These people were so undeniably different I needed to know more. Why were they so interested in a lonely freshman like me? Why did they give to each other so freely, and how were they so consistent in their habits? The people of Resonate were attracting me, and I now know that's because they were representing Jesus, who was calling me.
I had just started college and was desperate for friends. It was clear I wasn't going to stand out for my ability to handle alcohol, and my high school rap career had recently died, so my wardrobe was confusing to my new context. Washington State University had so many programs to assimilate incoming freshmen, but I found myself missing school sponsored events to talk to these people about God. I wanted to understand why they were so focused on "The Gospel," and why they looked different from the Christian's I encountered growing up.
I had been baptized in high school, but never had a Christian community, and just felt like I was underperforming as a Believer. It wasn't until I met people in Pullman who cared about me, that I saw what it looked like to live as a young believer. These college kids were abandoning the traditional lifestyle, claiming that if God was who he said he was, he deserves to be the center of their life. This included their time, their money, their friendships, their love lives, He wanted to be a part of it all. Only God could have been behind this, and my life was radically changed.
I found that the more I relinquished control over my life, the easier it was to serve God. I moved to San Diego for a summer, began leading a small group, and quit school in order to be in ministry professionally.
Everything was running smoothly as I prepared to head overseas to do ministry until my whole world collapsed. My girlfriend was pregnant and my life seemed to be over. I couldn't believe that my sin had cost her and I our youth, and I assumed that our community of Christian friends would hate us when they found out who we really were. It was time to find out what Resonate was all about. It was easy to support Hannah and I when our sin was hidden, but the true test of community is what happens when darkness comes to light. Their grace and love for us was astonishing. They cried with us, they prayed with us, they came to doctors appointments, and sat in the waiting room as our son was born. This was Christian community. This was durable friendship guided by the Gospel. Only God could bring us through.
Hannah and I are now married and the proud parents of a healthy baby boy. God used Resonate Church to show us that community is necessary, in the valleys, as well as the mountain tops.