Church was always a big part of our family life, even when my parents were together. Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Wednesday night prayer meetings. I remember asking Jesus into my heart during Vacation Bible School one summer, and true to His Word, He came in to stay.
But other than going to church, Mom didn’t contribute much to our spiritual understanding or growth. I don’t remember ever hearing her pray, though she did read her Bible a lot. In fact, she kept it near her rocking chair and underlined her favorite verses with a pen. Sadly, that was her only testimony.
Like most adolescents, I had a hard time during junior high. Thankfully, our ultra conservative Midwestern church provided the Rules for Living, and we had the world’s absolute best youth group. We went roller skating, camping, boating, and for hayrides. But we never engaged in my favorite sport: dancing.
Trying to make sense of it all as an adult, I composed a brief bio that I shared with folks who asked about my religious upbringing. My early Spiritual Formation went something like this:
- My dad was Pentecostal, and my mom was Baptist. Their marriage didn’t last. Go figure.
- We moved into a house between the First Baptist Church and the Nazarene Church, and my mom chose the Nazarenes. So I was raised a Nazarene by a Baptist mom. Go figure.
- I married a Lutheran when I was 18 years old, and we became United Methodists. Our marriage didn’t last either. Go figure.
- Yet the Lord has remained faithful to me. Hallelujah!
QUESTIONS: What’s your spiritual heritage? How has your understanding of God changed over the years?
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