This past week I’ve been a little at war with myself. I’ve been uninspired and worried about what my next post should be. More and more I started thinking, He’s doing this to me. By “He” I mean God.
With my writing I try so hard to leave God out. Why? I didn’t want to be giving lectures and making readers think that they need to know God to read my blogs (which I hope you do). But as I went on this week I realized He’s making it hard for me because I’m trying so hard to leave him out.
So here goes.
I was born and raised in a Christian home (how much more cliche could it get, I know). Haha, bare with me. I can remember being in church all the way up until I was 4 yo. in the nursery eating goldfish. At that time my dad was retiring from the navy, so we packed our bags and moved from Corpus, Christi to San Antonio, Texas. For a while my parents searched and searched for a good church.
My parents are more for the traditional, hymn singing, KJV teaching type of church. The house we moved into was the house my mom grew up in, so she new the neighborhood rather well. Our neighbors across the street recommended a church one day and it became the perfect fit.
The church is a family loving church that you can always walk into and feel welcomed. They have so many interactive ministries that go on each year and at 7 years old I got saved in one of them.
Our annual missions conference is always in October. We have a wide range of missionaries that come from all over to share how things are going, what we can pray for, and then give a message. They also have a missionary that goes over to the childrens church and speaks to the little ones. Thats where I was sitting and listening to this man who had so many amazing stories to tell.
I can’t exactly remember what he talked about that night but I do remember the prayer. As he was closing in prayer he asked us if we wanted to accept God into our hearts to repat the prayer with him.
He then asked that if we said that prayer to raise our hand, so shyly I raised my hand. While all the other kids went to get their snacks and start on the craft after he finished, he asked those of us who raised our hands to come and sit with him so he could explain to us what we just did.
From then on I remember nothing but being so excited that I was finally saved! I got my very own first bible from my parents for Christmas that year and nothing made me happier. From then on I bugged my parents as to when I could get baptized. Every Sunday I’d remind my dad to ask our pastor if he could baptize me soon. Easter Sunday morning I was overjoyed to FINALLY get the pleasure to show that I had accepted God into my heart.
From then on as years progressed the excitment wore off and the desire to just fit in sunk in. In middle school when the national ‘See You At The Pole’ day came my mom would drag me out of bed to go. I’d whine and complain that it was embarassing because I would be the only one there praying. It wasn’t until 7th grade when I finally decided to go out of my way. There’s a camp that my church always attends and I built up some courage to ask one of my closest friends to come with me. I honestly thought that her immideate answer would be no when she told me she’d ask her parents. I was so overjoyed when she told me that her parents allowed her to go.
Being a teenager and wanting to keep my friends, I was so afraid that she wouldn’t like the camp and she’d stop being my friend. I got more and more nervous as the days approached spring break. By the end of the week she had accepted Christ into her life and she didn’t want to leave. It brought us so much closer together and I’m so glad to say that she’s still a great friend of mine today.
By high school I was back to my timid self, just wanting to fit in. As years progressed it wasn’t so bad because our school had a religous youth group, though I didn’t attend the meetings it was nice to know that there were students like myself. Mornings at ‘See You At The Pole’ were more enjoyable because of the amount of students that atteneded and it felt so much like a revival.
I wasn’t one to hide my Christianity but I didn’t majorly show it either. There was one day when I was sitting in Algebra II and a friend of mine turned around and started explaining this animation of the gospel that she had learned.
When she was through I remember saying, “Vanessa, that’s so cool but I’m saved.”
With her brilliant smile she responded, “Yah I know I just wanted to show you.”
I went on to ask her how she knew because I had honestly never told her before. She told me that she just knew because of the way I carried myself.
I always told myself that I didn’t want to be someone who just called themselves a Christian. If I was gonna call myself a Christian I needed to be in it all the way and not just half way. Over time I met so many young men and women call themselves a Christian and I hate to say it but I judged them every time they did something wrong and in my head just labled them as a hypocrite (which I now know was very wrong of me).
I realized that we’re all far from perfect and no matter how hard we try and try we’ll never be perfect. We as Christians make mistakes just like everyone else does only our mistakes are almost always used against us, just like I did judging these imperfect people when I was no where near perfect.
So while God’s still perfecting me and my heart, this is my testimony. It took some courage to share but it was on my heart for some reason the only God knows, so I’m happy to share it.