CENTER // Shantella Patterson

When I think of the word “center,” I immediately think “heart.”  My heart is small in size, but it plays an essential part in keeping me alive by pumping oxygen and blood through my veins.

Earlier this year God revealed the word “love” to me.  The issue I was facing wasn’t about me not loving others; it was about me not yet recognizing the love that God has for me. I had always been able to see God’s grace and love for everyone else, but I felt excluded from it. It was time for me to finally and truly accept God’s love for me and the truth that I am chosen and forgiven. It was time for me to realize that the fear, guilt and shame that I felt were not from God, and that the lie that I had believed that I wasn’t good enough or that I was broken kept me paralyzed from fully receiving God’s love. I began to see that the key to truly receiving the grace that God has extended to me is to surrender to it.

This Sunday Pastor Josh shared an amazing message about keeping God at the center.  When we keep God at the center of our lives, we walk in freedom from the lies of the enemy.  Living a life fully surrendered to God allows us to grow and flourish, not just as individuals, but also together as a church.  We cannot know our true selves until we know Jesus. The picture of the vine illustrated the growth and impact that we have on this city together as a community. Keeping God at the center of our lives keeps our eyes focused on Him and not ourselves, allowing us to see Christ’s continuous grace. Doing so has an impact not only on my life, but on my church family and the community.