You know we were all raised in a household of faith. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the one we “actually” lived in. It was my grandmothers house. She never missed church and if you lived there; you never missed. You had to make up your bed everyday. You had to pay rent if you were working weekly.
You had to eat all your food on the plate and you had to go to church on Sunday. It was never discussed. Our grandmother had a knack for getting her way. She attended a Baptist church and though we were being raised as Lutherans; it made no difference to her. My grandmother was a confident woman of faith. Though she never worked a formal job as I grew up with her; she lacked nothing.
I wish that I could tell you that I saw her praying but that wasn’t the case. I can tell you that she made sure that I did.
At her church which I didn’t like that much, I was an observer. The people were friendly. But I was a kid then, and I was used to the quietness of the Lutheran service. I didn’t like all that hollering and I especially didn’t like when some one got filled with the Holy Ghost. I would watch them carefully. Though they weren’t faking, I just didn’t see where all that was necessary.
I decided at an early age that I did not like singing preachers. It got so bad (my distaste for singing preachers) that at some point; I threatened that I’d leave the service if I ever heard another one. (God is merciful indeed)
I thought the Lutherans were more sophisticated. My “preconceived: notions were formed because of my being moved back and forth as my mother tried to save her marriage by shipping my sister and I out on week-ends. Over time, it backfired almost because we both became somewhat rebellious in our teen years. I was the worst. We began to think she didn’t want us and was starting a new family without us. It wasn’t that. She was young and tired and a good woman. I can’t tell you where her faith was because I didn’t see many signs of it, but I believe it was there somewhere.
Around the age of ten years old, I was back at the Lutheran church attending church regularly by myself. Nobody was a Lutheran around that neighborhood. The Baptists had a lock down on the whole community and I liked being different. No one had taught me a lot of the Word. I knew all the factual stuff, but I did not understand it.
I thought the Lutherans were cliquish and snobbish and I realize that it may have been my teen-age opinion or that fact that people in churches have a tendency to devalue children whose parents don’t attend church. My sister was supposed to be there too. She didn’t always come, but learned plenty and was confirmed, just like me. That was a water sprinkled baptism. Smile, but grandma didn’t like that and saw to it that we were dunked in the water at an early age.
Between these two churches, I developed a feeling of being lonely. It was that sentiment that led me to begin to pray and establish a talking relationship with God. He always answered my prayers. So much so that for years I sent Him one liners, but had not a valid prayer life.
Over the years, I drifted in and out of various churches. I found my way back to the Baptist church for a season. One day I woke up on a Sunday and just could not go back. I had been saturated with church divisions, schisms, slights, competition, clicks, gossip, collections and more. I didn’t say it happened to me, I was just an observer. The church is not a perfect place, but I needed good spiritual leadership and some solid teaching, plus I needed time to absorb it all. My time at both church denominations (Baptist & Lutheran) could have been better spent.
I had an opportunity to visit a Methodist church; even a Mosque and saw things I didn’t like either.
So I continued my prayer life and searched some more for he right spiritual place.
Finally, I found a great Catholic church for me and my son. THAT WAS A DISASTER! After several trips, we decided that wasn’t the place for us.
At last the Baptists are friendly I kept thinking; because my conclusion was that the Catholics were too stiff, too distant and unfriendly.
Finally, I found a non denominational church. I really wasn’t interested in going. I knew nothing about them. However, it was there that I found God and found out more about Him through the teaching of the Word.
God showed me through people how to pray and why it’s so valuable. My journey ended and finally I was at home. Now, I had to pray for my family who was under great siege from Satan!