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Outpost Stories

Brooklyn Williams was born into a family of God-lovers, with a grandfather and dad who both served as pastors. The tapestry of her childhood memories is woven with the bright, friendly background of the churches she loved growing up in: first in Idaho and then in Cody. Sunday School, mid-week kids’ programs, ministry opportunities, and church friendships were the threads of her early childhood. But when she was taken out of the safe and comfortable setting of her church home as a pre-teen, the simply-woven beauty of her happy childhood began to unravel. Without the familiarity of her church home, she felt lost, and, by her 8th grade year, depression and loneliness had deepened into an internal questioning of whether life was even worth living. Read Brooklyn’s story to see how the Lord rescued her from the “pit,” drawing her back into relationship with Himself and showing her that her security, identity, and dependance needed to be in Him, and not in a church building. 

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Brooklyn Williams

Brooklyn: I grew up in a pastoring family. My grandpa was a head pastor in Idaho, and my dad was a children’s pastor. When I was seven, we moved from Idaho to Cody for my dad to be a children’s pastor here. I have always been a part of a church, always done church activities. Going to church was a core piece of my development. Shortly after we moved to Cody, I attended VBS week at our church, and I gave my life to Jesus. I wanted to know that Jesus was in me, that my life and future were in Christ. 

For a few years, life in Cody was idyllic. Brooklyn loved their church home, loved Jesus, and loved the Christian friends she had made. But, as Brooklyn neared middle-school age, circumstances changed. Her dad resigned from his job as children’s pastor, and their family was asked to leave the church.

It was so hard. I was mad at everyone. I didn’t understand either the mistakes my dad had made, or the way it had all been handled. I was mad at everybody involved. 

As Brooklyn entered middle school, she struggled. Without a church home, or the comfort of Christian community, the strands of her faith frayed. Church had always been her refuge, and it was gone. 

In eighth grade, I struggled with depression. I was a gossiper, and I was arrogant, but I also felt like I was a burden to my family.

Thirteen-year-old Brooklyn had lost the joy she had once had in the Lord. Suicidal thoughts crept in, and she felt like she was – almost – at rock bottom. A boy in her class at CMS did commit suicide that spring, and the shock of his death served to awaken Brooklyn to her own life. 

I realized how wrong it was to ponder suicide – how selfish. I knew there had to be another way out of the darkness. I began to pray and to seek God. I reached back out to my Christian friends, I went back to youth group, and I reconnected with my family. 

That summer, I recommitted my life to Christ. I learned to forgive and accept the circumstances that were a part of the story God was writing for my life. I realized that, all along, I hadn’t really had a close relationship with Jesus. Rather, I had had a relationship with the church body and the church building. When I was taken out of that environment, I really faltered. 

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"I realized that, all along, I hadn’t really had a close relationship with Jesus. Rather, I had had a relationship with the church body and the church building."

The Lord began to rework the unraveled strands of Brooklyn’s faith and joy. He showed her how to have a genuine relationship with Himself apart from a local gathering – while also being part of an earnest community. When Brooklyn was entering 10th grade, her family joined a group of on-fire Christians to plant Outpost Community Church. As part of that team, Brooklyn witnessed others who had endured church-hurt walk out both forgiveness and faithfulness. She saw leaders who were seeking to “be the church” by following the Bible, and who were striving to passionately reach the lost with the saving message of Jesus Christ. 

As I have walked in relationship with Jesus Christ, I have seen Him changing me from the inside out – growing the fruits of the Spirit in me and changing the way I approach situations and challenges. He is helping me to want what He wants. I have found that opportunities for sharing Christ are everywhere once you start looking for them. 

In following Christ, Brooklyn has seen doors open – and doors closed. One job fell through, and God provided another. 

In so many ways, I have found that I can look back and see God’s fingerprints everywhere. He is in my life, involved, orchestrating things for my good, so I can bring Him glory. When I pause and reflect, I can just see His goodness. Even the bad things are a part of His plan, part of the story He is writing. 

Brooklyn plans to attend the University of Wyoming to study library and computer sciences. But her future plans include more than simply pursuing a degree. 

More than anything, I want to live life on mission. I want to make a difference in other people’s lives, whether that ends up being with kids or teens, or college students. Wherever God takes me, I want to love others through Him. 

This summer, living on mission includes a trip to Mexico with her community group. 

We felt like the core value we were missing was “engaging missionally,” so we chose to go big and challenge ourselves to engage missionally in a cross-cultural setting. We will be working in Baja and doing both construction projects and VBS. 

As Brooklyn reflects on God’s goodness – especially His goodness in rescuing and redeeming her – she longs to share His love with others. 

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”  

2 Timothy 1:7 

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