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January 31, 2022

“In the summer of 2020, things hit hard. We were in the midst of COVID-19, and my daughter and I found ourselves in a state of deep depression. We were both struggling with ourselves and each other. In the middle of a lockdown, there wasn’t really anywhere I could go for help.

“My family and I have been part of Gateway Church for three years—attending, serving, and even helping launch the Justin Campus! When we decided to sell everything and travel the country in our RV in January of 2020, we left our community behind but immediately joined Gateway’s online campus and even started an online group. It was a season full of change, new adventures, and excitement. But months of a worldwide pandemic, confined spaces, and isolation began to take a toll on us.

“I’ve walked closely with the Lord since I was eight years old, but change, loneliness, and loss can cause old wounds to resurface in anyone. I was in a state of deep depression and so was my daughter. And soon after that, my husband and I walked through struggles in our marriage. We were arguing and fighting and not agreeing on anything. Through that season, it was my daughter who helped me realize there were things I needed to work on in my own heart to become a better mother and a better person. I realized I couldn’t fix everyone around me, but I could work on myself, so I began searching for answers.

“My search led me to the Equip Library. I jumped right in to the three Next Steps courses and began applying the lessons I was learning. And I saw changes! When my daughter walked through a challenging season, I was able to meet her with love and understanding instead of judgment and condemnation. I felt a peace that surpassed all understanding. And I found two marriage classes: ‘Our Secret Paradise’ and ‘Emotionally Healthy Marriage.’ These classes really helped our marriage! The Equip Library has helped me more than you will ever, ever know. The things I learned changed the trajectory of my life, my relationships, and my thought patterns.

“One of the things I love most about the Equip Library is that it’s always there. I love watching Gateway online, but sometimes, I need a little more or something more specific. Usually, I find it in the library. If I need freedom in an area, there’s ‘True Freedom.’ If I need help with money, there’s ‘Blessed Stewardship.’ If I need help getting back to the basics, I can take ‘Healthy Foundations.’ The Equip Library is more than a database for me, it’s a personal touch. When I was alone and in need, the Equip Library had content to encourage me, teach me, and stretch me toward growth. I didn’t need to be close to a campus or wait for a class to be offered. If I’m struggling with something at 2 am, I know I can find content that will bring me closer to the Lord and help me find His peace.”

Tami and her family are moving with their RV to North Carolina in the spring, and they’re excited to take Gateway Church with them! They plan to launch the first North Carolina Gateway Gathering and bring encouragement to their new community.

Like Tami, all of us face struggles from time to time. We live in a world filled with broken people—ourselves included! There will also be seasons when community isn’t readily available, or the pastor isn’t teaching on your specific issue. But the Lord still speaks to us in these moments. If you find yourself struggling in an area or without community, pause and ask the Holy Spirit to help you recognize His presence and comfort. And then visit the Equip Library to find content to encourage and help you as you grow. If you’re near one of our campuses, join us for in-person Equip classes and community nights! You can also text PRAYER to 71010 to let us know how we can be praying for you during this season.