A Prevailing and Present God
Jenna Przybyla has one of the most difficult last names to decipher but is one of the most genuine smiles at our Downtown Campus. We’ve asked her a few questions as a way for her to share about how her welfare has been promoted as she submits to God’s sovereign grace while involved with the ministries of Harris Creek.
HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME CONNECTED WITH HARRIS CREEK, and HOW HAS YOUR INVOLVEMENT DEVELOPED OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS?
I’ve been at Harris Creek for 5 years now and the overall theme looking back I would say is that God’s plan ALWAYS prevails! What began as a “I’m going to go to Harris Creek because that is where all my friends are going,” soon become a very clear “this is where God wants me and had planned for me to be.” At first, Harris Creek was just my routine-Sunday-go-to-church thing. My second year, it became my small part-time job. My plan was to make a little bit of money “serving”—paid position as an evening childcare worker while adult Life Groups convened—in order to shop a little bit more. HIS plan was so much more for me. God placed very special families in my life that year. Families that opened their homes to me, fed me, loved on me, and most importantly prayed for me. The next year, I felt God telling me to join a Life Group, and once again His plan prevailed! He placed me in a college Life Group and somehow a couple months later, I became a “leader” of that group. By no means was that my plan, but God provided for me every step of the way. That same year was when our Downtown Campus began to really grow. I got an email saying they were starting a greeting team and I just really heard God say GO! To me it was an easy thing to do, just show up a little early and say “Hi” to incoming people. God ONCE AGAIN knew what exactly what He was doing—imagine that! I serve consistently with the Downtown team, and I love the opportunity to welcome new and familiar faces each week. Having finished college and being a young professional now, I went into the Life Group Kickoff night earlier this fall determined to take a break from being a leader and join someone else’s group. God had bigger and better plans. I left that night starting a brand new young professional Life Group and laughing that I really thought my plan was going to work out for what was best for me. God has provided a large team of different ages from Harris Creek that are joined in my spiritual army helping me fight Satan everyday. They pour eternal things into my heart and truly love on me like God loves. God put me in a situation where I can see clearly the things He is doing through Harris Creek. The more I get involved, the more God shows me, provides for me, and teaches me because God is present with Harris Creek.
YOU CAME TO CHICAGO TO WACO FOR YOUR UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE AT BAYLOR, BUT YOU CLAIM WACO AS YOUR HOME NOW. HOW ON EARTH COULD THIS BE!?!
More recently though, I have heard God so clearly at Harris Creek. I remember the first time Brady talked about how you can’t grow where your roots aren’t planted. This was about the same time I was job searching and graduating college. I looked back and saw all that God had provided for me the past 4 years at Harris Creek and knew that in this season of life God was calling Waco my home. If you were to tell me during my freshman year at Baylor that I would be calling Waco home, I would have laughed at you. A Chicago girl in Waco… ha! I knew God was telling me to plant roots down here. This past February, I went to turn in an application to a school to start teaching the following school year. On that same day, a teacher had to resign due to medical reasons. I was offered her teaching assistant position on the spot. My first day, the lead teacher told me she gave her two weeks notice. I was and am so undeserving of this job. I hadn’t even graduated college yet! Plus, I have never heard of two teachers in the same classroom having to leave in February for medical reasons. Story of my life GOD’S PLAN ALWAYS PREVAILS! And guess who God provided as my assistant teacher? Rachel Reid, a fellow member of Harris Creek! I finished out the year teaching and graduated from Baylor. Since I was teaching preschool (half-day), it was only a part-time position. I was feeling anxious about my financial situation. I had a confidence and peace knowing it was God’s plan for me to teach at Woodway Christian School, but I knew I needed to look for another job in order to pay bills. I got an email from the director of a child development center (who also goes to Harris Creek) saying she had two full-time positions open. I had already signed my contract with Woodway and knew God was placing me there for this year. Normally, I would respond in an email politely declining, but my parents encouraged me to go in and talk to her in person. The meeting could not have gone any better. Little did I know there was also a part-time teaching position open in the afternoons! God provided for me financially by giving me two part-time jobs.
This school year started off really hard. The week before school started I found out I didn’t pass a certification test, my dog passed away, I experienced a loss, was heartbroken, and experienced some really harsh words said about me. Typically in the past this would have been a time of sadness, self-pity, and dwelling on my self-worth. With all the loss and heartbreak, I typically would buy into the lie that “I am not loveable.” But this time, in this season of life, it was different. I remember the Sunday before being at the Downtown Campus. I had felt God preparing my heart heavily that morning. It was still summer so the full crew of college kids was not back yet and although there were a couple seats open on the lower level, I knew that God was preparing me for something intimate with Him, so I went up to the balcony to be all alone that morning. Brady talked about Genesis 50:20.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good
to accomplish what is now being done, the saving lives of many.
With all these harmful, hurtful words being spoken in my life and in my own thoughts, I was questioning God saying, “Why are you letting this happen to me?” Alone in the balcony of the Hippodrome I found myself on my knees crying out to God to fight all of the lies the enemy was feeding me. He did much more than that! He not only held me through it all, but he LOVED me, provided for me, and gave me hope and joy. He had been placing people from Harris Creek in my life for the past five years and I wouldn’t have gotten through this season of life without them. I not only had God on my side fighting for me, but He provided an army at Harris Creek who held me, loved me, and prayed for me. Although it has been a season of grief, the community of Harris Creek has helped me realize all along the truths about our God: that grieving is good and in times of grieving, God has a hold of me. He has intended it for good, growing me each day into the woman He intended for me to be. My joy comes from the Lord! He LOVES me, no matter what! I could talk forever about how much I love what God is doing through Harris Creek! I know what God has done for me through Harris Creek and believe He can do the same and much more for the generations to come! I am excited that God is using us to plant seeds for generations to come, and the “Our Turn” campaign is one additional clear reminder of our ministry potential.
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED YOUR FINANCIAL COMMITMENT TO THE “OUR TURN” CAMPAIGN?
I have looked at my budget and prayed a lot about what it means to give sacrificially towards this project. I have been tithing 10% of my income for about 2 years now and know the next step from proportional giving is to give sacrificially as much as I am led to give. Although a lot of my budget has parts where the amounts are “fixed” like rent, insurance, loans, etc., I noticed that there were parts that I could cut back on, that were more of “wants” than “needs.” While praying, I also realized that I, in a way, had worshiped and/or idolized two parts of my budget: food and clothes. I am the last person on earth who needs any more clothes, and I throw out and spend way too much money on food. I felt like God was telling me to use that money for eternal things. I have decided to cut back $100 dollars a month from my food budget and cut out my clothing budget. These adjustments will allow me to double my annual giving to Harris Creek. I feel like this is the step God is telling me to take right now, and I am confident He will provide more ways for me to give more generously in the near future.