Alaska girl, a long way from home

Posted by Karen Brady on January 24, 2017 at 03:25 PM

I don't think there is anything super special about my story. I grew up in Eagle River, Alaska. My Mom and Dad moved there from California for a safe place to live and for an adventure. My parents raised us to know God, attending church every Sunday and youth group ministries on Wednesdays. I was baptized when I was sixteen. It wasn't until I graduated high school that I became a little lost.

Our church fell apart due to our pastor's wife and our youth group minister having affairs, separately. I don't blame that, but I certainly floundered in life for a couple of years. I ended up hanging out with old high school friends, partying, falling into the way of life that my parents and youth pastor had warned us against. After a few years, my "first love" broke my heart. I felt I had nothing and nowhere to go. It's so crazy now because I was raised to have Jesus in my heart and to know that I would never be alone, but I didn't even consider it. I ended up joining the Air Force and hoping I'd find a purpose.

It took me eight years traveling the world, living a life of sin, pain, and disappointment to finally come back to God. I did this while stationed in Augusta, Georgia. I also met my husband there, who is also in the Air Force. We've been in and out of churches, nothing really feeling like home until our friends invited us to SouthBrook in October. I was skeptical, being raised in traditional churches (Calvary Chapels) so I didn't know what to think. The first day was complete chaos getting our two little boys and us to church on time. It felt like a miracle when we finally sat to listen to the message. When we finally did, God spoke to both my husband and I. In the message, he was speaking directly to separate things that were heavy on our hearts. After the service, we shared our experiences and knew that we'd found a new church family! Every Sunday, I feel God talking to me through the message and the Holy Spirit moves me through the music. My husband is getting out of the Air Force this summer. He was going to just apply for Dayton Police Department, since it compliments his Air Force training. He asked me instead how I felt about him starting a business. I hate taking risks so we talked about it for a long time. The positives, the negatives, the scary risks and how we'd mitigate them. We also prayed about it.

We were still in discussions when we starting attending SouthBrook. The series that was being taught about risk and making choices in your life was incredibly timely. We both felt God was answering our prayers. So, my husband will be starting his new business this April and officially separating from the Air Force in July. Anyhow, not sure if this helps at all but it was amazing how God brought us back to the right place at the right time for the exact message that he wanted us to hear. —Karen & Johnny Brady