I just found my typed up testimony saved to my computer. I’d written it to apply for a leadership position at the Baptist Collegiate Ministries for my senior year of college, so it’s roughly two years old at this point. I figure I’ll post it here to freak all of you out who only know me as atheist Kate. Enjoy!
I remember crawling under the pews of my church when I was a child as my dad stood behind the pulpit delivering God’s message to a much more patient and attentive congregation. I remember my cousin Morgan coming to visit when I was around 8-years-old on a Sunday when we took communion, and I recall her confused face when the plates simply passed me by without me partaking. She could hardly believe I was not a Christian, but I shrugged it off. I remember when I did learn to sit still and would stare at the engraving upon the altar: “Do This In Remembrance of Me.” I remember not knowing how to read the first time I noticed it, but over time I gradually gained knowledge of each word’s pronunciation along with its meaning. I came to the point of understanding each word’s meaning but still being confounded by the entire command itself, so I shrugged that one off, too.
I shrugged a little less when I got to a Christian camp during the summer I turned 11. The news got out that I was not a born-again Christian like apparently every single other girl in my cabin. Thus, my counselors’ mission to save my soul commenced. I was pulled aside during pool time to “chat,” only to be given a tract with a very simplistic illustration of a changed life in Christ’s salvation. It’s not like I didn’t know what it meant to be a Christian. I got the gist of it, seeing as I did go to church and my father was a pastor. However, this was the first time that anyone really invited me into the body of believers. I wasn’t opposed to the idea, but I still didn’t quite get the importance. We all left that tract session with my counselors under the impression that I had just been saved. I knew, though, that nothing had changed but my growing curiosity.
Upon arriving home from that experience, my parents actually talked to me more about what it means that Christ died and rose again for us, and they told me that I can come to experience Christ’s love at any time if I can recognize my sin and my need to have Christ as my Savior from my sin. After doing some serious 10-year-old thinking on this, there came a day when I was sitting on the toilet and decided that was the time to pray to God and confess my sins. I do remember *feeling* the change at that point. I remember bouncing out the bathroom to tell my mother that, “It happened!” I had just flushed my sin down the toilet, and I’d never felt so free.
Shortly thereafter, I was baptized in my church by my father, but eventually the newbie Christian euphoria faded. I spent my subsequent years straight through my graduation from high school not pursuing a relationship with Christ, let alone gaining more knowledge of who Christ really is. To do “this” in remembrance of me was to nibble on a piece of bread and suck down a shot of grape juice. I am so taken aback now whenever I see middle schoolers and high schoolers truly living in faith. I didn’t get it back then.
So let’s fast-forward to now. I still don’t feel like I get it, but I learned that’s part of the importance of faith. God reveals himself in different ways to different people, and I’m slowly learning to see God in every moment and through other believers’ eyes. Finally, I understand that doing “this” is to do all things in remembrance of Christ, and I experience just how bad I am at trying to do this on my own. God doesn’t guarantee that we will ever fully “get it.” In fact, he assures us that His thoughts and His ways are not our thoughts or our ways. Consequently, God is our endless pursuit. To get a better understanding of my walk with Christ now, at this very moment, here’s my latest blog post:
“What does it mean to be in the presence to God?
What does it mean to *feel* the presence of God?
I spent the majority of my thinking and praying time this past weekend at Eagle Eyrie caught up in these two questions. Asking them to God feels a little strange–to think, “God, where are you?” when that question can really only *feel* like it’s being projected into thin air. Recently a girl I attend Bible study with shared that she feels like her prayers are bouncing off the walls. She was yearning and praying for God to do something big and apparent and meaningful and purposeful and without-a-doubt Godful. That desperation has manifested itself in similar ways for me at somewhat frequent times this junior year of college, so I was totally feeling her when she was telling us all about this so freely. The funny part was when she was asked to close the study in prayer and she could really only give a bit of a smirk before she started praying, revealing that she *knows* she’s still gotta pray even when her prayers are boomeranging in her head.
That’s the cool thing about spiritual lows and feeling out of tune with God. You can’t ever really say something weird is up with God, like he suddenly decided he doesn’t like you today or that he really is just playing games with you for funzies. Even when you’re frustrated with God that he doesn’t feel accessible anymore, you still know his truths and his qualities that are forever fixed. Whenever God is up to something, it would be a lie to say he’s not doing it for your good. A blatant lie. It’s the truth of salvation that holds onto you, not vice versa, so as Jon Foreman sings, “It would be a lie to run away.”
I believe love encompasses a lot more than we can ever understand. I do praise God for that, even when I’m not feelin’ him.
For a little scriptural version of what’s been boomeranging up in my own head and in my prayers, here’s Psalm 13:
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me.”