! Our little boy who was on the verge of death is now a wonderful healthy little boy who loves nature. We are in a new home. I am now a professional traveling across the world and Andrew has is own business. God is AGAPE—LOVE. At Revival Fellowship we are taught to have a personal living relationship with God which so many people think they have when they are just religious. I humbly confess, you can really know God by experience.
Honestly, God has a funny way of doing things to get us to where we are supposed to be. He knows each person’s heart. He knows your heart. If you actually had enough sense to read this—-then God is talking to you! Do you know that most people are so common and average that they would not read through this testimony! You did! He knows when we will make a good decision and when we will make a bad one that creates more and more complications. Yet he can be there to help us unravel the complexity of what we have made, but only when we allow him in. He knows what each one of us really needs. In our case, we needed love; to feel it, to understand it and to display it. God gave us everything we needed. At Revival Fellowship Church, we were given the love and the freedom to journey to a better place and we are joyous now as we continue to live the God Kind of LIFE to the full until it overflows. We want you to come and join us!