What This Year Has Done For Me

“The Lord replaced my exhaustion with perseverance, my stress with peace and my discontentment with joy.” – Brett Bradshaw

For the 2015 team of Watermark residents, God has used this last year to change their hearts for the better. The Watermark Residency Program offers real-life ministry experience, intensive Bible study and leadership training to people who are interested in vocational ministry. Here is how the Lord has worked in the lives of just a handful of residents over the last year.

BRETT BRADSHAW “Not too long ago, I sat at Watermark, exhausted, stressed out, and filled with discontentment about my job. The hymn ‘It Is Well with my Soul’ began playing in the Worship Center, which prompted me to ask myself, ‘Could I say that it is well in my soul in the midst of what I am feeling right now?’ God used that hymn to lead me to a place of trust. The Lord replaced my exhaustion with perseverance, my stress with peace, and my discontentment with joy.

“Because of my experience in the Residency, I now have an even greater awareness of the faithfulness of God. I did not know where the Lord was leading me when I began the program, but He has faithfully established each step along the way. Through my relationship with Christ, I can now sincerely say, ‘It is well with my soul.’”

DANIEL CRAWFORD “As I finished my commitment to work for Teach For America in Houston, I was admitted to an MBA program at Rice University. Rather than going straight to graduate school, I decided to work for Mission of Hope, a ministry in Haiti, for a semester. While I was there, I met a girl named Kelly who interned alongside me. I also met several people from Watermark who came to serve there. To make a long story short, I eventually married Kelly and landed in the Watermark Residency Program rather than business school.

“I’ve spent this year studying through the Bible from start to finish. I’ve truly seen for the first time that the same God who created the world and made promises in Genesis is the God who I get to worship and serve today. The Bible is one big, connected book and His character is the same yesterday, today and forever. I think it is both humbling and hilarious that the same God of the Bible both allowed me to craft my own steps and in time revealed his true master plan for my life.”

KATIE MORRIS “For a while, my life was all about me: my accomplishments, my image, my reputation. As I matured in Christ, I realized I had nothing to offer on my own, and my life could be a platform for Him. It is freeing now to be fully known and loved by my Creator and knowing and loving Him in return. My life isn’t necessarily easier because of it. I don’t have a money tree or the American dream of a husband, 2.5 kids and a white picket fence house in suburbia. But what I do have is the greatest gift of all – the knowledge that Christ is so much more than all that. Truly, no matter what comes my way, the Lord is better. “Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.” (Psalm 63:3)

HANNAH PRATZ “As I grew to know the Lord more this year, I have been able to let go of trying to control an unknowable future. I’ve given control of my life to a very knowable, trustworthy, and faithful God. Every word of Scripture points to the holiness and goodness of our God. As I’ve allowed myself to wrestle with Scripture and commit to studying it, God’s Word has come alive to me. The Lord has exposed the idols of my life and replaced them with the knowledge and truth of God’s Word.”

CIARA O’MODHRAIN “After graduating from college, I started a job as a 5th grade teacher in West Dallas. Afterward, I planned to go to law school and become an advocate for people in poverty. But then I became sick, which forced me to quit my job as a teacher. I felt like I’d let so many people down – my parents, my 80 students and myself.

“Later, I decided to apply to the Watermark Residency Program and couldn’t deny that the Lord was beckoning me to this role. I received the greatest gift in return. There’s nothing better than developing a love for God’s Word. That is what this year has done for me.”

NEESH HUDDLESTONE “When I turned 26 I figured that since I’ve had the same temperament for more than 20 years, I would probably stay this judgmental, critical and impatient for the rest of my life. But over this last year, God has refined me in a way I thought was impossible. I have learned more clearly that God wants me to obey Him not only because He is powerful, but also because He LOVES me. While reading through the Old Testament, it was evident that God desires me to first love Him, and that love leads to obedience. Now in situations where I would normally respond with irritability or a condescending comment, I’m reminded of how patient God has been with me and to depend on Christ’s power.”

To find out more about the Watermark Residency Program.

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