I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I’ve always believed that there is a God, but I never really HAD faith. Faith that I could count on and talk about with conviction. I grew up going to a Catholic church with my mom. I kept going after middle school because I knew it made her happy, and I was happy to make her happy! I went to Vacation Bible School in my hometown every year and thought it was super fun. I’ve been saved more times than I can count.
But, I couldn’t tell you a single story from the Bible. I don’t even know what half the titles of the Books are. I didn’t know what the Gospels were up until a couple of weeks ago. I don’t really know how to pray, and feel weird doing it. I feel like I’ve been “faking” it all these years. I believe, but I don’t understand. I am not educated on it and that makes it hard for me to be vulnerable with people about faith. I’m a good person and have a good heart despite feeling this way, but I know it can be better.
About 6 months before I met Steven, I had a not so pleasant experience with a guy, and it really messed with me. One day I had had enough and I called my high school friend Amy, because she was the most Christian person I knew, and the most approachable even though we hardly talked at the time. I sat in my car in the driveway and she prayed for me over the phone. She listened to me and she talked with me. I felt like everything was leading me to this point and that I so desperately wanted the peace that so many people who were strong in their faith seemed to have. Within a week she had sent me a bible, and it started what has been a five year struggle.
I’ve gone to churches, I’ve listened to the music, I’ve tried bible reading plans and I just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t feel like I had a right to, or that I belonged. Over the past few years since living in Portland, I’ve started to have more of a desire to know God, and to figure out what faith means to me. I’ve started to read the Bible off and on and haven’t really stuck with it.
I’m attending this great church, Portland Life Center, and I’ve started to attend a small bible study group weekly (or as often as I can make it). I’ve also started to read this book called “Start Here,” and it’s been really good for me so far. It’s helped me realize that it’s OKAY to not understand, to not be sure about all of this. The book has reminded me that it takes work to have a relationship with God and to find your faith, just like it takes work in a marriage.
I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, but for the first time in my life I truly feel pulled to get serious about this. I’m becoming a mother, and I’m leaving my job in teaching to pursue photography. It feels like 100% that this is the right choice, and it’s exciting and it’s terrifying. But I just feel like there’s something more that I need in my life, and I really believe that THIS, finding my own faith, is it. I want to learn more about all of this and what it means for me and the rest of my life.
I truly love to learn, and I am excited to learn more as I read through the Bible with a personal bible study book I’ve gotten – Seamless – (that really helps lay out the foundation of what is going on the Bible), two devotionals – Jesus Calling + Savor – that I’m legitimately excited about, and the greatest friends to lean on when I am confused and need more help to understand.
I am fortunate enough to be friends with the kind of Christians I’m proud to be around, and they are great role models for how to just LOVE people and love God and just let Him shine through them – without being “those kinds” of Christians that we see in a negative light. I don’t put them on a pedestal because they are human beings just like I am and make mistakes and are still on their own journey, but they’re people I aspire to be like.
If you’re the praying type, I’d really love your prayers as I re-start this journey that I know is going to be messy and weird and uncomfortable, but I know in the end it’s worth it.
If you’ve been through this before, any advice or words of encouragement are also greatly appreciated!