Belong, Believe, Become

by Marissa Thompson

The most memorable moment from my childhood was going to church at Fellowship Greenville for the first time. I was in the third grade and the church plant that we moved to Greenville to start did not work out, so we needed to find a church. We had been going to different churches every Sunday when we decided to give the huge church near us a try. We had been to so many churches and none of them felt like they fit, so at this point, we were tired of looking for churches.

We walked into Fellowship (at that time it was called Southside Fellowship) and it had an atmosphere of home. My parents checked my sister and me into the children's program, and we went to our classes. It was very strange for me to be willing to be separated from my sister because at every church that we had gone to previously when I had to be separated from my sister, I would refuse to go and we would leave the church. But for some reason at Fellowship, I was ok with being separated.

I walked into the classroom and it was decorated like we were on a spaceship because the theme was spaceship redeemer. A woman introduced herself as Mrs. Corley and said that she was the one that was going to be teaching the class, she had a gentleness about her that I trusted. She then introduced me to a girl who was also shy like I was but had no problem introducing herself. As soon as I met this girl, I knew I liked her. She carried a stuffed sheep with her, how could I not like her? Even at our first meeting, it felt like we had been friends forever.

I had so much fun that day that I did not want to leave, so when my mom picked me up after the service I asked if we could come back next week. My mom must have had as good of a time as I did because my family came back the next week and the week after that, and soon we became regulars and then my family became members of the church. This is the most memorable moment of my early childhood because it is not only when I met my best friend, but it was when my family and I found a place to belong.

At Fellowship, I felt like I fit in. I felt like I didn't need to be anyone other than who I was, and it was where I met most of my best friends. As I grew up I made more friends at church, I became more confident in myself, and I became more confident in my faith. It was on a church retreat that I fully committed my life to Christ.

That first day at Fellowship was a stepping stone for the rest of my life. It allowed me to step into friendship, into a church, into a community, and most of all into a relationship with God. The first day at Fellowship might not have been this huge, big, and major moment where my life changed in an instant, but it was the beginning of a new kind of life for me.

When you think about it, aren't most of the important moments in life small and moments that lead you to change who you are or become who you were always meant to be? It was a small insignificant moment to me back then, but looking back that first day at Fellowship changed my life and helped me become the person I am today.