Patty attended Alpha in May. Here’s her story:
I was in a really dark place before I received an invite to Alpha from one of your volunteers. I was battling some pretty severe depression, my mom had just been diagnosed with cancer, I was having problems at work—I was in the middle of a perfect storm. It was affecting my physical health, and was causing me to detach from a lot of my personal relationships with friends and family. I was lost and had given up on any chance of search and rescue.
I came to Alpha because it felt like a last-ditch effort to save myself. I truly felt that if I didn't try something, try to leave my house, try to have something to look forward to, I wouldn't make it more than another few months. So I did. I hadn't been to a church in four or five years. I had never been to Willow Creek before. Driving into the parking lot, having no idea where to go, being overwhelmed at the sheer size of the place … something compelled me to park, to find a door, and go in. I followed the signs, and found Alpha.
It's only now, in hindsight, that I know the “something” that compelled me was God. He was guiding me, despite all my hesitation, toward people and a place that would be truly accepting. He was pushing me toward a grace that I didn't believe I deserved from anyone but found in a group of mostly strangers.
I am truly grateful for all that Alpha has brought to me, and I truly believe I owe my life to everyone who has been a part of the last nine weeks, and I believe the best way to thank everyone is pay that forward.