There Wasn’t Room on the Prayer List

There are very few people who know my story, even fewer who know the whole thing. Most know the photoshopped version. The version I choose to present so I don’t have to share my brokenness, so I don’t have to admit that I am broken at all. I build walls, I guard myself closely, and I shut people out when they start to see the places in which I need healing. At least I did.

I didn’t grow up as a believer. I attended church until I was 11, but I never really understood the message. I never understood the extent of God’s love for me. The summer after 5th grade my world was rocked. I became all too familiar with doctors, tests, and hospitals. My parents were told, not for the first time and not for the last, that I may not make it. In the midst of this they turned to our church, the one we had been attending since I was 4. They asked for prayers. A simple request really. They were told that unless they could say with certainty that I was dying, there wasn’t room on the prayer list. My family hasn’t been to church since.

Although I didn’t know that specifics of that conversation until I was much older I felt angry and hurt. I had lost nearly everything that was familiar and I couldn’t understand why. I was certain that if there was a God, He surely didn’t love me.

Years later I met a friend who told me about Jesus. I was wary and reeling from the deep hurt of past experiences, but I was ready to listen. I started attending church and got involved in ministry, but I hid my past and didn’t allow anyone to know that part of my life. Until recently.

I will forever be grateful for every moment of what I’ve been through. Looking back I can clearly see God working in my life and leading me, ultimately, to Hope and the incredible people I’ve met here. Since attending my first service nearly three years ago I’ve come to understand the meaning of true gospel community. I’ve come to understand the gospel. And I’ve experienced just how healing they both can be.

Kristen Rafferty

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Categories: Stories