Sorry for the delay, it’s been a bit longer than I would of wanted before I came back to write, but we moved into our new house! We’ve been busy unpacking, painting, organizing and cleaning and we’re finally at a place where we don’t have any major projects coming up, whew!
So, I’ve had a lot of things on my heart lately but most recently what I’ve wanted to talk about is how I came to know Jesus. There are a few reasons why I want to talk about this, 1. I love hearing how people came to know Him 2. People that have known me for any length of time will know I was FAR away from ever even considering a relationship with God 3. If this is one way I can express my experience that might answer or inspire someone, then I will be overjoyed that I shared.
Here’s a little background on my experiences with church as a child. I will just say they were minimal. I have parents that both had experiences with Catholic churches. My father more so than my mother, he went to Catholic school from kindergarten to high school. My parents both agreed that they didn’t want to tell us what religion to follow, what was right or wrong, if we wanted to go to church they would take us and if we had questions we could ask.
We attended a Christian non-denominational church for about a year. I remember really enjoying it, but my brother didn’t really care for it. Since we were still in grade school and nobody was really feeling attached to it, we stopped going. I didn’t think much of it, I was young and I was starting to care more about sports and school. Time went on, and not until high school did I start to listen to friends talk about church, religion and relationships with God. I was convinced I didn’t need it. The sad reality is, when I look back at some of my actions I cringe and think, “Oh you needed Him!” (I’ll circle back to these actions probably in another post, they aren’t so important here). I always got quiet whenever someone would start talking about the gospel or bible verses; quite frankly it made me uncomfortable.
Fast-forward a couple years, I met my now husband Anthony. He told me he used to attend church in Oregon, another place here in California and that he always wanted to find a place to call his church home. My response to that was, “I’m not interested in learning about God.” I could tell that sort of crushed him. I was still convinced I didn’t need Him.
I graduated college and I moved home. Anthony and I got engaged shortly after I moved back and we moved in together with my brother. Life was kind of scary at this point. I didn’t have a solid job, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, my parents were recently divorced and everything just felt like I was standing on shaky ground. I didn’t really have anything to turn to or lean on. Our friends Curtis and Sydney, who lived right across the hall from us (Yes, just like Friends) invited us to go to church one day and we said sure. I think what made me curious was the chance for stability and something to put my faith and hope into. I vaguely remember the sermon; it was part of a series called, “The Red Letters”. I’d honestly have to go back and listen to the service again to tell you exactly what it was about. This was in July 2013. We didn’t go back the next weekend or for months for that matter.
October 20th 2013 was mine and Anthony’s wedding day. It was the BEST DAY EVER. My dad was the one that married us and friends and family surrounded us. A majority of my family members proudly attend church, and there were a large number of them in attendance at our wedding. I looked around at everyone and something in me moved me and I whispered into Anthony’s ear at one point and said, “When we get back from our honeymoon, I want to go to church.” Anthony’s face lit up and he said, Okay!
November 3rd 2013, which happens to be my birthday, was the first day we went back to church. I was so ready to listen and hear what the pastor had to say. What I didn’t expect was the overwhelming feelings of peace that I experienced that day. Erin Wible spoke about anxiety, which anybody that knows me knows I have no short supply of anxiety. Anybody that goes to church, you know how sometimes you walk in on a Sunday morning and the pastor starts speaking and the message is EXACTLY how you feel, almost to the point that you feel like you’re the only one in the room? That’s how I felt this day. I probably cried 3 or 4 times, not exaggerating! I was ready to come back the following week without hesitation.
I started reading the bible and everything was clicking to me. There were some things going on at that time in my life that I was so very stressed about and I needed strength. I found it while building a relationship with God. Every second and minute that I dedicated to reading His word, the better I felt. I knew that I wasn’t perfect and that He still loved me! That His grace would save me, save us! I made the decision to allow Christ into my heart during a women’s event at our church that December. That decision helped me get through SO much since then. Every trial that I’ve experienced, I’ve asked for His guidance. I trust that He will guide me and my husband down the path we are supposed to go down and when we fully trust Him, we are right where we are supposed to be.
Anthony and I got baptized together on February 8th and it was the greatest experience to profess my love for God in front of our church with my husband right next to me. It feels so good to be able to have my quiet mornings and conversations with God. Whenever I need support, all I need to do is seek Him and my anxieties fall away.
I am so thankful for where I am at today in my faith. Anthony and I teach a class at church for kids K-5, and let me tell you, we’ve got some amazing kids in our class and they remind me every week what it’s like to be childlike in your love for God.
If you hung in here all the way to the end, THANK YOU! If you want to ask me anything about any of the things I touched on in this post, let me know!