My name is Kim. Although I grew up attending church, when my husband Gary and I married, we didn’t attend church regularly. After we got married, we moved to Colorado from Illinois for his job.
Beginning the walk
When Gary and I had our first child, I suffered from post-partum depression. I felt lost and lonely; it was like struggling in a dark cave and not being able to find my way out. I tried to find joy, but I couldn’t. I cried uncontrollably about everything. My precious, premature baby boy cried a lot, too. My husband was at work more and more. He tried to help me, but I pushed him away. Finally, he said to me, “We have to get you help. You are not you anymore, and we can’t fix this on our own.”
I could not understand why I felt tremendous sadness when everything I ever wanted was right there in front of me.
Then, on Easter Sunday, I was sitting in the back row of a church listening to the sermon. I was 31 years old, and I felt like God was giving me the nudge that I needed to begin a relationship with Him. I knew about God, but I did not know Him. The sermon talked about the gift of Jesus—the sacrifice He made on the cross. I didn’t know what accepting this gift would look like for me, but I knew in my heart I needed His unconditional love. When I accepted Christ, I felt relief. I knew I’d found that place of belonging and hope that I could now carry as I walked through the darkness of depression.
A family of friends
After I began my relationship with Christ, it took a little while to find a church home. The timing could not have been any more perfect when Kelly and Brandi Parrish moved to Fort Collins. Our community and neighborhood didn’t have a present, positive, local church influencing people for Jesus Christ.
When I first met Brandi, we were in a Bible study together. I found out why they came to Colorado, and I thought, “If she’s involved in planting a church, I am in!” She had already struck me as such a loving person. She has a way of making everyone around her feel special. I felt like I would gain more than a church; I would have great friends.
Soon Brandi’s family started holding Bible study in their home, and we were there. We grew deeper in our relationship with God. I wanted to share my faith with others, and I wanted my story to help them. I wanted my children to have the sense of love and belonging that I had found in Christ—not the lost, unloved feeling I had when I didn’t know Him.
My son, Peyton, came to Christ during one of these study times. I will forever remember him coming upstairs after the children’s lesson Brandi taught and telling us that he accepted Christ. I couldn’t do anything but shed tears. It was what I wanted for him.
Being involved in Living Rock Church has helped our marriage and has given our children a foundation to build on. Most importantly, it has helped me see God’s love for what it is—knowing He accepts me is incredible.
The unending love God has for me is with me every step of my day and gives me the confidence I need to minister to my family and community. My heart’s greatest desire is to let others know what the Lord has done for me in the hope that it will help someone call on Jesus for salvation. I like to share my story with women about struggling with depression. I also love kids’ ministry. I love when the light bulb of understanding spiritual things comes on for them.
Without Living Rock, I don’t know where I, or this community would be. I am so grateful for God’s provision in planting this church.
Living Rock Church is an SBC church plant in Fort Collins, Colorado. For more information about Living Rock Church, visit anniearmstrong.com.