Sunday, January 20, 2013

It was a big step, but it was worth it.

Some Christians have a moment in their life when they gave their heart to Christ and see their lives radically changed.  My story is a little different.  I have posted my story on my blog where I came to faith in Jesus.  I was a kid when Mom explained salvation to me and my sister.  I made a profession of faith at the kitchen table.  Of course I accepted Jesus as my personal savior!  I went to church every week where the bible was read.  I knew who Jesus was and what he did for me.  I listened to Christian radio with my mom when we went places.  It was the right thing to do.  As I grew up, I learned more what it meant to be a Christian.  Mom got me a student bible and a subscription to Brio magazine, made for teenage Christian girls.  I was interested and wanted to do what was right, but I can't say I had a clear understanding of what it was all about.  I read my bible, spending more time in the commentary and extra stuff than the text itself.  A couple times I had the desire to read the bible straight through, and started in Genesis.  I always got stuck when I got to Leviticus.  Too many rules and laws to understand.  Inevitably, I would give up and read bits and pieces here and there. 

When I was seventeen, I got a job at Ponderosa Steakhouse and started dating Eric.  Like me, Eric was raised in the Catholic church.  From my reading, I knew that it was against God's rules for me to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever, so I made sure to witness to him.  He accepted the gospel as many Catholics (myself included) do, like, "Of course I believe Jesus died for my sins."  I felt sure that I wasn't trespassing any major no-no by accepting his proposal of marriage. 

We had Drew right away and, of course, with it soon after came a diagnosis Fragile X.  I have to say, that was the single most thing that has made me examine my faith and learn to rely on God.  The more I learned from the bible, the the more I wanted to be in a bible-teaching church.  I bugged Eric about it and he was greatly opposed to the idea.  Around a year after Drew was born, my sister and her family left the Catholic church and became Methodists.  I wasn't altogether comfortable with that, but went with them to church, while Eric went to church at the Catholic church.  I got involved in a Beth Moore bible study and really liked that.  It was nice to talk with other women who wanted to learn more about God's Word.  Eventually, we had a group of six women meeting every week for bible study.

My going to the Methodist church didn't make Eric happy, though.  For reasons I won't go into here, he was not happy with my going there.  But I wasn't happy going to the Catholic church.  I didn't feel that I was growing spiritually.  Eventually, I made a deal with him that I'd start going to church with him again as long as he didn't give me a hard time about going to a weekly bible study.  He agreed. 

I never stopped listening to sermons online and on the radio.  I have always been interested in end-times.  Even as a kid, I thought I'd be alive when the "end of the world" would happen.  It scared me then, but as I have spent so much time studying about end times, I am excited about the proscpect of Christ's return.  As it says in Titus, His return is our blessed hope. 

For a couple years, I have been listening to prophecy updates by a JD Farag, pastor in Kaneohe, Hawaii.  He, himself is a Palestinian Christian.  He relates what is going on in our world to bible prophecy.  I have been talking to Eric for ages about end times, the rapture of the church, and of Christ's return.  I am not sure when exactly, but he started listening to propecy updates with me.  We already listened to Steve Hadley, a Calvary Chapel pastor from Reno, Nevada regularly. I had previously looked at Calvary Chapel's website to see where the nearest CC church was.  It said the nearest was at least 40 miles from our house.  I figured that was too far, so I let the notion go.  It so happened that Pastor JD Farag was also from Calvary Chapel. One day,  Eric said, "If we had a Calvary Chapel church near us, I might be interested in checking that out."  I decided to check the CC website again.  It so happened that there was a Calvary Chapel church in St. Marys, which is only 15 miles away!  I told Eric, but didn't press the issue.  I let it sink in a couple days, then asked him what he thought about it.  He said he'd be interested in checking it out. 

We were nervous the first time we went with both our kids.  Neither boy was used to going to church, so it was a big transisiton for them. Kelly and Tony and their kids switched to this new CC church a few weeks before we did.  We made up a picture schedule and we gave it a try.  To our surprise, Drew was very relaxed there.  He is the one who has the most difficulty with new experiences, usually.  Being a fifth grader, he was allowed to go downstairs to the children's teaching, but at the time, he had too much anxiety about stairs, so we kept him with us for the teaching.  Danielle brought Blake downstairs with her, and he seemed pretty comfortable with it.  The people were very welcoming and the pastor taught straight from the bible, the thing I'd been longing for.  The music was contemporary, which is quite a deaprture from what we were used to.  But, being a regular K-Love listener, I was familiar with some of the songs. 

In July, I spoke with our church about Fragile X.  Everyone seemed interested and wanted to get to know us better.  It has been wonderful.  It feels like we fit in.  I know not everyone understands our leaving the Catholic church, and while I try to be sensitive to that, I do not regret our move.  Eric has grown so much in his faith since we made the switch and we have been blessed by it.  Events occured (outside of my control) that caused our old bible study group to disband.  I was upset about it at the time, but I have to say  that too, has been a blessing.  I have been attending bible study at my church every week and have learned a lot and gotten to know our members better. 

Today we had a fellowship meal after the service.  It was in the basement of the church.  Drew still doesn't love stairs, but Pastor Jim walked down with him, so it was ok.   Blake was overstimulated by the noise of it, so he and a couple other kids went into one of the classrooms and played together.  Drew took his place by the door and greeted people and shook their hands as they came by.  Eric and I ate and talked with other members of our church.  When it was all over, we gathered our stuff up and went home.  Just a normal part of our day.  What a change our lives have taken from a year ago at this time! 

Not sure the point of this post, but I have been wanting to blog about it!


fragilemom said...

I think this post is an incredible testimony and I think you guys are great for not putting God in a box, but instead searching for Him more. I pray this church continues to love on you guys and that you see more and more of Christ....He does work in mysterious ways!