Monday, February 07, 2011

Marriage Monday--First Love

There is a wonderful community of ladies that meet every month at the home of e-Mom (Chrysalis) and discuss the topic of marriage.  Sometimes poignant, often funny and always wise, these ladies stretch me and encourage me. This month instead of focusing on marriage, we have been asked to share our story of how we met our "First Love" as a way of encouraging one another as well as getting to know each other better.  I am so looking forward to reading their stories. I hope  you will visit some of the sites as well and get to know this amazing group of women (and maybe even join in the fun!).

My story of my path to faith is not very exciting, but I am thankful for that.  I was blessed with parents who were very involved in the church. I started attending at a few weeks old and just never stopped. My earliest memories are in the church preschool department learning about God through playdough theology and felt board stories. "Miss Rose" and "Aunt Josie" gave me a strong foundation of a loving God.  During Vacation Bible School on my seventh birthday I "walked down the aisle" and said I wanted to be baptised. A few days before I had sat in my bedroom with Mom and Dad, prayed and said the same thing. As much as I was able to understand at age seven, I knew that I was not doing all that God wanted me to do and I knew that I wanted to go to heaven and that Jesus was the bridge between those two realities.

Later, in Junior High at church camp, I would be faced with more decisions about whether Jesus was just my Saviour or also my Lord. I was realising that there was more to faith than just a quick prayer to get me to heaven. Over the next few years that relationship of Jesus as Lord would deepen. By the time I went to University, those roots were deep. In University I was involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship leading small groups and going to Urbana. I was more and more drawn to full-time ministry, even though little girls raised Southern Baptist knew that full-time ministry was off limits to them. But apparently it was not off limits to God. By the end of my senior year, I was sure my Math degree would not be used as I originally thought. Instead, it was the catalyst to get into a Church Social Work program in seminary and to train.

I am grateful that my parents were faithful believers and church attenders. They introduced me to my first love early in my life. And He quickly became just that. I know that I have been protected from so many hurts and stumbling blocks along the way because of that early introduction and acceptance. Although I may not have a dramatic conversion experience, I am forever changed by a God who met me as a little girl who wanted to go to heaven and grew the relationship to the woman I am today. I pray that I am able to shepherd my own little girls to have such a relationship as well.


Julie Arduini said...

Thank you for your story. You were blessed to grow up with parents who were believers. What I really enjoy is that you wanted that faith for yourself even at an early age. I know as a Sunday School teacher I worked hard to dispel the whole if mom and dad believe, I'm a believer too.

Thank you!

Guiding Light said...

You *were* blessed to grow up with such wonderful parents! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Stopping by from Marriage Monday. Have a wonderfully blessed day!

e-Mom said...

I enjoyed your story so much MiPa! Growing up, you lived the life we wanted to give our kids. (I think we succeeded.) It will be wonderful to hear them tell their stories as older adults. I'm hoping they sound a lot like yours. Now you are giving your girls the same kind of solid Christian upbringing you had. I love that!

I attended IVCF in college too, although I put most of my time into Young Life. Interestingly, e-Dad's college roomate and YL co-leader is now pres. of InterVarsity in WI. Watching the trajectory of his life has been amazing.

Your ministry continues even now too as you and German minister overseas. God is so good!

Can't wait to meet you in heaven, sister.

As always, thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday today.

((Hugs)) e-Mom

Lisa notes... said...

Your story sounds familiar. I grew up going to church from the time I was a baby too, learning through felt board stories. Ha. “Although I may not have a dramatic conversion experience, I am forever changed by a God who met me as a little girl who wanted to go to heaven and grew the relationship to the woman I am today.” Amen!

nice A said...

I'm inspired by your story. When my 2 kids decided to be baptized at early age I was afraid that they might not have fully understood what they were accepting. But I thank God, just like you, they're growing to be responsible church members and even have the heart for ministry.
So true that our parents influence us a lot on how they introduce God to us their children.
We have the same prayer - to be able to shepherd our kids to heaven.
Thanks for taking time to read my MM post.
God bless you, dear sis, in your heaven-bound journey.

Mac an Rothaich said...

I too hope and pray to be a positive aid in my kids lives, planting seeds for Christ. I understand where you are coming from about learning it is so much more then the pray once you are older and able to take in more.

Jona said...

our ultimate dream is for our kids to have the same decision as yours- to follow Christ and be baptized when the time comes. your parents must have been so joyful to hear that coming from a pure heart of a child. thanks for sharing! Godbless :D

tonya said...

I loved how you shared the difference between Jesus being Lord or Savior.
Thanks for sharing! I always enjoy stopping by. :)

Marsha Young said...

Miriam Pauline,
What a heart warming testimony. I, too, came to faith in Christ at a young age and so did all three of my children.

I have watched other family members put off that crucial decision until much later in life and have seen the sad consequences of their delay.

But God is faithful to answer when we call upon Him, whether early or late - and for that I am grateful.
God bless you - Marsha

Denise said...

So inspiring.

cin said...

What an inspiration you are!
My testimony is slow moving and undramatic also. As your parents did, I hope mine will grow from early ages to walk His walk and know His love.
Thank you.

Tami Boesiger said...

Are you kidding me? You were a math major too?! I can't believe it!!

Praise God He protected you from so much. Even our testimonies are similar friend. I really hope we can meet each other in person some day.

Love you!