Northview Stories

Northview Stories Ben & Emily Kanable's Story: A Heart Turning to God

August 29, 2021

 

Ben Kanable:
I was raised in church. I volunteered in my old church. We were regular attenders, twice a week every week. As time went on and I started to ask questions, I found a lot of things that were just untenable. Like, I couldn't just accept that this one way of thinking was the only way. It didn't feel real to me because it was very legalistic. I was not interested in church. I was very much more interested in partying and hanging out with my friends. And, Sunday mornings were for hangovers, not for going to church.

One night, I went to a friend's house and was challenged directly about my views of Christianity and why I chose Christianity. In those moments, I realized I don't. I didn't believe those things because they sounded ridiculous. I absolutely went through a period of two or three years where I just did not believe God existed, that there was no purpose to life, and that it was all just an accident. And I just absolutely claimed atheism in that time. I spent three years rejecting Christianity altogether.

Emily Kanable:
He'd been drinking a lot more. It just felt like his entire life shifted and the family was no longer his priority, which is really, really hard. It was a struggle. I just felt really lonely for a long time and I just kept trying to dig in and asking God, "Please, I feel like I've gotten close to you and I feel like I've gotten so far away from my husband."

Ben:
Emily was inviting me to come to church. She just continued to invite me, and invite me, and eventually persuaded me to just check it out. And then when I finally did go, it wasn't like it was before. It wasn't the same kind of church. I just kept on feeling more and more of a tug on my heart.

I'd been going back to church for a while. I hadn't bought in yet. I still had my doubts. But Northview was doing their Christmas At The Movies series, and it was "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." And it just rocked me. I just broke. I couldn't resist anymore. I stepped across the line of faith. I would say that I have never felt inner inner joy and peace until that time. It straight up changed my life.

Emily:
I'd been praying for such a long time. And you pray these prayers and you want to be faithful in those prayers, but sometimes it feels overwhelming and it's not going to happen, it's going to play out. But, you know God is bigger than you are, so you keep asking and keep reaching out, praying. So when he (Ben) said, "I feel like I found it," that was the moment I felt God. "Your faithfulness, this is what you're supposed to do, this is what I'm calling you to do. Step out in faith and I will step in and I will do the rest." So there's this moment of knowing that God answers these prayers. It was awesome.

Ben:
After I stepped across that line of faith, I started serving. I joined a life group. And I will absolutely say that, past actually getting saved, the next most important thing would be doing community with people that you're able to be real and authentic with, that you able to share your struggles with. That has just been so invaluable to me. Life hasn't been the same since. When I look at my life now versus the way it was, it's the difference between having no rudder and no real direction in life; and now I feel that there's a purpose for my life. I feel content. God put certain people and situations in my life that just led me back to him.

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