This month, as we move into our new location in downtown Norman (110 S Crawford Ave), we asked 4 of our covenant members to write on how they have grown in 1 of the 4 core gospel identities since becoming a member of Providence Road. Suzie Price, a member for 3 years with her husband, Brad, writes on her growth as a learner.
Providence Road defines a “learner of the gospel” as one who abides in God’s word and applies it to his/her life. While abiding in God’s word, one learns more of God’s story, the story of others, and, consequently, one’s own story.
I have been a Christian for 56 years. That’s right, 56 years. During that time, I have lived in three different countries, visited and worshiped in a variety of locations, and have been a member of ten churches. When my husband and I became covenant members of Providence Road, we were invited to join a Missional Community (MC), which we did.
Within that community of believers, who were anywhere from 25 to 43 years younger than me, I discovered that the culture among current younger believers is one of transparency and honesty about their Christian walk. For most of my Christian life (until Prov Road) I had put on an invisible cloak of “goodness” when I was with other believers. I had the belief that I had to lead a perfect life in order to be “spiritual.” I spent a lot of time not disclosing to others the actual longings of my heart and the actual sin and rebellion I experienced deep within my soul.
For a couple of years, while serving as a missionary in another country, I needed to share with someone (anyone) the hurt I was experiencing. The hurt was so deep that I couldn’t pray and felt extremely separated from God. I knew other believers, but was so afraid of ruining my “spiritual” reputation that I hid my pain and suffered privately. Many years have passed and the issue which caused me to hurt was resolved a long time ago. But, at Prov Road, I have realized that if I had only been transparent those many years ago, God could have done a work in my life much sooner!
At Prov Road, I have experienced the trust given when someone shares their life with me. I have experienced the joy of spiritual growth as I have been able to openly share struggles and needs of my own with a group of believers who are learning “God’s story, their own story and the story of others.” My hope is that as I continue to abide in God’s word, I will always seek to be a learner of the gospel.