[This is part 1 of a two part series]
Growing up in the Bible Belt means a couple of things. First, pretty much everyone goes to church on Sunday whether they are truly a believer or not. It is just what you do. Second, there is a church about every one thousand feet in every town, so you have plenty of options for which doors you enter every Sunday morning. Throughout my childhood and teen years I diligently went to Sunday school followed by worship service every Sunday. My family was never very spiritual. We went to church, but there was’t any family Bible studies, not much praying before meals, no real meat of having a relationship with God. We did bake a birthday cake for Jesus each Christmas which was always fun, but didn’t exactly lead to learning more about the Bible. Even without the emphasis at home I still accepted the Lord as my saviour around the age of 10 and was baptized.
Not much changed in my Christian life until high school. At this point I was living with my father and stepmother full time and I did not feel like the church my family attended was the right fit for me. I decided to start attending church with my best friend at a different Baptist church in town. I loved the youth group and we really did a lot of great bible studies. I also ventured on two different mission trips within the United States through this youth group.
The biggest hit my faith received was when I went off to college. My relationship with God was never very strong, but college pushed it to the brink. I was a history major and studying about all of the religions throughout time made me start to question God. I did not attend church during college and after college I did not restart the habit. I never got to the point of not believing in God, but I did have doubts and questions.
After having my second child we tried to attend a church that was a few minutes from our home, but with my son’s nap schedule it was just too difficult to make it work, so we did not keep attending. When my kids became preschool age they started attending the preschool at the church. Finally, after my son turned 3, a friend I met through the preschool invited me to come out for a girl’s night. It ended up being mainly women from her discipleship community (basically Sunday school class) in attendance and as we were leaving the restaurant my friend invited me to their DC that Sunday. God was speaking to me through her that night. I went home and told my husband, who had been pushing me to start going to church again, and we made a plan to attend that Sunday.
That one act has been life changing for me. Every week the topics covered in the DC have been things that hit so close to home. It is a class specifically designed for parents who have children in the preschool. The materials discussed have been issues my husband and I have been dealing with. The class has helped us tremendously. Attending was the first step in reestablishing my relationship with God.
In the next installment I will explain how joining this class and attending church led me to creating Mended Mama. If you like stories of God speaking to someone or if you always wonder what people mean when they say that God spoke to them, then part 2 is for you.