Living Rock Church: Falling in Love with Jesus

A lasting legacy

My mother-in-law, Pat, died suddenly a few years ago, and my faith was shaken. I grew up viewing a relationship with God as following the rules and doing the right things, but Pat changed my perspective and helped me see God’s love.

Pat was the spiritual pillar of our family, and she really was my inspiration. We got along well. I loved spending time with her because she never pushed an agenda or made her opinion the dominant one in the room. She was a great listener. Some people listen only to wait their turn to interject, but Pat listened because she wanted to know my heart. Because of this, she also gave great advice. She knew the core of people from listening well. That, combined with God’s love that flowed so graciously from her, meant she offered advice that helped people grow. She taught me how to live with abandon. She truly used her time and talents to glorify God. She could have had more time to herself, but she found delight in serving. She taught me that there are no barriers of race, age, experience, and status when you love people in His name. She lived that truth every day.

For good, not evil

Some people say there’s a reason for everything, even difficult losses. I don’t think of it that way. I think of loss more as a result of living in a fallen world full of evil. Death is a part of life. God didn’t cause Pat’s death, but God can use anything, even great loss, to glorify Himself. If we turn to Him, He can use anything for the good. When Pat died, I didn’t know where to turn. It was a really dark time for me, but I remembered what Pat had taught me and turned toward Jesus. I started reading Scripture and growing in my faith. I also spent time learning more about Pat’s life. I knew she was on fire for Jesus, but I didn’t understand the depth of the love she had for Him until I investigated her commitment for myself.

I began reciting to myself Matthew 6:33, which says, “Be still and know that I am God.” I wanted to learn from Pat’s life and death, so I decided to follow her example and start a book study. After all, I am an English teacher! I asked a few ladies I knew to join, and we met a few times throughout the year. That’s when one of the book study members, Melissa, mentioned Living Rock Church. She warned me that it might seem strange at first because the church met in the basement of a house, but she loved the messages and the relationships she had built there. Although the situation was unique, I trusted Melissa’s recommendation over any fear. I was excited about the potential of a new church home for our family.

Finding true companionship

I’ll never forget the pastor’s wife’s smile the first time we walked in. There aren’t many people as welcoming as Brandi. I felt so comfortable walking into their house for the first time. Everything was so natural. We sat on their stairs for the first service because there was so little room in the house.

Growing up, I thought of God as untouchable and unreachable. After attending Living Rock Church, I began falling in love with Jesus in a new way; I was hungry for more. I wanted to live a life with meaning as Pat had modeled. Now I was in the right place to have the support I needed to experience Christ as my constant companion, my closest friend.

Being a member of Living Rock challenges me every day to remember that my time is not mine, and I have talents for a reason—to reach people for God’s Kingdom. My church is a place where I can fill up my bucket with Him so that I can face the challenges in the world as a light for Christ.

Living Rock Church is an SBC church plant in Fort Collins, Colorado. For more information about Living Rock Church, visit anniearmstrong.com.

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