This is a guest post from Alison Wilms, an intern in our Leadership Development Program.


I packed my bags and all the belongings that I could fit into my blue Honda Accord. I said my goodbyes to everyone and everything I knew… and drove over 900 miles from northern Ohio to this place I now call home.

I didn’t fully understand why God was calling me to Jacksonville, or what my life was going to look like after I arrived, but I knew I had to come, even with the risk of falling flat on my face. 

I had applied for many jobs and even had a couple interviews, but being so far away made it difficult. I knew that if this was going to happen I just had to pack up and go. I couldn’t ignore His nudgings anymore. So I came.

I came holding on to the words that  He had spoken. He told me this would be a place of community where I would grow in my giftings and grow into the person God created me to be. I came trusting He would lead me and provide for me.

I decided to make River City Church my home after connecting with some of their members on a previous visit. I met with one of their staff who encouraged me to apply for their Leadership Development Program.

It all began to make sense. 

This was why God had me come. 

Although not always easy, my time in Jacksonville has been just as God promised. It has been so much more than I could have asked or imagined! 

He has blessed me with an incredible community that has spoken into my life. People to walk alongside me, pray with me, encourage me and speak truth into my life.

I don’t know that I can fully express all God has done in this past year, but if I could sum it up in one word it would be: 

FREEDOM. 

I've found freedom in dying to myself and being made alive in Him. 

God has set me free from so many things: lies I didn’t even know I believed, fear, and insecurities. He has revealed to me who I am in Him and how He views me. 

I am no longer a slave but daughter of the King. Through surrender to Him I have found freedom and JOY.

Sometimes God asks us to do things that don’t make sense and seem crazy, but He has a plan for our good and His glory.  

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) 

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