From Isolation to Belonging – Cyana

Greater Things   -  

I visited First Naples in 2015 for the first time and I began attending services weekly, but I really never got connected or plugged in. I was strongly encouraged by another church member to join a group to make connections. But I used being busy as an excuse to just attend church and not get involved.

I later had two kids and, after a failed relationship, becoming a single mom, and pulling away from the church, I received an email from the church in 2022 inviting my kids to an event.

That’s when it clicked that I needed to be a part of the church.

I needed to be pulled out of the pit. I felt like Joseph in the pit, you know, after the failed relationship and all that.

At that moment, I no longer wanted to feel isolated and alone. 

When I attended the event with my children, Mrs. Joanne was there. I talked with her a little bit and they accepted me as a single mom.

They didn’t see me as just a single mom, they saw me as a sister in Christ.

I started attending church again and had my children dedicated. I can tell you, I no longer feel all alone. I feel loved and supported. It’s comforting. 

I actually gave my life to Jesus last year when I rejoined the church. The week that I started attending, my grandpa passed away in Brazil. My grandpa was always a big part of the church back home and that’s when it clicked. I grew up in a Catholic church so I got baptized as a baby, but I wanted to always be baptized by immersion. When the opportunity came in April, I decided to get baptized because I always wanted to do it at the beach. My kids got to see me, their mom, professing my faith in Jesus. After everything I went through, my kids can see that I love Jesus and that they can trust the Lord.

I also joined the Women’s Bible Study. I didn’t have a physical Bible, I usually just used my app. So Mrs. Kim Hayes, my table leader, gifted me with a nice Bible and she engraved my name in it and everything. She gave me some tabs so I can learn how to open the Bible to the correct books. That’s what I’m doing now for Bible studies – I use my own Bible!

I have a support system that I can count on in difficult times.

I wanted to get involved more and began to volunteer in the preschool ministry. So I have been serving weekly for over a year now in a classroom. Through fellowship in the Women’s Ministry and serving weekly in the Preschool Ministry, I have built relationships and a support system for me and my kids.

I think we’re called to serve. It brings community. I just feel that the church is a little family to me. I love it. I love being there every single Sunday, serving.  It’s a good support system of believers. 

If I talked to someone in my same situation, I’d tell them if they don’t know Christ they really should come to know Him and join the church like I did. They won’t feel alone like I felt before. They’re going to have a support system and they’re going to grow in Christ with other believers. To me, it’s the people, the pastors, the preschool ministry. It’s just amazing. I love the program for the kids. Before I joined the church, I visited other churches but

this is my place. First Naples.