By the grace of God I've come this far

-          Hannah Lee

Before coming to Bethany, I was at a point in my life where for the first time I couldn’t find the joy of going to church.  Throughout my Junior and Senior Years of high school, I struggled a lot within the church.  As a leader, I was expected to take on a lot of responsibilities and at first I was more than willing to serve the Youth Group.  But as I became busy with other things in life, I began to view my responsibilities and leadership roles as a burden.  Church was now an obligation and I felt suffocated by the very place I used to call my haven.

After a year of just going through the motions, my mom suggested that I move churches.  The thought had entered my mind a couple of times, but whether it was out of pride or fear, I never took the idea seriously.  But with my mom’s encouragement, I decided that after graduation I would find a different church. 

For a little over a month, I went from church to church not knowing what I was looking for.  I ended up coming to Bethany one Sunday, out of a favor for a friend.  I knew I was going to be given looks and asked the obvious questions upon entering.  What I didn’t expect was Rev. Namkoong coming up to me, shaking my hand, and asking me my name and a bunch of other questions.  This was a new experience for me, because the head pastors of the other churches I had been to never showed much interest in the EM, much less the newcomers.  It was also nice to see the elders and parents come out of their way to greet me.  I’ll admit it was a bit weird to receive so much attention, but it was also warming and comforting to see that there wasn’t a disconnect between the adults and the youth.

Since that first Sunday, I have been faithfully attending Bethany and I have seen how much God has blessed me through this church.  First and foremost, my faith has been slowly growing again.  It had been at a standstill because of all the frustrations and bitterness I had built up in my heart.  But through the sermons, bible studies, and most importantly the prayer times, I was able to move past my hardships and find peace within my heart.  I’ve also been challenged to read the Word daily.  I know this is expected for all Christians, but it wasn’t until I came to Bethany that I truly saw how important the Word was in my life.

Although I’m far from where I want to be, I know that it’s by the grace of God I’ve come this far.  I’ve been so blessed by the Youth and EM of Bethany and am so grateful to be a part of this family.  The Lord has an amazing plan for Bethany and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for us.