When I graduated from the University of Toronto Mississauga, I left with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I had done it… I had graduated from university despite the dramatic highs and lows that each year brought with it like clockwork. In an effort to put my past behind me, I moved to the Kitchener area where I secured a job in marketing. It sounds glamorous, but it was far from it. For a few months, I sold debit machines to businesses, walking door to door for twelve hours a day. I can’t count how many times I would stop and pray, “God, what am I even doing here?” This gig didn’t last long, and I bounced from job to job trying to find my place. While I disliked living and working in the Kitchener area, it was better than my time had been in Mississauga. Little did I know, God was about to take me on a journey.
In October of 2016, I moved to Streetsville, Mississauga. Yes… I was a Mississauga resident yet again. As I watched the townhouses flash by as my mother and I drove to my new home, I kept saying to myself, “I shouldn’t be here. How did this happen?” Oh, I knew how it happened of course. I had managed to secure a job with a real marketing company where I would be able to grow my passion for writing… and make rent. Sounds pretty perfect, eh? Still, I couldn’t understand why God brought me back to a city that, for me, was filled with regret and heartache. I forgot that God always knows best.
Shortly after moving into my new apartment and settling into a comfortable routine of work, eat, sleep and repeat I knew I needed to find a church. I had attended several churches while in school, and couldn’t find any where I ‘fit.’ Now, thankfully, my coworker had found an incredible church called Freedom Centre. I didn’t know why, but I knew it was where I needed to be.
As a writer, I have the luxury of making even the ugliest things seem beautiful. An adverb here, an adjective there and before you know it the perfect world has been crafted. Life, of course, is not that simple and I found myself trying to rewrite each day in my head. I had a great job, and I was learning a lot at church, but something was missing; being a part of a community. I knew that to create a life here; I needed to surround myself with people who would support and love me no matter my past. Again, I went to God, pleading Him to bring people into my life. Now I am shy by nature, so putting myself out there was a real stretch, but I needed to trust God.
One Sunday, our church was hosting a pig roast, and I knew that it was now or never for me to start building relationships. I said a prayer and walked up to a young person my age. I forced a smile on my face and made pathetic small talk. It was awkward and overwhelming, but soon we were having a conversation. Next thing I knew, I was sitting with other people my age and joking about the smallest things. My heart was full.
Week after week I continued to pray to God to give me strength in helping me make new relationships, and week after week I felt like a member of the community. I couldn’t believe how scared I had been to let people in just a few months before! Even though I was living in a city that I didn’t understand and navigating a challenging job, I had found the community that I had been looking for!
God was with me every step of my journey. He knew that I would come back to Mississauga and that I needed amazing people in my life. He also knew that a young adults church would form from Freedom Centre and that I needed to be a part of it. God did not care that I questioned Him or that it took me a while to place my trust in His plan for my life. He knew what I needed before I knew it myself. That’s God. He is always walking beside us, holding our hand and helping us on this journey called life. We just need to let Him.
So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience. – Colossians 1:10-11
By: Heather From