Today we have an amazing post written about Stephanie Carroll’s experience using The City and how it helped her become an involved member of her church, Covenant Love Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
It can be lonely sitting alone in the back row.
She wanted to get more involved in church, but doubts and accusations plagued her mind. “Are people going to accept me? You can’t be with them—look what you’ve done in your past! Look at the leaders, you can’t do what they do, they’re perfect!”
So she sat—alone—in the back row.
Stephanie Carroll once found it difficult to become involved in her church because she was struggling with thoughts that told her she could not. She also had her hands full with several other conflicts: an unsaved spouse, being a full-time college student, looking for a full-time job, and raising a 13-year-old son. And she did it all with very little fellowship or support.
Stephanie says, “You only see people when you’re at church. I’m part of the worship ministry, but after choir is over, people are doing their own things—they’re too busy. There’s so much going on there’s no time to sit down and talk to someone.”
Then, when Stephanie’s church begin using ACS Technologies’ The City, Stephanie was a part of the initial test group of 300 people.
She says, “My relationship has grown in the Lord just by looking at the journals the other ladies are posting. I get bits and pieces that I can apply to my life, and I reflect on them, pray, and ask God, ‘How does this work in my life?’ I feel like He puts people in our paths to help us grow, and He’s putting the right people in my path right now to say the things I need at that moment—it’s a blessing to me.
“It’s been gradual growth. It took me almost five years to get involved because I allowed the devil to attack me and tell me I wasn’t good enough to get involved. But being on The City has helped me grow in interacting with people. I know now even with my past mistakes, I’m forgiven.”
The City has also freed Stephanie up to be able to minister to others out of her own experiences. She says, “In The City, if I see someone dealing with something I’ve dealt with, I can help and encourage them. I can help others with the challenges I used to deal with.”
And fellowship in The City can transfer over to fellowship in real-life.
She says, “With The City, I can reach out to others I don’t know in church. I meet new people in The City and then when I see them in church I can go over and say ‘hey!’ and give them a hug! You can’t just approach people in church otherwise, but with The City you can get to know them first, and then can. And with The City you can interact on your own time, you’re not as rushed. People are so busy, they can’t connect by phone, but they have a moment to get online.
“These things I see in The City make me want to press forward even more, pressing forward towards the mark, I’m going to finish the race, even if it’s with bloody knees! I know God is in my life every day, and I pursue Him every day. I want to bring more people to God, make them aware of Him and help them get saved. The inspiration I get from my church family through using The City to connect with one another is such a blessing!”