Lost. Drifting. In the pit of despair.
These are words Karl Murphy uses to describe the 2013 version of himself that stumbled through Faith’s doors for the first time.
It had been a tough stretch of life for Karl. After losing his wife at age 43 to stress-related heart disease, he experienced the torment of loss while battling mental disease. He underwent 14 years of psychiatric therapy and prescribed drugs. “My sanity teetered on the brink,” Karl explains. “But I did not fall in.”
Prior to his wife’s passing, Karl had once known and loved Jesus. He knew of the power of the Christ and his ability to overcome the darkness Karl was experiencing within. Still, for many years Karl resisted the call of God to come back.
Then one night, something happened. “I felt a soft, gentle tugging behind my heart toward Jesus,” Karl describes. “I thought I was finally going insane.”
But Karl walked into Faith Church one Sunday in November of 2013 anyway, “Just to get it over with,” he jokes. That day became much more than just getting it over with. Karl explains, “That day, at the end of second service with (Pastor) Brad’s help, I came all the way back to God.”
The journey was far from over. The next month a family emergency prompted Karl to reach out for help from Faith’s Benevolence Ministry, which exists to provide holistic care to those encountering financial crisis. With the assistance of Benevolence, he was able to help his daughter and son-in-law, who do not yet know Jesus, come to a place of financial stability.
Benevolence also provided Karl with the resources to meet with a Christian counselor, with the goal of him joining a small group at Faith. The Highfield small group welcomed him with open arms in November 2015 and Karl has found a safe place and a family within his small group.
After three and a half years at Faith, life looks a little different for Karl. On your next Sunday morning stroll through the foyer, you might see Karl joyfully taking in the buzz of the crowd, giving hugs and smiles like he’s made of them. He’s a different Karl now. At peace, filled with hope and joy.
“I'm a long way from being completed in Jesus,” says Karl, “but I'm getting there. While I face many struggles and deep emotional scars of my years in apostasy, my grip on the Cross and Jesus the risen Christ is stronger than anything I can think of to tear me away. Over these past three and a half years (at Faith), I'm found, no longer lost.”