Since moving, I have been on a journey of sorts. See, when I was younger, I practically LIVED in the church. Since Deddy was a full-time music minister, we were at church every Sunday, Wednesday, and most days in between. Those days roaming our large church and just spending time there were some of the best I’ve ever had.
I mentioned Vaughn in my last post. He was “officially” my youth minister for about a year. (Remember we moved to Georgia?) Well…. 1 year isn’t a very long time, but in that short amount of time, I learned how to question, read, praise, and worship. Some of the most important things for Christians to do. I was part of the youth praise team, too. It. Was. Awesome. Our youth also attended a conference called DCLA. It was phenomenal to say the very least. The part of that week that sticks out the most to me was when Vaughn let us form groups of 4 or more and told us to walk around the conference center and pray with people. *Cue the skeptical looks of teenagers*
“Is he serious?”
“So you’re saying we have to go up to strangers and ask them to pray for them?”
“What if they say no?”
Those are just some of the questions we had. We were thrown completely out of our comfort zone- and now that I think about it, that’s totally weird that we were because aren’t we supposed to do that on a daily basis? Maybe “supposed to” isn’t the right term to use…. So let’s go with “should do” instead. Shouldn’t we Christians do that often? Shouldn’t we teach our children to be open about praying for and with others? I think so. So back to DCLA. My group consisted of my 4 best friends at the time and myself? Amy, Ryan, Mary Katherine, and Cole. We started walking around looking for someone who we thought might need a prayer. Finally we saw 2 women come out of a building that had paper all over the windows and old, torn posters on the walls. (This is just my memory of it. Ryan remembers thinking they were prostitutes or something of that nature.) We walked up to them and since I was the designated “leader” of our group, I introduced us all and told them where we were from and that we wanted to pray for them. All they did was smile the whole time. They joined hands with us and we prayed. I can’t recall what we prayed about, but I do remember them saying “amen” during the prayer, and other words of agreement. When we were done praying, they thanked us very sincerely and we all went our own ways. We were never told their names and obviously we don’t know anything about them, but I just can’t help to think, “We could have made a HUGE difference in their lives with just those 5 minutes we spent with them.”
All of this is to say- I was on fire during that year…. Until I moved to Georgia. For about a year or so I kept it up… well…. sort of. I was more like warm coals than I was like the fire I had been. After a while, even the coals were just cold rocks. I still believed but I didn’t act on my beliefs and didn’t act as a Christian should. The past few months I have been fanning those coals which have burst into flames. They’re still small, but I definitely feel them growing stronger every day. I have found it a lot more easy to talk to people about my faith and about the Bible than I ever did before. I am teaching the high school girls on Sunday nights at my church. I’ve even made time to meet with some missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints almost on a weekly basis. I have read some of The Book of Mormon and have talked with them about the doctrine and traditions of their church. While I personally don’t believe in The Book of Mormon or that Joseph Smith was a 100% true prophet, it has made me dig deeper into the Bible and do more searching on my own to find out different truths and to learn more. I have a new respect for their beliefs and understand it a great deal more. I plan on studying other denominations as well…. and possibly other religions. I don’t need to do this as a Christian, but I feel I DO need to do this as a human. To help me gain acceptance of the differences and to also be able to use what I know and learn to bring others closer to Christ, who is the truth and the baseboard of our very being.
Sorry for such a long post today. I didn’t even get to cover the topic I wanted to, so I will try to do that tomorrow. Thank you so much for reading and please PLEASE feel free to comment below!