Andrea Smith

If you would have told me a few years ago I would be standing in front of a large group of people affirming my faith and desire to join the church, I would not have believed you. However, I have been attending Broadway for the past 10 months now, and couldn’t be happier to be part of such a wonderful church.

Last summer my career brought my little dog and me to Louisville.  Serendipity brought me to Broadway. A few weeks after my move to Kentucky, I found myself on a hiking trail with random people I did not know. Our group ran into Janis Eberenz on the trail, who was lost and trying to decide which path to take. After much convincing from our group, Janis decided to join us since most of those strangers seemed to know the trail well. 

Janis chose to walk along-side of me and we started chatting about Louisville.  She mentioned Broadway. Unbeknownst to Janis, my faith journey was new and part of me was seeking a church and people to help support me as I started this walk.  But part of me was hesitant about attending a church. 

Ultimately, when Janis invited me to Broadway, I decided to come because if random strangers could help her find her path in the woods, maybe random strangers could help me as I learned to navigate my path with Christ. 

I am so thankful that those strangers became friends. I have learned what a church family is, and I have found a safe place where my faith can grow.

A friend once told me that God can do impossible things with your life, if you just get out of his way. I used to think there was no truth to that, until I stepped aside. About two years ago literally everything in my life had changed. I started that year with my own plans and on my own path. It was a very destructive path that was suffocating and didn’t allow me to really live up to God’s potential. A lot of seemingly terrible things had happened within the first few months of that year. My life, which I had worked so hard to build seemed to be falling apart around me.  I discovered later that through all of this, God was placing the right Christian people in my life for when I finally hit a point where I would be receptive to their words. As much as I was trying to resist God in my life and deny his existence, he was becoming so evident that denying became impossible. When I made the decision to start living my life for Him, things started working beautifully. 

One of my favorite verses is Luke 17:33, which reads “If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.” Over the course of the last few years, I have learned that God can heal the deepest of wounds. He can pick up the shattered pieces of your life and turn it into something beautiful, if you let him. 

I am very thankful for friends along my journey who have shown me what faith can do. I have had such a unique opportunity to start my life over, and I know that not every woman who is in the situation I was would have had that opportunity. I am also grateful that Janis did not assume I had a church home, and that she extended an invitation to attend Broadway. 

We are all on our own journeys, and being baptized today is just one step in my journey. What makes this moment even more amazing for me, is being baptized by a good friend who has helped me navigate this journey of mine. Equally amazing is being surrounded by supportive people who are just as excited for me to take this step. For that, and so much more, I am thankful.