Kassie's Story

The Jedding Family

The Jedding Family

As a child, I grew up tagging along with my friends on Sunday mornings. But I never fully understood or accepted God’s desire for me or the price that was paid on the cross. Six years ago Joey and I decided to join some friends at their Church in Dumfries (Image Church's previous location). I remember that I was hesitant to attend because I was unsure of my beliefs and concerned that I would stick out as a nonbeliever. Unlike my husband, I had not yet accepted my Savior. I remember pulling up to the warehouse and feeling even more uneasy as it was unlike the Church locations that I had visited in the past. Upon entering the building, we were greeted by several members of the Church. These people genuinely cared for us - this was evident after just one visit.

Pastor Chris preached about the importance of God’s love and loving one another. At the end of his sermon, he began speaking about the Cross and what it meant for everyone. It was then that it all came together for me and I realized God loved me regardless of my past and the mistakes that I made. Jesus paid the price of my sins on the cross and made it possible for me to come to God through my repentance and by living by the Word of God.

Pastor Chris then proceeded to explain that Baptisms would be taking place in a couple weeks and urged anyone who wished to profess their faith to come and speak to him or an elder. I remember looking at Joey with tears in my eyes and saying that I wanted to talk with someone about Baptism but I was anxious that I would not know the right answers. My husband told me that I would know the answers and to have faith. I spoke with Pastor Chris, and by the end of our discussion I was registering to be baptized a few weeks later.

Image Church was there for my family during this time. After the Baptism, we slowly became involved in other areas of the Church. A year and a half later we finally accepted an invitation into one of the community groups hosted by Brian and Alex Shifflett. This group welcomed our family and encouraged us to dive deeper into God’s Word. They helped hold us accountable for our actions, and prayed with us as we faced obstacles in our personal and professional lives. They comforted us and provided hope by speaking God’s Word to us as our family battled an overbearing co-worker, a high-risk pregnancy, and as Joe received orders that would eventually take us away from our beloved Church family.

God also transformed me in other areas of my life during my time at Image. In the past and even on occasion today, I suffer from anxiety. This makes it difficult for me to reach out, express emotion, and discuss my thoughts and build relationships with others. However, I felt God calling me to use the gifts I have for working with children within the Church. I began to assist in the worship in Discovery Land. This was where I began to go beyond being just a regular attendee and a disciple within the Church. I became someone who gave back by discipling some of our youth and helping them to better understand God’s desires for each of us.

From 2015-2018, we were away from Image and resided in North Carolina. We returned this year and struggled to find excitement in returning to the NoVa area, except for the fact that we would be able to once again attend Image Church. We returned to a community that welcomed us back with open arms. It was like we had never left. After a couple Sundays, Joey and I realized that this was part of the plan God had for us. I began serving again during worship in Discovery Land, and I took another step forward to begin teaching in the 3rd-5th grade class.

Being an active part of Image's children's ministry I-Kids has greatly impacted my life. It helps me grow in discipleship. It encourages me to help make disciples as the Bible calls for me to do. It enables me to give back to our Church and help God grow in our local community by helping the children find ways to reach their friends and family for Jesus. It reminds me that we are all still growing in our walk in Christ regardless of our age and that we should continue to find ways to enhance our spiritual growth as individuals and as a Church. The children ask questions and I am sometimes left searching the Bible to better understand the answer. I get to celebrate their accomplishments and pray with and over them as they encounter challenges in their lives just as the Church community has supported my family. My service in this area reminds me to continue to pray for others and to find more ways to give back to not only our Church community but the community around us that still needs to hear the glorious news of Jesus!

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