Hey, party people! My name is Sierra Sanchez cue music. This beat is automatic, supersonic, hypnotic, funky fresh. Did you start singing? If you know, you know.
I grew up in Killeen/Ft. Hood, Texas. You probably don’t know where that is, it is in between Austin and Waco. I grew up in a military family and we went to church multiple times a week. When I was young, my family was deeply hurt by the church, which ultimately led to us not attending church at all. My parents thought, if this is what God’s people are like, we are out! I could see the way that no longer attending church was impacting my parent’s relationship and our family.
This started me down a long road of finding my identity in things the world told me would bring happiness but often brought despair. From ages 12-23, I found my identity in academics, sports, popularity, affirmation from others, alcohol, parties, and my boyfriend. I wanted people to think that I had it all together when in reality, I was falling apart on the inside.
By the age of 23, I had been arrested for public intoxication, my 8-year relationship ended, and my family life was chaotic. I feared my “perfect” image would be ruined and hated God for how my life turned out. A coworker invited me to The Porch, Watermark’s young adult ministry. I would attend on Tuesdays, but I did not want to change. Instead, I turned to alcohol and guys to cope. Shame and guilt consumed me. After a night of drinking and a one-night stand, I hit rock bottom.
My coworker shared about forgiveness, love, and grace. It was life changing to realize that Jesus died on the cross for MY sins and that I am not defined by my sin. My true identity is in the Lord! I am fully known by others and God has been so kind to put an incredible community of believers around me.
I now have the pleasure of being on staff with our recovery ministry, re:generation. God used this ministry to show me that I trusted Him with my eternity, but I did not trust Him with my day-to-day. I got to learn that God is good regardless of circumstances. Now, I get to be on the other side of those conversations and point people to Christ.
While I never thought I would be on staff at a church, the Lord has been so gracious to open this door. The previous 6 years before coming on staff here, I worked in mental health and suicide prevention. God has given me a heart to care for those who are hurting and looking for freedom. I now get to use the same skills and knowledge I learned to help others every Monday night and point them back to the one person that will bring true freedom, JESUS!
Come join us on Monday nights. We would love to see you there!