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Ilysia Martin

If you told me 5 years ago that I would be a married woman serving as a worship director at a church, I would have never believed you. My life has taken quite a few twists and turns in the journey to get me where I am at today. But that is just how God works isn’t it? He takes our best made plans and proves that He has something much better in store for us.

I have always called Rochester my home. I have lived here my whole life and my entire family is from the area. In 2012 I began my first year at Roberts Wesleyan College as a piano performance major. I was really unsure about what I wanted to do with my degree, but I felt like music was the only thing I knew how to do. The first year and a half were tough. I went through a season of depression and doubt and I started to question everything I had previously accepted. I did not know what to do with my life and I felt broken. But this brokenness led me to the feet of Jesus. 

Following this season where I felt like I had hit rock bottom, I made the decision to completely surrender my heart and my will to Christ in a way that I never had before. I truly desired for God to direct my paths and I laid all of my plans in His hands. I had been involved in worship ministry for many years, but it was at this time that I really felt God’s calling on my life to be involved in worship ministry full time. I was scared. Getting involved in ministry is hard work. And I was unsure whether or not I would even find any employment opportunities in my field. But God is faithful. 

Almost immediately after I really chose to follow the music ministry path, God provided outlets for me to use my gifts. At one point, I was leading worship for 3 different churches on a regular basis. Then I, by God’s perfect will, came upon a job opening as a worship director in Canton, Michigan. Neither my husband Spencer, nor I, imagined we would be living out of the state for our first year of marriage, but God had different plans. 

Our year in MI was an amazing growth experience both for our relationship with one another and our relationship with God. But both Spencer and I have always had a heart for Rochester and we were so blessed when the opportunity arose to serve at Koinonia Fellowship. I just want to tell you that if you are questioning whether or not God is listening and whether or not He answers prayers, I have seen first hand His powerful work in my life. We, as finite human beings, cannot possibly see the whole picture so sometimes it is hard to trust. But He really does have everything planned out perfectly. 

Psalm 37:3-4 tells us to “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Let this scripture be a comfort for you in the times when it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and when your vision seems foggy. God is faithful. His vision for our future never clouds. He is all-knowing and His ways and purposes are so far beyond our own comprehension. Every day I battle with thoughts of worry and fear of the future, but then I remind myself of the truth of Romans 8:28 which tells us that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” If you struggle to trust, just remember that He is the only One worthy of our trust and adoration. He will never fail us. 

Both Spencer and I are so thankful to be a part of this body at Koinonia! We are so excited to get to know the members of this flock and to worship Jesus Christ alongside all of you!

 



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