When You're Open to God Using You in a New Way

Caroline Anderson serves on our Community Grants Circle, a collective of people who participate and advise in our grant-making process. She had her reservations at first, but soon found out that God was able to use her in ways she’d never expected. We asked her to share a bit about her experience—and what’s she’s learned from being on the CGC.

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Why did you join the CGC?

The short (and honest) answer is that a staff member at HFNY reached out to me and asked me if I would consider applying. The story behind that is a little longer.

It was the end of 2015, and I realized that I hadn’t been serving as regularly as I had in the past, and I wanted to change that. I made a few New Year’s resolutions—one of which was tied to giving and the other to service. It was around that time that a HFNY staff member reached out to me asking if I would be willing to serve with the CGC.

At the time, I didn’t even know the CGC existed, nor was I sure that I would be the best person for the role. I work in the cosmetics industry—what did I know about grant proposals? I was afraid that I was being entrusted with a serious responsibility, and that I would fail or not do a good job.

I applied and decided that if this was where God wanted to use me, He would find a way to use me. I was also worried about the dates—they were so far out, and I was traveling extensively for work and my schedule was often unpredictable. But God worked everything out and found a way to use me in a new way that I never would have expected.

What would you say to someone thinking of joining the CGC?

I would encourage people to pray about it and be open—God can sometimes use us in ways we never imagined. I had so many concerns when I considered joining the CGC. God showed me that He was calling me to His purpose at CGC.

I was reminded of Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

How has being on the CGC had an impact on you? On your view of the city?

Serving with the CGC has been an amazing way to partner with HFNY in God’s work in the city and to see a fuller picture of how the various affiliates are fulfilling God’s calling to restore the brokenness in NYC. It’s also revealed to me some of my own brokenness and ways that God still wants me to grow.