This weeks guest blogger is Meredith Haynie. She is an awesome follower of Christ. She joined in with Oasis about 10 months before we actually launched. So she's been part of the core group almost from the very beginning. Here is what she had to say about what God has been doing in her life through Oasis.
Oasis Church has changed my life in more ways than I could ever explain. Before finding Oasis, my life (during my college years) revolved around partying, drinking, and going out. I made decisions that I still don’t understand how God could ever forgive me for or why He would. Even though I was doing these things I still claimed to be a Christian. During that time being a Christian, to me, was simply believing in God and calling on Him when I had no one else to call on. God was not number one in my heart and He fell pretty low on my list of priorities. Looking back, I now realize that not a single part of me was acting like a child of God, I knew Him and knew what He expected of me but I was too wrapped up in the “fun” life to worry about God. That “fun” life began to take a toll on all aspects of my life- school, family, relationships, etc. For years I continued this party life until one day I could no longer deny the need for some major changes in the way I was living. I stopped the partying and drinking and began to try and rebuild my relationship with Christ. I knew I could build it back up to a certain point on my own, but to get where I wanted to be with God I needed a church and a church family that could help me through the difficult, trying times.
For way too long I didn’t find a church home, I tried to do it all by myself. Not because I didn’t want to find one, but I never felt confident enough to go to a new church by myself because of the fear of looking like an outsider. However, about a year ago, a friend and I were talking about church and I was telling her the issues I was having with finding a church in Greenwood when she told me about Oasis and invited me to come. I decided to go the next Sunday. This decision has proven to be one of the most amazing and life-altering decisions I have ever made.
That first Sunday, a year ago, when I walked into the Oasis service I knew I was finally where God wanted me to be. I felt so accepted and welcomed by everyone. But more than that, I felt God’s presence. I realized immediately that these people were REAL. Their love for God was real and their desire to bring people closer to God was real. It was not a show like I have seen before; it was real people simply doing what God had called them to do. I have never been as happy as I was that day, when I knew I was finally doing what God wanted me to do.
Since that first Sunday, my relationship with God has grown immensely. Because of Oasis I am truly experiencing God’s presence in my life now. I smile just thinking about Him, I love talking to Him, and I have the most amazing, indescribable feeling knowing that He is right there with me no matter what. I now know what being a Christian really means, but more than that I know what it feels like to be a true Christian, no other feeling in this world can compare to the feeling I have knowing I have given my life to Christ. Oasis gave me a second chance and a new life, a life that revolves around God and fellowship. Without Oasis, I don’t know where I would be today. Not only have I developed a new, deeper relationship with God through Oasis, but I have also made wonderful friends who I know I can count on for years to come. Oasis has shown me what God is all about. Being a part of Oasis has renewed my spirit, my faith, and my love for life.
God is so incredibly AWESOME! He knew exactly what I needed in my life…Oasis Church.
Oasis, as your pastor, I want you to know what a difference your love for Jesus and your love for others is making in the lives of people. Just keep being real! Meredith, thank you for your love for Jesus, for all that you invest in Oasis, and for all that you invest in my children!