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Rejection by the church nearly destroyed me

Anna Wilson struggled for years with anxiety and depression until she found healing in community.

I felt rejected.

The church thought we were a “bad family” because my older brothers started acting out and got into drugs.

They were very judgmental. They made us uncomfortable to the point where we had to leave. They would talk about us behind our backs, and they would always give us these looks — like you weren’t a part of their church.

I felt like, "Why would God do this? Why would He let my brothers go that way? Why would the church treat me that way?

I was 10. My family didn’t go back to church again for six years until we went to NewSpring.

If the church can turn their back on me, then why wouldn’t everyone turn their back on me?

Lost in Darkness

My experience led me to dark places. I had to fight with anxiety and depression. It was a struggle every day. If the church can turn their back on me, then why wouldn’t everyone turn their back on me?

I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere, and it made me feel like no one really loved me. I never really had friendships at that time. It was very dark. I cared about what was best for me. I didn’t care what happened to others.

My mom found NewSpring. She started feeling the longing to get back in church. I thought that all of the churches were the same and that everyone was just going to judge us, so I let my mom and dad go and just decided I would stay away.

But my mom just kept asking and asking me, and I finally decided to go, just so that I could get my mom off my back.

 I used to be very negative about everything and chose not to see any good in anyone.

Surprised by Love

NewSpring was nothing like I expected. The people were just so welcoming, and I knew that this was the church for me. All these people were wanting to be in church, and it really showed me a lot of community and love.

At a class we attended to get involved in the church, it really just clicked. The year before, I had started feeling I wanted to be with God, and I wanted to get to heaven. That night, I proclaimed Jesus as my Lord and Savior. We don’t have to be alone, I thought, and God only wants what’s best for us.

Meeting Jesus did not change everything about me instantly, but He is changing me.

I used to be very negative about everything and chose not to see any good in anyone. I now see everyone as someone that may be broken inside and just needs to know who Jesus is and that He loves them.

Now my closest friendships are in the church.

A Purpose for Pain

I have a positive outlook on every situation, even if it is a bad situation.  It isn’t, “Why me?” I am here for a reason and a purpose, and I have a community and a heavenly Father I can always turn to. Bad things might happen, but God can make things greater.

Now my closest friendships are in the church. When I’m around volunteers, seeing them loving people, it shows me the love God gives, and it just makes me feel God’s love even better.

Through serving as a Fuse group leader, I bonded with one of my Fuse group girls over me telling my story. I got to sit down and talk with her and lead her to Jesus. She realized community is what she needed, too, and it was amazing to see her changing by living through Christ.

Everyone should have the opportunity to know who Jesus is and to have their life changed, just like the way that He is changing mine.

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