Growing Through Community By Alona Gibson

Six years ago, at my first national Vineyard conference in Anaheim, California, I decided that one day when I was old enough, I would attend the Heroic Leadership Institute in Lewiston, Maine. At the time it was the only site. This past May, after completing my first year of college, I realized that I needed a change in my life. I opened my Bible looking for answers. I was not expecting a HLI Lewiston flier from that national conference to fall onto the floor at my feet. Remembering the dream I once had, I applied, interviewed, and anxiously waited for acceptance into the program. To my surprise I got in! After several tears, God stories, and goodbyes I left Arizona for Maine and my life was forever changed.

IMG_2134.JPG

The biggest challenge for me, since starting this program, has been learning to listen to God. Through the first couple of weeks, I was not hearing from Him. I started wondering if coming here was a mistake. I dwelt on this thought until one day in class we did a spiritual check up and I shared my struggles. My classmates all surrounded me and prayed. Many things came to the surface that God has been speaking to me about, but I had not been listening! Since then, I have been able to recognize some of the areas that God has worked on and is working on in my life. Now this is still something I need to grow in, I am not suddenly just great at listening. Bummer! But, because of prayer, I was able to overcome this challenge, start connecting with our learning material a little better, and step out in faith a little more.

I am so thankful for all of the amazing integral people that helped me through this challenge. I am excited for all we will learn, grow in, and put to practice in this upcoming year!

 

Mary McKellick