Larisa: Learning to trust again

Growing up, I experienced hurt by the people from my church, so I was always moving churches throughout my life. I developed a mindset that my relationship with God was just between me and God. I didn’t feel the need to engage with the church body. During this time, I tried engaging with the people there, but there was a lack of peace in my heart, eventually I chose to never put ‘THEY’ in my walk with God.

Several years went by, I stopped trusting in people and kept things inside. However, where ever I went, I kept hearing about the power of church community in the life of the people around me. However, because of the hurt I’ve experienced in the past, the trauma was stronger than the desire to be plugged into the body of Christ again.

After returning to Indonesia for work, I found JICF through their website. Although it wasn’t the first church I visited since going back to Indonesia, my first impression with JICF was different. During Sunday service, I felt light, peaceful and welcomed and I was able to be myself. Slowly I had courage to stay in this church longer. As I got to be more involved, I also joined a few events outside the church service and met many friends. Friendship grew into a community group. For the first time in a while, I plugged into a community group again where we met each Sunday for 3 months. Eventually, it became something I look forward to every week. During these 6 weeks, God revealed things in my heart that needed to be removed.

At first, I was amazed with the chosen topic; Biblical Friendship. It was a good start for strangers and someone like me who have trust issues with the community. Slowly, barriers came down, my perspective started to change. I learned how to trust again and be open. The Lord showed me that there are people who still care and willing to listen. The Lord also showed me that I am not walking alone, that there are people who also have similar struggles and issues. We shared our burdens, grew deeper in the Lord, and encourage each other’s faith. Although me and my friends are not blood related, we became sisters in Christ. He knows what’s best and He has placed me where people can grow and be a blessing for each other. I’m still learning, but this life giving fellowship of friends is truly a gift from God.