Brett Konomos, 18, came to Graceway after being invited to a Lord of the Rings marathon.

Growing up all over the Kansas City metro area, Brett went through multiple divorces as a child. He hasn’t seen his biological father in almost a decade. He describes himself as not being a bad kid growing up, but his view on people and what life should be and what it could be was skewed due to his upbringing.

His sister, Erin, had been attending Graceway for a year when she invited Brett to come to the movie marathon and he gladly accepted the invitation. “I met all of these wonderful people that night,” he said, “they were all so nice and friendly.”

After the movie marathon, Brett began attending the church. “I only came for the people at first.” And after a few months, he began to listen to the messages being spoken.

In the beginning, getting involved in the church was difficult. “I see all of these families living together. Seeing moms and dads live together in the same house was weird. I found myself jealous of what others had. How come I couldn’t be raised with both parents and going to church?”

Brett came to know Jesus one evening while volunteering at a children’s ministry event. Another volunteer, and former coach of Brett’s, approached him that evening asking him about salvation. Brett was open and stated he had not yet accepted Christ. This man opened up the Bible and began sharing with Brett the love of God and began describing God as our Father. Hearing these words, Brett began to break. It was that evening he accepted Christ. “All of the kids around me started cheering and clapping. It was really cool, “ he recalls.

Since salvation, Brett describes himself as being more generous and more empathetic. More understanding of situations that others experience. Not being able to open up previously about how he grew up, he found friends that would push him to be real and honest, and talk freely.

“Coming to Graceway has made me more confident in myself,” he stated, “I’ve found friends that actually care about me and how I am doing. In high school this was so important to gain confidence in who I was as a person.”

Brett still finds it difficult to have relationships with people. “Because I think they will just leave,” he says, “my life has been constantly changing.”

This past year he describes as being one of the most consistent in his life. Even through consistency, he describes feelings of anxiousness and just waiting for something to happen, but is thankful for how far he has come. “God has placed people in my life that I can trust now and I have been growing away from mistrust over the last year. I’m thankful that He has placed people in my life that I love, trust and rely on now.”

Brett is currently attending the University of Missouri – Kansas City and is majoring in communications and hopes to get into advertising. He isn’t sure yet what all God has planned for his life, but is excited to see how His plan unfolds and what God has in store for his future.