Flashback Friday - My Faith Journey
This week Linda has urged us to take a look back at our years of growing up, and how religious views impacted us for the good or bad. She shares honestly about her own journey, which you can read at Mocha with Linda. She added the following disclaimer:
A couple of cautionary notes. . . As far as I can tell, the overwhelming majority of my blog readers are Christian believers. This flashback is not intended to bring judgment on anyone's past or present experiences, nor is it meant to prompt theological debates or discussions of denominational differences.
Here are the prompt questions to get us all thinking and remembering, taking a look at our own hearts in the process:
Did your family attend church when you were growing up? What are your earliest memories of church? Did you attend VBS (Vacation Bible School) when you were young? Sunday School? Other church activities? Was faith a Sunday-only thing or did it impact your life and the things you did? If faith and church were not a part of your growing-up years, when and how did you begin and what drew you to God?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I am the daughter of a Pastor and both parents were teachers as well. I thank God daily that I was blessed to have such a firm foundation. I realized early on how blessed I was to be surrounded b adults that were so deeply committed to Jesus Christ. We often had recording artists, missionaries, and evangelists in our home.
I was a public school child but I realized early on that the best lessons were learned at the feet of these men and women. These moments influenced our own Homeschool journey.
While my parents immersed us girls in the Word and family of God, we each were left to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour when we were ready. I remember being five and attending an Evangelical Friends church in Damascus, Ohio. Daddy was serving on the head board of the denomination, at that time. He sat next to me on this particular Sunday morning. When the invitation was given, I leaned over and asked Daddy if he would go to the alter with me. He asked if I was sure. I was, for we had discussed things recently and my parents had answered a multitude of questions. Down I walked in my pretty pink and white dress, little white patent shoes. I knelt and cried and as I told Jesus that I loved him. I was so sorry I had been bad and had trouble with lies. I asked him to forgive me and wash me clean. I asked him to be my Lord and Saviour. I understood forgiveness because my parents had lovingly displayed it in the home. I told him all I believed about him. My earthly Daddy held my hand as I accepted the love, mercy and grace of my heavenly Father. We quietly went back to our seats and sat down. Very few people knew what took place that day at the alter. It was overtime, as they saw my passion and attitude that they knew. I remember an older person asking me why I had a new sparkle, and I explained, "Cause I now have Jesus! I am his child!"
My passion for this love I felt continued to grow and fueled every moment of my life. I lived out my faith, the best I could, every moment because I so did not want to let my Father down. I loved him so much that He influenced every decision and action. I was blessed to have activities, people, books and television shows that all reinforced what I was learning. Our lives were imperfect yet I always saw how we survived. I never doubted that if we called upon Him, then he would protect, provide, and grow us. All of this gave a peace throughout growing up. Sadly, I became so caught up in what I call perfection for the Lord that it became unhealthy.
Reverence, respect, and obedience are all worthy pursuits but are unhealthy when they cost us from missing out on a personal relationship with our Saviour. Legalism had to give way to realizing that I was not only a sinner when when I was 5, but at 15,25,35, and I will be at 45. I don't like the fact that I know I will fail and make mistakes but I do at least know. I know He will still love me, and he will take that moment to mold and grow me more like Him. I still try to live out my love and passion for my Lord, my faith in Him and the hope of eternity. I try daily to serve him and worship Him with my daily life, with all I have. Now, compared to when I was younger, I know Him more personally. I can tell someone why I love Him, why I have faith, and why I believe what I believe. I can do so unashamed.
I know the depths of declaring and 100% trusting in this statement from Psalm 18:2:
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.
*My parents served in ministry for over 40 years. My husband and I have served for 23/ 21 years of it married. Our daughter has chosen to serve him full time through Missions and Music. we do so not for material or earthly rewards but so that everyone may know of His unfailing love!