I am a life-long christian who made it through adolescence relatively unscathed with her faith in tact. I have always been a christian in that I cannot remember not being one. From banging on a piano in a small town church basement at five to stepping out in college ministry and every stage in between I have “Fought the good fight, run the race”.
Throughout my Sunday School career I sang songs and did crafts and gave insufficient answers to my mom’s constant “What did you learn in Sunday School today?” question. I think this question had a magical ability to stunt my short term memory. I spent the entire car ride back from my first church retreat trying to come up with an answer to the inevitable question. I think I landed on “Prayer.”
Through it all I have stuck to my faith. I can tell you all the stories, I know all the answers. I have taken the spiritual gift tests, I have served others and been served by others. I have memorized parts of the catechism, I have recited the Lord’s Prayer in infinite variations (including Latin). I have participated in Vacation Bible School, scouts, pancake breakfasts, ski retreats, snow retreats, summer camps, and everything else you can think of and I have kept the faith.
Even with all this I have no testimony. When asked for one I spout on about things such as moving cross-country, choosing a college, a major and career path, or a city to live in. These things don’t feel like they were major decisions to me. I simply went with my gut and trusted that God would be there if I fell. There was no transformation. No conversion story. Just faith.
This in and of itself is a little bit scary to me. Because everyone faces adversity. Everyone goes through hard times. In every message I’ve ever heard those words are followed by “and if you haven’t yet, you will.” It feels like the longer until I hit challenges in my faith the tougher those challenges will be. I’m not sure how true that will be, but I can’t help but think it.
When I was home in the last months I got a chance to talk with my old youth pastor. He told me that I am living proof that it’s possible to grow up in the church and keep the faith. I’m told that this is not the norm. That to grow up in faith and continue to believe is rare. Even unheard of.
I’m told how remarkable that is, but I’m not quite sure I believe it. I didn’t do anything spectacular. I just kept my eyes on what I feel God has called me to and wound up here, in Los Angeles, finishing a degree and trying to figure out how to make an industry career work.
Here I am LORD, send me. Whatever you have planned, let it be to your glory and honor. Here I am. Send me.