My name is John Oswald and I know with all my heart, mind, body and soul that God is for us!He will not forsake us and in Him, all things are good. This does not mean that I’ve had a shortage of struggle or chaos in my life.

I know that not all struggles are the same or start at the same time. For me, my struggle began in the summer of 1987. I was three years old when my right leg was run over by a riding lawnmower, but thankfully, I grew up having most people treat me the same as any other rowdy boy.

I was around twelve years old the first time I attended Connect Church. Cameron Lane, my physical therapist, invited me to come and see a former Razorback football player speak about what Christ had done and was doing in his life. That day a seed of faith was planted in me.

In my early twenties I realized that I couldn’t change the horrible thing that happened, but I could change my viewpoint. Instead of looking at the negative, I changed my perspective to focus on the positive and I realized there was good that had come from this. I learned patience, perseverance, and strength through hard lessons that are not easily taught.

It wasn’t easy, but eventually I came to the conclusion that the accident had changed me for the better, not the worse. Through that struggle, I was going to be a better man because of it.

Little did I know that years later, my friends, Alex and Lyndsey Cochran, would invite my family to Connect Church. The very same church that Cameron Lane had brought me to years before. We started attending Wednesday night Bible studies, and it didn’t take long to feel “at home”. Everyone was kind and encouraging and we continued to attend and connect with more brothers and sisters in Christ. We relied on their encouragement and I began to get more involved.

I appreciate how Pastor Blaine encourages spiritual growth through his messages. I long to continue growing in my relationship with Christ and becoming more like Him daily. Some of the ways I am doing this is by:
1) Reading the Bible. It reveals more about Him and His spirit. It helps me to better understand His will for my life.
2) Community. I am part of a community that encourages me and my family.
3) Serving. Though it’s not a strong suit of mine, it has helped me to humble myself, by serving others. It has created meaningful relationships with fellow Believers with whom I serve alongside, here at Connect Church.

Since growing in my faith, I know I can reassure my children, and anyone else around me, that as long as I have faith in our Almighty God, we can handle anything this world will throw at us. I hope my life can show that to the world!

My two kids and I have been at Connect Church for almost three years now and we love every moment we are here. Thank you to everyone who has been an encouragement to me and my children.

John Oswald

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