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Iliana Kim

God has used The Orchard Northfield for my family as a refuge to heal, rest, get spiritual nourishment and become strengthened. In the third message in the faith series a few weeks ago, Pastor Colin asked, “Could you have thought that God has brought you to this place so that you can walk with God like never before?” This question spoke to me on many levels because I could not have imagined what God might be doing in my life. Being at The Orchard is a big part of what God has done to help me walk with Him like never before. Pastor Colin articulated what it meant to walk with God in a way that made this word come alive for me when he described it as living in a constant, conscious, enjoyment of the presence of God. Leaving the church where I had been a member and active volunteer for more than 20 years left me feeling vulnerable and lonely. I missed the fellowship and support from the church. However, when I had come to a point in my healing journey through counseling, I saw that to heal, I had to break away from the spiritually toxic environment in many of the people I was with. It was hard to see that I needed this and how this might please God. Two years later it is even more evident that it was the right thing to do. In his providence, God lead me through a process that involved recalling childhood memories, for the first time verbally expressing offenses committed, forgiving, receiving forgiveness, and giving my pain to the One whose stripes brought me healing. It was an amazing journey that was much more joyful than I expected with the help of an amazing counselor. Gratefully, my family has been wonderful in their support in this arduous process, never knowing what kind of wife or mom they would get that day. After four years of working with this I have been declared whole. And in every way, I feel whole. All glory is due to the One who made the stars, the universe, and who knit me together in my mother’s womb. Only He knows all the intricacies of the heart, brain, soul, emotions, the spirit world and how one affects the other. Jesus helped me to overcome all the doubts, unbelief, and fears that stood in the way. He provided exactly what I needed for each wound to heal properly. The Orchard has played a critical role in all of this. It has been the place where I have been led to heal and grow at the pace God has set for me. I can count on getting spiritually nourished each week. I have the room to just rest and breathe. I have been blessed by the pastoral support during times of need and my LIFE Groups. I am getting to know many warm loving believers. I do not know how to express my gratitude to the Lord that through healing has given me my voice when functionally I was mute. He has given me the ability to love and enjoy intimacy in relationships like never before. I am so grateful for the confidence of being in the love of God and knowing that no one can snatch me out of his hand. I am excited to think about how God might use the abilities he has unleashed to be a blessing to others.