When I was a little girl, we would go to church occasionally. My mom is Catholic, my dad is Lutheran. Neither was what you would call a regular. In fact, my did pretty much only went to church to see one of us kids get baptised, celebrate first communion, or get confirmed. Otherwise, he did not darken the doors of a church. There is a story there, but it's not mine to tell.
Mostly, we'd go maybe once a month. I remember we went a little more often once we moved to Mississippi. The church there was nice. I liked the Father. He was nice. But he left after a year, and I didn't really want to go much after that. Then, my parents split up. My mom moved out. I was devestated. She would still come over before and after school every day, but it wasn't the same.
After a couple of years, my dad started going to church again. So some Sundays we'd go to the Catholic church with my mom, and some we'd go to the Lutheran church with Dad. I still wasn't that into it, it was just something we did. Then Dad got remarried, and he got more serious about church. He went EVERY week. Then, and this was a real kicker, he decided he wanted to go to Seminary. So we moved to SC.
My mom managed to find a job out here and she followed us. If I went to church at all, it was to Catholic church. I didn't want to go with Dad. I guess I was still rebelling and angry at moving. I tried going to CYO, but all the kids went to a different high school, so I didn't really fit in.
When I went off to Furman, I started attending Mass on campus. I met some really nice people, and started to go every week. I sang with our little group during Mass. It was fun. I met a nice boy and started dating him. This went on for a couple of years. We even got engaged. But my heart wasn't in any of it. Not Mass, not singing, not dating Chris. Senior year, I broke it off with him, once and for all. I stopped going to Mass.
I went on foreign study that winter. I traveled to Egypt, Jordan, Isreal, and Italy. It was AWESOME!!! I was so blessed to have those experiences. But I saw things there that really shook me. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The church in Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, where Christians/Orthodox can't seem to share and get along. The final straw was St. Peter's in Vatican City. The hugeness, the ornateness, the works of art, the splendor. I couldn't reconcile this with what I thought Christianity was all about: helping the poor, being a good person, living a simpler life. When I got home from foreign study, that was it. I told my mom that I didn't want to attend church anymore. I told my dad. They were not happy about that. But they gave me space.
After graduation, I started dating Weston. After a few months, he invited me to go to church with him. He taught a class of senior citizens, his "grandmothers". They were sweet. His church embraced me with open arms. I went to Sunday school, worship, Wednesday night fellowship. The pastor, Don, was such a great guy! He listed when I talked.
I watched the way Weston lived his life, how at peace he seemed. And I wanted some of that. I joined his church, and it was a great fit. But I still felt like something was missing.
When we moved to Columbia for my job, we didn't go to church right at first. Then a couple of my students mentioned their church to me. I thought, Why not? And then I met Pastor Barrett. It seemed like every Sunday, he spoke to me. He challenged me to do more, to be more. I got involved with Bible school, took Disciple Bible study, started going to Sunday school. And I felt alive! I couldn't get enough of Jesus and His Word. I wanted to know His plan, to make sure I was following His lead. I made friends. I had found a church home.
So, that's where I am. I have added singing in the Praise Team to my list of church activities now. I love to sing, and I love to praise God. We've got a new pastor, Kevin, now. He's not the same as Pastor Barrett (whom I miss terribly), but he's also a great spiritual guide. Weston and I have dedicated our lives, and our children, to Christ. We've had a few bumpy spots. Even starting Seminary isn't easy. I pray multiple times a day, sometimes continuously, about everything. Traffic, tests, the kids, books, you name it.
Was there one specific day where everything changed? When I gave my life over to Christ? No. It's been a gradual process, started by my husband. He didn't know he was planting a seed. He was just being his usual,wonderful self. He turned me on to things I didn't even know I was missing. I'm so glad he has been my partner through this.
It's all about the journey. And I'm so glad to be on it.
Thanks to Lauren at Created for HIS Glory for this Bloggy Tour of Testimonies.