Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Friend's Story

Today I am blog swapping with a friend of mine from college. Rachel was a few years older than me, and we kind of knew each other my freshman year. Then, when I was a sophomore she was one of the leaders for the Weeks of Welcome Staff (we welcomed the new students in the fall,) and we became really good friends! 

This week on her blog, Life in the Moment, she is hosting Faith Walk Week. So we decided to swap faith stories! Feel free to join us (no matter what your faith is!) and share your stories. Share on Rachel's blog, or mine, or feel free to email me your story. I would love to hear it!

You can also "like" Life in the Moment on Facebook.

And also, don't forget that I'm looking for some guest bloggers for November. Contact me if you're interested.


My story always used to seem so simple. I grew up in a very Christian household. We attended church and Sunday school every week. My grandpa and his brothers started the Lutheran school at my church. My mom was on the school board. My dad was the chairman of the congregation…you get the idea!

I was blessed to live in a household not only with my parents but with my grandparents as well. I learned at the feet of my wise mother and grandma. My mom and grandma really shaped my early years of faith. I was able to go to them with any question. It was commonplace to discus matters of faith and the Bible throughout our day.

My grandpa became bedridden when I was in kindergarten. Our pastor would come out each week to administer communion and pray with him. This became one of my favorite times of the week. Not only did I get to see my pastor on Sunday, but now he was in my house and I could ask him QUESTIONS!
My godmother happened to be my third and fourth grade teacher. I feel that she really encouraged and lead me in my choice to become a Lutheran school teacher. She made the Bible come alive for me with the songs we would sing in choir and school musicals.

My youth group leader in high school also lead the way with her quiet dignity and strength. Her wisdom about the world opened my eyes to the hurting and dying around the globe.

On September 12, 2001 my dad almost lost his life in a horrible motorcycle accident. After he recovered, he was a changed man. He had always known Jesus and loved Him. But his faith was a more quiet personal journey. After almost meeting Jesus face to face, my dad grew into the strongest man of faith I’ve ever seen. His faith and zeal for the Gospel was outstanding.

Because of these early role models, my faith walk lead me to my small Lutheran college.

Here I met some of my favorite people. Here it was ok to be completely in Love with Jesus. I was able to be Rachel-loud crazy girl who is sold out for Christ!

Not a bad place to be.

College rocked me in many ways. It was the first chance for me to own my faith. I had to decide to go to church on Sunday. I was questioning (in my head!) my professors opinions on matter of doctrine and theology. I finally made my faith “real”. Jesus had always been my rock, but now I needed to rely on him more and more.

After college, I moved to the other side of the country. I wasn’t scared because I knew God had called me to this crazy land called Phoenix. Here I found the rotten side of Christianity. The side that I had been warned about but was too na├»ve to see. I learned that even doing God’s work won’t always make you a nice person.

My faith was tested on a daily basis. I finally came to realize that God had to bring me to a place where no one was around me, where no one was encouraging me to finally make my faith real. Sure, I had trusted God and called on his name throughout my life but my first years in Arizona were the toughest most rewarding years of my journey.

I needed to find my own way of worshipping. I needed to carve my devotion time into a busy schedule.

I met a fabulous group of young woman, my sisters, who continue to shower me with love and grace every day.

These girls were some of my first really close non-Lutheran friends. It has been such a eye opener to be around a cluster of girls who just get it. They are so on fire for spreading the Gospel. I’m inspired by them each day.

This past summer, my grandmother passed away at the age of 90. To say my faith was shaken was an understatement. I know my grandma is rejoicing with our Savior in heaven, but I selfishly want her here. It is hard for me to type this and even harder to talk about it. People look at me and think I’m fine, but on the inside I’m still suffering.

(So, if you see me, it’s ok to ask how I’m doing!)

I feel that the death of someone extremely close to you will either make you or break you.

I pray that this challenge in my life will make me stronger and closer to the Lord as a result.

Right now, I’m in a place of joyfulness. I’m happier and more content than I’ve been in a while.

My new church home has literally become a life saver. My pastor has a way of bringing home the message of the Gospel in a simple way each and every week.

I’ve come to realize that being “Lutheran” is not the end all be all of my life.

However, I won’t be leaving the church anytime soon!

So, there you have it. My faith life in a, not so short, nut shell!

I hope you have a chance to think about your faith journey this week. Can’t wait to read all about it!


Share with me your thoughts! They make me smile.