Launching Point Testimony — Estelle

Launching Point Testimony — Estelle

Hello! I’m Estelle and today I will be sharing my experience taking
the Launching Point bible study.

I’ve been attending church ever since I could remember. I was
born into a Christian household and these beliefs about God were
implemented into my life from a very young age, so growing up, I alway
felt I had a fairly good understanding of God and where I stood in my
relationship with him. I always felt generally confident in my faith–and
then the pandemic hit. I believe that throughout those two years of the
pandemic, I really started to figure out my morals, what I believe in, and
the type of person I wanted to be. Although this was ultimately good for
me growing as a person, it wasn’t particularly good for my faith.

There was a period of time when I had a lot of conflict with certain
family members, and this is not me trying to shed them in a bad light
because they’re completely entitled to their opinions, and I fully respect
that–it was just a bit difficult for me when we’d have drastically different
views on subjects that were especially important to me and their only
reasonings and arguments always had something to do with
God–whether it be, “oh but this is what God thinks” or “this is what the
Bible says” or “this is what Christians should believe”–and this ended up
eventually changing my perception of God, leading me grow a sort of
resentment towards him and Christianity as a whole. I began to fall more
and more out of touch with my faith and ended up forming this view of
God and the faith to be a bit hateful and unfair.

It wasn’t until the first winter youth retreat since COVID that I
realized just how bad my relationship with God had gotten. It was at this
retreat where I finally acknowledged just how burdened I felt with my
faith as it heavily conflicted with my beliefs on certain subjects and, by
the end of the three days, I made a promise to myself that I would try to
clarify any misconceptions I might have about God before ultimately
deciding on if I want to try and rebuild my faith with him–This is when I
decided to take part in the Launching Point bible study.

I felt it was the perfect opportunity to learn more about the faith,
answer any questions I had, and, most importantly, see if my negative
views about God and Christianity were accurate. I went into this bible
study with an open mind and an open heart, and throughout the eight
weeks, I’m glad to say that Launching Point managed to do all of those
three things for me. There was one session in particular that really spoke
out to me. During this session, Pastor Anthony addressed many
controversial subjects within Christianity and what God’s stance on the
various matters truly were. I remember vividly after that week’s session, I
came out of it feeling an overwhelming sense of relief. My views of God
and Christinity as hateful, unjust, and oppressive were all proven to be a
misjudgment. Everything keeping me from moving forward with my faith
turned out to be just misunderstandings. After fully processing this, I felt
a tremendous weight lifted off my chest, and this conflict with me and my
faith had finally come to an end. I’m so incredibly thankful for that
session and, to this day, I still hold the conversations that took place
during it very close to my heart.

Before Launching Point, although difficult for me to admit, I carried
a lot of shame in my faith. I always avoided conversations about
Christianity with my friends as I was afraid of the negative stereotypes
that would come with it. At the time, I didn’t want to be associated with
what I thought to be an unjust religion that strayed so far from where I
truly stood. Now, after having taken the bible study, I no longer feel
shameful to call myself a Christian as I finally learned how forgiving,
loving, and good God really is and I fully have this bible study, and more
specifically, Pastor Anthony to thank for that. I learned so much
throughout those eight weeks, and could not have asked for a better

Thank you for listening.