Coming To Faith of My Own
Faith Growing Up
My parents had faith. And I’d grown up in a Christian home. I was faithful to go to church every Sunday and Wednesday. I attended Christian School and youth group. I memorized Scripture. I sang hymns. I prayed. I knew God wanted me to be good. I did the best I could.
I graduated from high school a year early. I had my goals. I would attend a community college, transfer into the local four-year university, then go on to law school. I would become a brilliant lawyer. My mom joked that the reason I wanted to be a lawyer was so I’d be allowed to bang on tables and yell objection.
I worked carefully with a transfer counselor to make sure not one hour of classes would be wasted. I knew that I would graduate with an Associates Degree in Applied Sciences, then I’d go on for a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Philosophy/Pre-Law. It was a perfect plan.
Out On My Own
Being a bright, shiny freshman in college, I strove to do well. I feverishly took notes and wondered how I could prove myself to the professors. It was also a culture shock. I couldn’t believe some of the language that was allowed. I marveled at the lenient attendance policies and test-taking process. It was very different than I was used to.
I was sitting in my very first Philosophy class with shiny new textbooks, a fresh notebook, and pen. I was excited about the free debate (sanctioned arguing) that we would be engaging in. Little did I know that this was where my faith would be tested.
In Christian elementary school we could get away with the usual church answers: Jesus, Bible, pray. But that didn’t fly in this class! Neither did “because my parents said so.” They didn’t care what my parents believed. They wanted to know what I believed!
What I believe? Didn’t I just tell them? Maybe I didn’t. That forced me to take a hard look at my life, my walk, my faith and decide if it really was mine or if I was just being obedient to my parents.
Claiming My Faith
I found myself sitting in that classroom, fighting passionately for what I believe and it hit me. I do believe. I believe passionately with every fiber of my being that God sent his Son to this world, knowing full well Jesus would be mocked, scorned, even hated and tortured. I believe that Jesus sacrificed Himself to take the penalty for my sin, so that I could be restored to fellowship with my heavenly Father.
I walked out of that Philosophy class floating on air and feeling a new passion for Christ. For the first time in my 17 years I KNEW exactly what I believed.
Over the next few months, my life changed. My eyes were opened to the life around me. I faced new struggles and didn’t always make the right choices. I’d love to tell you how I found the straight and narrow and never strayed from the path. I’d love to tell you how perfect life is once you become a Christian. But, I’d be lying.
My path is more winding than straight. There are days when I’d rather sit instead of walk. But, the important thing is, I realize I need to be on my own path. I can’t live someone else’s faith. I have to know what I believe and be strong in defending it.
Are you walking your own path? Do you know what you truly believe?
Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear your story of faith.
Read other articles by Jami.