Do you remember the first time you walked into a church? Was it by choice or were you made to go by your mom, dad, or grandparent? Can you recall different lessons you’ve learned in Sunday school? Was church a big part of your life?
I don’t remember the first time I went to church. I was a baby, I’m sure.My church attendance wasn’t by choice. I was made to go with my parents. Though I can’t recall any specific Sunday School lessons, I do remember learning the Lord’s Pray and the 23rd Psalms during Sunday School. For me, church was a huge part of my life.
Back then, circa 1995, I hated the idea of being a church girl, good girl, and preacher’s kid. I fought against the idea of having my identity defined for me. Subsequently, I rebelled against the good girl life. I did things that I knew were wrong from engaging in sex to sneaking and smoking marijuana- just because I wanted people to view me as my own person, not some boring church girl.
As I walk down memory lane and think of my earlier years, I realize that being in church consistently set a spiritual foundation in my life that has helped me along every step of my journey. At times in my life when I was sick, I instinctively knew how to pray. When friends would turn their back on me, I recalled how to go to the Word of God and find scriptures to help ease my hurt. Most times the pain wasn’t instantly erased, but when you’re hurting, some comfort is better than nothing at all.
Because of the foundation that was laid when I was a young girl, I developed a strong moral compass. I didn’t always follow the direction of that compass, but it made it hard for me to do wrong because I was burdened with guilt. It used to bother me that I couldn’t steal, or lie like other people around me. For me, if I tried to do certain things, the conviction of the doing wrong was so profound that I couldn’t even go through with the malicious deed. Because I had a solid spiritual foundation, I was able to use faith throughout my life. I was able to believe things that seemed impossible and call into existence things that I classify as miraculous.
At thirthy-two years old, I am happy that I was able to develop this spiritual foundation. Today I feel blessed that I had parents who consistently took me to church. As a teenager, I simply wanted to fit in with the crowd. It simply wasn’t cool to be the girl who always went to church. As an adult I realize that I was made to stand out– not fit in. I know that I am a beautiful creation of God and He wants the best for me. I also realize that my relationship with God is dependent on my continued study of His written word and my dedication to saving souls for Christ. Looking back, being a church girl, helped shape me for my ultimate life purpose.