stories-of-tnl-strohmeyers

Stories of TNL – Carrie & Nathan Strohmeyer

When we think of TNL the first word that comes to mind is “home”

Carrie: I started going to TNL in 1999, a month after I came to Colorado for college. I had just met some people at Young Life and they were attending. I remember thinking it was SO far away, at the time we were meeting in Wheatridge and when everything you need in college is within walking distance, a 20 minute drive feels like a road trip. I had been to church prior to TNL, but wasn’t raised in the church. I accepted Christ as my Savior just months before coming to college, so it all felt a little new. I remember feeling super connected to the music. I remember Trevor’s sermons and just feeling like it was home.

Nathan: Growing up in a Catholic household, faith played a major part of our family life until middle school and high school. Up until my junior year of college, faith had taken a backseat to college and work. One Tuesday, Carrie and I were dating at the time and she invited me to attend TNL in Westminster. While my church experience up until TNL had been much different, I attended TNL on and off over the next several years. After Carrie and I were married and decided we wanted to have a family, we decided to become more active participants at TNL. We began volunteering on Tuesday nights, attending home groups, and trying to find other ways to give back to the community we called home.

Carrie: I think it took me a long time to accept Jesus because of some of the challenges I faced during childhood. I really struggled, not with the idea of God, but with the idea of how he could let terrible things happen if he was really so great and so powerful. Why would he let bad things happen, especially to me? And questions like these are the biggest reason I did start attending church…I was looking for answers. And I don’t feel like I got any answers or anything that made me feel better until I got to TNL.

TNL is a constant reminder to me to choose grace. I hear it in the back of my head, like the voice of a parent. When I’m going through life, in the little things, like being frustrated while driving, or in the big things like conflict with my mom or my kids, I’m constantly being reminded to choose grace. I’m constantly hearing God’s voice through this place, keeping me from being complacent and pushing me to be a better person, a better Christian, a better mother than I am today.

Nathan: When I was growing up, and actually even now to this day, when I struggle with my faith, I always want to believe that I am in control. One thing that stands out to me a lot at TNL has been hearing the pastors talk about how we don’t have that kind of control and how we can let go of that need, allow God to step into our lives, and rest in trusting him with ourselves. That has been really powerful for me. It’s helped me come along as a Christian and in my faith–being able to take a step back and say “I don’t control everything. God has a plan for me and if I’ll stop and listen to his voice, I’ll see the path he’s leading me toward.”

Carrie & Nathan: In about 2007 we started volunteering in TNL kids and it was pretty terrifying. At that time, there were no teachers, we were given the plan, but had to come up with the craft and everything. I still felt like a new Christian and completely unqualified to be ‘teaching’ anyone, even if they were 3. But, we did it and I think it was a really great way to connect and meet other families and people around TNL. Plus, it was a fun experience for us to share.

We have a 9 year old son, Landon, a 5 year old girl, Jackson, and our youngest son, Beckham, is 3. While we have visited other churches, TNL is where we feel we belong. It’s the only church our children really know. TNL has changed a lot in the time that we’ve started attending, but it’s the only place that we call home. We’re so thankful for all of the teachers our children have had the blessing of learning from. It’s such a peaceful feeling knowing that we’re not solely responsible for raising our children in Christ’s image. Knowing that we have a support system of people praying and caring for us, it’s been the biggest blessing to our family.

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