I was born into a home where my mom was a believer and my dad was not. My grandfather on my mother’s side had been a preacher and although I never knew him, that flavored our family still. My parents were older when I was born, 44 and 47, so I remember always feeling a bit different than other children my age who had young parents. We went to the East Chatham Methodist Church every Sunday. I do not remember much about Sunday School or church other than learning my letters to keep me busy during the service by writing the names of people in my family and when I acted up or was noisy, being taken out to the foyer to be spanked.
When I was a seventh grader, my cousin, Brenda, asked me if I would like to go to snow camp with her and her youth group. It was at Camp Keswick in New York state. I remember one night in particular where they played the film, A Thief in the Night. Afterwards, they asked if anyone wanted to come forward to pray and make sure they were going to Heaven when they died. I turned to my cousin and asked if she wanted to go. She said no, she already had. I went down the aisle and talked to a counselor who explained the gospel and prayed to be saved that night. I don’t remember a whole lot changing at that point. I had no follow-up or discipleship. As a teen I would sometimes go to church with my sister Faith’s family. They went a whole hour away to a church that had a missionary as their pastor. His sermons were full of meat and it was deepening to go and actually study the Bible.
When I was in high school, my cousin Brenda again asked me if I wanted to go to camp with her…only this time it was Word of Life Island. I had a blast. The next year I decided to go alone since my cousin was no longer interested in going. At the Island they had encouraged us to be brave and carry our Bibles to school with us. I did that for the last two years of high school. I never had anyone comment or ask me about it except one teacher who used me as an object lesson as someone who knew what I believed and wasn’t afraid to stand up for it.
When I didn’t go to church with my mom or sister, I would go to a little Greek Orthodox church in the next town over. I taught the preschool Sunday School class and sang in the choir. I loved teaching and learned a lot at this church.
When I went away to college I went to Word of Life Bible Institute. I learned a lot about ministry and the Word. I met some wonderful people; but I also saw a good deal of favoritism being shown by Word of LIfe and the administration. I saw a lot of works oriented Christianity although they would never had said you had to do or be something to be a Christian. It was taught, but not recognized. I learned discipline there…the importance of attitude and how sin always starts in the mind and attitude and travels to our feet, hands, and lips from there. There were many lifelong lessons I learned…but many lessons, too, that God has un-taught me over the years.
Word of Life is one of the first places I realized I didn’t fit. I had never fit in my home church in East Chatham, either, but it was because I was always interested in the Word and ministry and the other teens were not. That was a non-fit I could live with. The non-fit I felt at Bible college was due to something far different. For some reason I was never good enough or holy enough or smart enough or whatever enough.
This continued at Grand Rapids Baptist College where I went after Word of LIfe. I went to North Park Baptist Church and learned to do door to door evangelism for bus ministry. We invited little ones on Saturday morning to come out on Sunday morning to Sunday School. I was a part of the choir and college and career class until I married. It was then when we changed classes to the young marrieds, that I again didn’t fit. Transitions.
The most recent transition I have gone through has been as my children went out on their own. You have to understand I have been a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. This was my life. Raising and teaching my six children has been my joy and privilege. We move to NC and I had to search for work. It was the first time I had worked outside the home since I was newly married. Talk about transitions!
This blog is what came out of this time. It has been a dark few years, but the good and light that has come out of it is worth sharing. These are the things no one knows about me. These are the journeys life has brought me through. These are the lessons I’ve learned.