By Paige K. Slighter
“It’s pretty incredible that we were created out of relationship (the Trinity), and for relationship with God and one another.”
Stacy first visited Woodland as a teenager on Easter Sunday 2000. Her brother was attending college nearby at the time, and he was super excited to share what he had been learning at Woodland with his family. Stacy said, “So, of course, my parents and I had to come down and visit. The way the Easter story was told was incredibly captivating—I was on the edge of my seat, soaking up all the reasons for believing. I took more notes than I ever had before—and I was already a note-taker in church!”
After that day, Stacy’s dad ended up buying a bunch of Woodland’s sermon series on tape, and as a family, they would listen to them together. He also purchased a few books, which Stacy would borrow. She said, “I remember having such joy and excitement at all the learning that was in store for me.” Ever since she was little, Stacy has been inquisitive and interested in theology. She said, “I feel very blessed that I grew up with adults around me who never made me feel like my questions were silly or unimportant, and would try to give me answers to the best of their ability.”
Through normal life transitions, Stacy and her family became disconnected from Woodland. However, an incredibly difficult loss brought Stacy back in 2016. Being so distraught with grief, she wondered what Woodland might have to say about tragedy and God’s sovereignty. After listening to several sermons, she felt comforted for the first time in a long time. She felt like she was being pulled out of a “miry pit” and experiencing “healing and freedom.”
Some of the most helpful sermons for Stacy have been:
- Trusting the Voice: discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit. Stacy was desperate to know how God speaks and to recognize his voice versus the enemy’s.
- Twisted Scripture: making sense of difficult Bible passages. This series encouraged Stacy to find her identity in God and hold onto his hope.
Fast forward to 2022, and Stacy is still listening to Woodland sermons weekly. She’s also involved in a Gathering Group. She said, “It has been such a blessing to connect with other women who are passionate about Jesus, and eager to grow and learn to be more like him. This pandemic has been so challenging in a lot of ways, but one gift that has come out of it has been the Gathering Group.” Stacy’s even been able to meet a couple of the group members in person. Together they have been able to share authentically about life and love.
Throughout the years, Stacy has really appreciated being part of Woodland’s podrishioner community. She said, “It’s so refreshing and encouraging to see people from everywhere tuning in to Woodland’s expression of the church—the Jesus-focused teachings, the ministries, the mission, etc.” We are so thankful for what God is doing through our online connection opportunities. Find out how you can get involved too.