Many of us can relate to going through different seasons of faith. There are times you may feel incredibly close to God and other times where you just feel spiritually drained. That’s how Allie Buchanan described her faith journey.
Allie grew up in a strong Christian family and was very bold in her faith. Her family was very active in their church and God was first priority in their lives. Then when Allie was 15 years old her parents got divorced. They left the church they’d been attending and struggled to find community in other churches.
Allie always felt most connected to God through music so she began writing songs. It was a way for her to process what was going on and allowed her to spend time with God. She would write out her prayers which she would then create into songs. Allie said, “He speaks to me through music and it’s how I communicate with him.”
She wrote over 300 songs, recorded many of them, did some studio session work, and also worked as a part time music producer. It was clear that God had given her a passion and a calling. It was a huge part of what made her Allie.
Allie met her husband Nick at church. They were married and were actively pursuing God together. They took on the role of youth pastors at the church they were attending. Allie says it felt like they were on their own. They weren’t given any resources or mentorship. There was no real plan for the future and they were exhausted both physically and spiritually. They were passionate about students but they knew something had to change. They ended up stepping down from leadership.
Allie said she was feeling spiritually drained and uninspired. When she tried to write, she couldn’t. It made her feel like she was letting God down. “I just kept thinking, I’m supposed to be doing this for God but why would he give me something so precious if I’m not going to use it?”
Then something happened. Allie’s mom Tracie reconnected with a woman she’s know for years, Sandie Stevenson. Sandie invited Tracie to the IF: Gathering at Chets Southside. Sandie knew Allie was struggling and thought this would be a good opportunity for her to be fed spiritually so she invited her to come with her.
Allie was excited about the opportunity to have community with other believers and be encouraged. The whole weekend was about being used by God and glorifying Him in everything you do. Allie felt as if God was speaking directly to her throughout it. “You’re good enough. I’ve given you this gift. I am with you so just trust me and do it.” She knew that God was calling her back to Him and the IF:Gathering was the encouragement she needed.
Allie and Nick went to church the next day and said, “You could feel God’s presence and a peace.” They said the preaching and worship was incredible. The way Pastor Jeff teaches is new to her and Nick, but they love it. “It’s not like he’s preaching at you but he’s walking with you through it” she said. It makes him more relatable and it’s real. They also visited a LifeGroup and met people who were genuinely excited to meet them.
Since the IF:Gathering Allie’s been writing songs non-stop. She feels like her passion and desire have been renewed. “My calling feels possible now because it’s been encouraged.” She says not just by God but by everyone she’s met at Chets Southside.
Allie and Nick have been overwhelmed by the genuine love, support, and encouragement they’ve received from their new church family. Allie described it like this: “God takes us without exception and loves us and that’s what Chets has done for me and my family. They’ve taken us in and made us family.”