Stories of Advent: God Never Fails to Surprise

By Tiffany Snowden

I am about as new to this community as anyone could be, having just started attending services around the middle of October. But I was moved to share this story of how, in that short time, I have experienced God’s amazing grace through Christ Church Cranbrook.

I was introduced to the community a little over a year ago through the AA group that meets here every Tuesday and Saturday evening. Christopher Bahrke, a member of the church, is my sponsor. I am a little over seven months into my journey of sobriety. Despite the gift this has been, my past still presents me with daily challenges going forward, both financially and within my own family. (Not the least of which are past due property taxes that I have been struggling to catch up on.)

As my sponsor, Christopher, of course, knows all about my challenges (as well as my determination to see them through), and apparently, during the “open prayer” time during one of the church’s prayer groups, Christopher asked if the group would pray for me.  

And then God surprised all of us.

Christopher called me later that day and said that someone was so moved by my story that they wrote a check for $1,000 to help save my home.

I was absolutely floored.  

My recovery program — and my faith — teaches me that I must decide to turn my will and my life over to the care of God. While I believe that with all my heart, it’s not everyday that I am blessed with such affirmation of God’s grace and generosity that is alive in the heart of God’s people.

Last week, Father Chris spoke of the parable of the sheep and the goats, and it was as if he was talking about the very person who was moved to care for one of the least with such radical generosity. 

This person wants nothing in return for their gift and wishes to remain anonymous. I am overwhelmed by their kindness, and I am looking forward to taking my place and giving back to a community that has already blessed me so much.  

God has truly worked miracles in my life. Moving forward through these still tough times, selfless acts like this continue to remind me how necessary a complete reliance on God is. His grace will never fail me nor fail to surprise me.  

Do you have a story of God’s amazing grace?  Advent is a beautiful season to share your stories of hope and how God has come into your life.  Send yours to Fr. Chris at charris@christchurchcranbrook.org and let’s share the good news of the coming of Christ into our world!

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