Christian by Default
I am a Christian by default.
I was born and raised in a Christian family, but I rarely went to church. I never read the Bible. (Well, okay, I tried to read the Bible a few times, but I never got very far. I always got about as far as the first extended lineage before I gave up.) I knew about Christianity. I knew God. I knew that Jesus died for our sins so that we would be forgiven. But that, along with a few miscellaneous Bible stories, was about as far as my knowledge went.
I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that, by the way. After all, even a limited knowledge of Christianity provided a certain moral fiber around which I have built my life. My beliefs were strong enough to give me a light at the end of the tunnel through some of my darkest times. I had doubts sometimes (don’t we all?), but I always held firm in the belief that our beautiful world, with all its secrets and intricacies, could never exist without our God’s hand. Even in college, when I was pursuing a biology degree and learning about evolution, genetics, and all those other controversial topics, I managed to stay true to my faith.
The moral of this story is that even though I didn’t have experience with any organized aspect of Christianity, I spent my young life finding God anyway.
From Habit to Purpose
I first attended church when I was about 19 or 20. I remember the first time I attended very clearly. It was Father’s Day, and my dad asked us to go to church with him. It was the only thing he’d asked for, and I said yes without a second thought. That Sunday morning found us nestled comfortably in the pews for what would be the first church experience of my adult life. I wish I remembered the sermon more clearly. I can’t for the life of me recall what the pastor said, or even what the topic was. What I do remember is biting the inside of my cheek to hold back tears, because whatever he said was exactly what I needed to hear. It felt like God reached out through him and spoke directly to me.
Before that day, I’d been content to continue in my own spirituality, but that visit to church awoke a curiosity that I’d never felt before. For the first time, I recognized that there is more to Christianity than what little I’d known, and I really wanted to find out what that “more” was. Since then, so much has changed by the grace of God, all of it to bring me closer to Him.
I ended a bad relationship and, seemingly out of nowhere, I found a Godly man who has been an integral part of building my faith.
I found a job immediately after my college graduation that placed a very important coworker and friend in my life.
I joined a bible study full of sisters-in-Christ who regularly support and guide me.
I am a Christian by default. For most of my life, being a Christian was just a habit. It was something that I was without ever really knowing what that meant. I knew my faith in my head, but I hadn’t felt it fully take root yet in my heart. Today, I don’t know everything there is to know about my faith – in fact, my journey is just beginning – but that’s okay. I learn more every day, and I’ll never stop learning. I don’t have to know everything. That’s not my job; it’s God’s. My job – our job – is to spread God’s love in a world full of hate. That is the purpose that my faith has given me.
I hope y’all will join me on this journey.