Ariene Allen

Stories

I moved to East Texas in August of 2015 and started a job that sent me on one of the greatest adventures of my life. I was working at a boarding school and it “just so happened” that the house of girls I became responsible for had been attending Pathway. When I first started to attend, I didn’t click with Pathway immediately. While the people were warm and friendly, it didn’t quite feel like home. Attending once a week on Sunday morning was not even close to what I needed to connect but it was all I had, so I kept coming.

When I started to sense that my time at that job was coming to a close, I began to ask God what my next step would be. As a young woman without local family attachments, I was open to go anywhere. I searched and searched for jobs but none were working out. One day, God spoke to me through a phone conversation that I was having with my mother. He said, “Find the church and the rest will follow”. So I prayed, “God, where is this church that I am supposed to find and how am I supposed to know that it is the right one?”.

A few Sundays later, I was sitting in worship at Pathway and felt this sudden shift in the atmosphere. I had never experienced anything like that at Pathway but I knew God was doing a new thing. Shortly after that, we began the initiative to raise money to purchase our new land, and to my surprise the land was paid in full in 2 weeks! I really began to see the heart of the people of Pathway as well as the faith and leadership of Pastor Marty. My mind was blown, but I still wasn’t fully sure that Pathway was the place for me.

While I was not ready to get involved, I was curious about where my place at Pathway would be – where I would get connected. I opened my worship guide one Sunday and Worship Entry Point was listed as one of the upcoming events. I asked God if this was something that He would want me to do, and if so to have them talk about it in the announcements that they put on the screen. Sure enough, they announced it for the first time that weekend. Not only that, my friend— who had no idea what I was walking though or what I had been praying about— nudged me during that announcement, almost encouraging me to take the step.

I took a step of faith and registered for Worship Entry Point, but the challenge was getting the time off to go. At the time, I was on call almost 24/7, so leave time was never guaranteed. When I put in the first request, it was denied and I was distraught. I thought I had heard the voice of God and then things were not going as planned. In my brokenness, I heard God say, “Ask again” and I did. Second time through, my leave was approved! I went through Worship Entry Point where I found out that I also needed to go through First Step. This meant trying to get leave again on such short notice, but God came through again and I was approved to go.

After months of prayer and preparation, it was finally time to leave the boarding school. All I knew was that I was supposed to “follow the church”. I didn’t have a place to live or a new job set up, so I moved in with a friend and started serving at Pathway. Not long after that, God provided the funds for me to move into my own place in Longview and I kept serving. A month later, God opened up a temporary job for me and I just kept serving. Month after month, I just kept serving. On May 16, 2017, I started my first day as a full-time staff member of Pathway Church and my life has never been the same.

Over this past year, I have experienced more freedom and more joy than I have in my entire life. I can honestly say that I have found my church (my family) and the rest has followed. Most of all, I know that my best is yet to come!

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