A year ago, our family was in a crossroad. We have to make a decision to leave a place where we consider Home. It was hard to make the decision, not only because we felt it is where God has blessed us financially, but also because we were going to leave church and discipleship group.
Too terrified to make a decision, I asked God to make the decision for me. I said, “God I am scared to make a mistake, especially if my family’s future is in the line”. It was in this time, God will spoke to us through his word. I notice that every time I open my bible app, I will encounter the verse from Isaiah 41:10,
“So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will upload you with my righteous right hand”.
We continued to pray for wisdom and direction and God continued to answer. Isaiah 43:5,
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you, I will bring you and your children from the east and gather you from the west”.
It was this verse that led us to decide and follow God where He wants us to go. As we transition to a new place, two things dominated our hearts. It was the fear of making the wrong decision and feeling of sadness in leaving our spiritual family.
“We heard what we needed to hear. The right message in the right season.. we realised God was answering an issue in our hearts.”
After we arrived in Sydney, I got re-connected to a college friend who invited me to come to Life Church. At first, we just wanted to observe since we weren’t sure where to live. We attended the service and we heard Pastor Paul for the first time. Surprisingly, the theme was about “Starting over…” and the sermon was about The Purpose of God. I can somehow remember what Pastor Paul said, “Whatever is your reason in coming to Australia, God has a purpose for you here”. I said to myself this is just a coincidence. But theme and message about starting over and God’s purpose continued for weeks! Each message became personal and resonated in our hearts. We heard what we needed to hear. The right message in the right season. In this time, we realised God was answering an issue in our hearts. It is in Life Church where God acknowledged our fears and responded with the confirmation that we have a purpose here. As we hold in this revelation, the fear we felt was replaced with Joy and Peace. There is now an excitement in what lies ahead!
Shortly after, we joined Life Group. We immediately felt welcome and comfortable as if we knew everyone already. As we continue to attend our life group, it became easier to open up, easier to converse and easier to be vulnerable. We experience accountability and genuine concern for one another. It is amazing how God has moulded a formula in Life Groups, God surrounds us with either people in the same journey or who has passed that journey. It gives us encouragement that we are not alone and at the same time, hope through the wisdom of people that experienced victory in their own journey.
Our Life Group became our extended family. The Lord has been true to his word as He blessed us with another son. However, my wife gave birth 2 weeks early. A lot of things were not settled in yet, so it was challenge for us at first. With no relatives in Sydney to support us, our life group came to the rescue and provided the support. We survive for several weeks because our Life Group prepared food for us. It was like manna coming down from heaven. We also received a lot of support from people from other Life Groups. It really made our adjustment easy.
But in all of this, we felt truly Blessed and Loved because of the prayers we received from these people. And we believe that it made all the difference. For some reason, even without our family, our situation seems to be far easier than when we had 2 helpers. We were less stress and we never felt alone. We didn’t get sick given the lack of sleep and handling with our eldest son seems to be very smooth. We were always tired but joyful in our daily routine all because we know people are praying for us.
God was addressing another concern in our heart. To receive such love, attention and time for people you just met, for a short period of time, it’s amazing. It Is truly the steadfast and unconditional Love of God, manifested in the presence of Life Groups.
Truly, God has answered our prayers and deepest desires. The very thing we thought we lost and gave up, God restored it here in Life Church and Life Group.