Independence and self-sufficiency have always been core values in my life. “Do not rely on other people to do things for you,” my dad would say. As I grew older, I took his words to heart. After starting university, I believed that I alone was responsible for my grades, my finances, my relationships, my career plans, and everything else. I rarely asked others for help, as a matter of principle and pride. I believed improving my circumstance was always my own responsibility. I believed I was the master of my own fate.
Unfortunately, my spiritual growth during this time became stagnant, and at best, erratic. Seasons of growth occurred few and far between. I didn’t attend church for a whole year, convincing myself that I was too busy and that my relationship with Jesus was fine. I rarely reached out to others for help in times of struggle or doubt. I avoided seeking spiritual advice. I thought my walk with Christ could be private and individual, and lived out completely on my terms.
It is only after I attended Hope Church that God showed me that I twisted my father’s advice to justify my prideful, self-centred behaviour. By God’s grace I have come to realise that a healthy spiritual life does not exist in isolation, but rather it must be rooted in a God-centred community with real relationships, to encourage, to rebuke, to serve, and to be served, all in the name of Jesus.
I am still learning to open up about my spiritual life. More and more I feel the joy of walking in Christ together, knowing that we can rely on each other and share our burdens. I thank God for the patience and kindness my church community has shown me from the beginning, and I pray that I can show the same spirit to those around me.
ES2, St Lucia Morning Service