I've been meaning to take the time to write out the story of my Christian walk on my blog and just haven't gotten around to it. But here I am with a little bit of time on my hands (seems so hard to come by these days!) and I decided that now is just as good a time as any.

My journey has been a simple one. Or at least a straight-forward one. I don't have one of those major conversion stories about how I was a druggie and prostitute who ended up in jail at the end of my rope when God opened my eyes and changed my life forever. Nope. That's not me. And for a long time I felt like my story wasn't worth telling because it wasn't very dramatic. There aren't any crazy intense moments that reach a climax before I at last "see the light" and turn to the happily-ever-after that I've always wanted.

I was so incredibly blessed to grow up in a strong Christian household with parents who were (and are) REAL. They loved me and my brothers. They taught us to value ourselves, respect others, and learn about all that God created us to be. I am eternally thankful that God gave me such wonderful role models, and as a result of their love and prayers I remember sitting on my bed with my Daddy and accepting Jesus into my heart when I was just 5 or 6 years old. And somehow, no doubt only by God's grace, that decision stuck. Even as young as I was, it changed my life. I never looked back and I never questioned if I really "meant it" when I prayed that prayer. I knew that I did.

Unlike many who come to faith as children, I did not hit a rebellious stage as a teen or young adult. Like I said, the decision I made was real and it stuck. I remained active in youth group throughout my high school years and knew that God had a plan for my future that didn't involve all of the teenage drama. However there was one big defining moment for me as a teen. Crazy kid that I was, I remember standing in our kitchen one day and just crying out to God, "Test me! Try me! If faith is strengthened through trial, then bring it on!" Bad move. Ha! Seriously, if you ever ask God for a trial, He will deliver!

Over the course of the next year or so I faced a most unexpected challenge. Something I hadn't anticipated and certainly had never experienced. My expectations were that God would put me through the kind of trials that others would see... a death in the family, some sort of injury or life crisis, you know, the typical hardships that people endure. But God had something different in mind for me. Something I would have to get through more or less on my own. For the first time ever, I suddenly felt alone. God got quiet.

I can't explain why things suddenly felt this way, but confusion and doubt quickly flooded in. Where are you, God? What am I supposed to be doing? As I worked through this time in my life, I came to understand that God had taken my request for a trial and gave me the opportunity to stand on my own. Like a parent who lets go to allow a child to take her first steps. It's not that the parent has left or that they no longer love or care about the child, but they recognize the need for growth. God was helping me grow up.

I struggled for about a year, analyzing my beliefs, considering what God wanted for my life, and ensuring that this truly was the path I wanted to follow. I learned a lot in that time. For starters, I quickly learned that faith is not about feelings. When I no longer felt like God was near me, did that mean that He wasn't there? No. He was always there. I also grew confident that my faith was not just a result of mimicking my family... just following it because it's what I had been taught... but rather an honest decision that I made for myself. And I also learned more about loving others. I learned about stepping out of my comfort zone. Reaching others for Christ rather than sitting in my "holy huddle" of fellow believers. I learned that it's not just about knowing the Bible, but rather about caring for people.

After that period in my life, I felt rejuvenated and recommitted to what I had chosen on that day sitting in my room with my Dad. I definitely still struggle at times with finding the passion in my faith that I've seen in the past. My life feels crazy right now with raising babies and growing a family. Sometimes I feel like I'm failing at my mission. But being a mom is part of the mission that I have always wanted to have. I love my parents so much and am so grateful for the Christian example that they were. They helped me find the right path in life and keep with it. I hope and pray that I can do the same for my children. Even if the only lives I feel like I ever change are theirs, it will be worth it to me. I can only hope to one day be a part of their stories of falling in love with their Creator. That would make the perfect end to my story.
1 Response
  1. Kim Says:

    It is certainly a very brave thing to do - to ask God for a test or trial! But, you would not be the same person if you hadn't. My mom has had a huge influence on my Christian walk. You have an important journey and task before you! You will never have a greater impact on another human being than you will have on your kids. :)

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