The Stories of TNL – Keely Quinn

When I think of TNL the first word that comes to mind is “growth”

Who is Jesus? How does he play an active role in my life? How do I bring Jesus into the world? These are all questions I ask, and have asked myself, often over the years. I was raised in the church. My parents were raised Catholic but by the time I was in first grade, my family had made a decision to move to a protestant church.

Growing up I never had good answers to my questions. I took what I learned about Christianity and in my own way decided to live it out in judgment. I spent most of middle school judging those around me for using swear words, partying and participating in other high school activities. Instead of treating those around me with kindness, I treated them with judgment and hate.

It was all a part of a learning process, but it was also all a part of what lead me to calling TNL home. In high school, there were some really cute boys from youth group who we heard were attending, so naturally we followed. After high school all I wanted was to leave the church I grew up in. While friends and I church shopped, we went to TNL every Tuesday until we come to the realization that a church that meets on Tuesday is a totally reasonable place to call home.

Over the years TNL has given me many things. It’s provided me with community, taught me more about Jesus’s true character, given me opportunities to serve to those in and outside the church and so much more.

Through Royal Family Kids Camp I was exposed to a population of kids I had never known and my heart was, and is, broken. Going to camp completely changed my life. It gave me the eyes to see the hurt of the people are often villainized. It taught me to look for the other side of the story. It taught me to love without question. I can honestly say Royal Family has changed the trajectory of my life. TNL’s willingness to step into the world outside our walls has given me a calling I never would have imagined when I was younger.

As many of you heard a few weeks ago, I recently thought about leaving due to personal reasons. I brought my story and concerns to Phil and he approached the topic with such care and compassion, and a desire to be better.

It’s the desire to be better that keeps me at TNL. When I mention feeling hurt and left out as a single person, TNL steps up and does better. When I mention a lack of care for those inside our walls, TNL steps up and does better. Our leaders are humble and open to criticism, which is part of what makes TNL a safe space.

Today I can say that I do my best to live a life like Jesus, and by best I mean clumsily. I have plenty of shortcomings and the whole thing is quite messy, but I work daily to leave behind the judgment I carried with me in the past and instead go into the world with open arms. I love that we are all accepted here. I love that we are all asked to be better. I love that we are invited to join the way of Jesus. I am deeply thankful for TNL, both TNL of the past and the TNL we are becoming.


Categories: Stories of TNL