What Is ROOTED?
ROOTED is a 10-week spiritual formation experience designed to connect you with God, The Church and Your Purpose in unexpected, life-changing ways.
Scottie and Morgan's Testimony
I grew up believing I was a Christian from my grandmother’s influence. Jesus was a bad word in my house as a kid because my mom had issues with “organized religion”. I would get mad when people said they didn’t believe in God. I always remember loving God. Knowing him didn’t come until I was in my early 20’s. At 21 I was newly married and struggling with almost every aspect of my life. Life wasn’t easy dealing with my parents mental struggles and my sister’s autism. I had been the adult in my house since age 9. I fell into a depression and did my best to hide it. If faking a smile paid, I would be rich! My work friend became a roommate and she invited me to church. I remember the first sermon I heard Rick Warren give on that beautiful Sunday morning. It was called “When you’re running on empty”. I committed my life to Christ and over the next several years, did my best to live more like Christ and fight the enemy.
I learned a lot at Saddleback Church. However, I wasn’t to great at battling the devil because boy did I fall short in many areas thinking If I just gave more, helped more and worked more, I would experience happiness and unconditional love from my parents, spouse, family and friends. I became a toxic people pleaser and was sabotaging myself, my health and well being and also becoming a workaholic. The devil must have been loving it! I knew I needed a change and ended up leaving everything and everyone (except my husband) behind and moving across the country to Pittsburgh in 2012.
In 2016, after a long and chaotic battle with Type 1 diabetes, my husband went into Renal failure. My life had seemed to have improved in some aspects and I had hope again after moving but it all came crashing down when my life became all about making money and keeping him alive. There was no time to feel. No time to love myself or get to know myself going into my 30s. I just had to do more, work more and give more. I gained a lot of weight and went years without more than 4 hours of sleep a night. Through it all I prayed. I prayed for peace, and for restoration, for my husband and myself. If I just did more I could get us to a place of healing and we could have the life I had dreamed of. I never realized how broken I was and how sick my mind was for thinking I could fix any of it. Things just kept getting worse and the devil convinced me every time I felt a miracle that I wasn’t worthy because something worse would happen after. Later realizing my husband was not being faithful and he was also sabotaging his health due to his own emotional pain.
Over the next four years, my husband got his transplant, had a stroke, toes amputated and then transplant rejection and was too sick for another transplant. We started working on getting him placed in a care facility because I was starting to get sick myself. We were both headed for death. Him at 38 and me at 35.
2020 was when God started the “taking away” cleanse. It felt like a lot of loss and relief at the same time. It was a whirlwind and I couldn’t keep up. I surrendered. My husband passed away the day after his 39th birthday on December 31, 2020 from transplant rejection and dialysis induced heart failure. I entered 2021 a widow and identifying his body for cremation on January 1, 2021. After fighting demons for his life for years I felt like I failed but I was also so relieved. I watched him give up on life way before he got sick. I had my own surgery in January 2021 related to a cancer scare. God used my downtime to work on healing me physically and emotionally. In that healing I began to instill boundaries and choose myself and my well being for God’s glory. Toxic relationships fell and new ones slowly started to appear.
I found the Log Church through a friend’s suggestion that I try it. It was such a God appointed day that first day! It quickly felt like home and then Rooted was advertised and God lead me to join and confirmed I was where I was meant to be in a bold way (I go into detail about this in my blog). God was about to use rooted to destroy my deep rooted fear of rejection and self-isolation. He was about to show me, in a way I could feel it, how loved I am.
Week 1 I showed up. Somehow I ended up being the first to share the reader’s digest version of my story. I had made a promise to God to be more open and vulnerable and learn to talk to humans, outside of work, despite the risk of getting hurt, so there I went baring it all. Our leaders Matt and Candace did a wonderful job creating a safe and loving place to allow us to share some of our most shameful and painful experiences. We all vowed confidentiality and helped make a safe place for each other as well. Our first week was all about learning about who is God and talking about it. Everyone had a perspective to share from their own walks with Christ and it helped us all see things differently and deeper. As a Christian, especially a long-time Christian, you think you can pride yourself on knowing him because of his word. Getting to know him more through the eyes and perspective of other believers not only makes you love him even more, it helps you hear and see him more too. It becomes a part of you of really wanting to hear about others perspectives. After an impactful first week, the tone was set for so much more depth!
The next week we learned and discussed how God speaks to us and had a separate evening for our Prayer Experience. I was nervous about the prayer experience. The devil wanted to talk me out of it. I actually asked myself if I was Christian enough to get anything out of it. I prayed my typical prayer and asked God for help and just kept hearing the same old “Show up”. I showed up. It was the most important and life altering day of my entire Rooted experience. As I sat in my car for my one hour of individual prayer time, parked up against the walkway of hopeat dusk looking out over the hills of Pittsburgh, God revealed he was always with me and showed me literally hundreds of examples of the strength and sustainment he provided and the many miracles that occurred through my life, that my faith, even in the darkest of times when I felt alone but hoped I wasn’t, allowed me to keep fighting the good fight and when I was battered and bloody and had nothing left in me, he placed me in my cocoon for healing and restoration. After that night, I knew even in my loneliness, I am not alone. I thought I already knew that. I would have said to anyone who asked, “God is always with me”. To be shown, to see it, for all the many nights, sitting in my car outside my house for years for my safe place, and crying to God feeling unheard; and then to be shown that not only did he hear me, he helped me. There just aren’t words for how deeply overwhelming it is to know his love from that perspective! This miracle would not have happened without the Prayer Experience!
In the following weeks we read about and discussed where God is in the midst of suffering, there being an enemy and the spiritual realm, the full armor of God, our individual strongholds and tearing down the lies of satan, serving like Jesus, loving like Jesus, finding and applying our spiritual gifts, how God views money, who we were before our salvation and who we are after, sharing our story and being light in a dark world and the importance of our church. Each week more depth was added. Confidence was boosted. Passion for serving grew. Lives were changed and the group became our Rooted family. I’m simply in awe of what God can accomplished in 2 hours 1 night a week for 10 weeks! I shouldn’t be surprised as he created the world in 6 days.
So to all my brothers and sisters in Christ, I urge you to go on the Rooted journey. Let God’s roots replace some of the deep roots satan has placed in your life. May your love for God, your church and others allow you to live your purpose and share the light with others! Amen!