Shane and my engagement photos - April 2013
I was raised in a Catholic household with my Mom, Dad, and Sister. I attended mass frequently and was even very involved with my church youth group. I thought that this made me a good Christian. I went to confession when I had to, I went through the sacraments of first communion, first reconciliation, and confirmation. This meant that I was set, right? Besides Wednesday night and Sunday mornings I was alive in the world. I had inappropriate relationships with boys, I cursed, and a did whatever I thought I needed to do to be "cool". It didn't matter though, because I went to church...
Youth Group friends - April 2006
When I went off to college I made excuse after excuse of why I hadn't found a church. I think in the 4 years that I lived in Virginia, I went to mass 2 maybe 3 times. I stopped going on "Holy Days of Obligation", I stopped going on holidays, I just stopped. I owned a bible though...so I was still set, Right?
Welcome party at Sweet Briar College - September 2006
I met a wonderful man during my Junior year of college. We knew immediately that we had been drawn together for a higher purpose. We talked about attending church together, we went to the Christian bookstore and bought bibles, and we thought about attending church. We joined together through our worldly relationship and that was that.
My husband (then boyfriend) and I on one of our first dates - April 2009
After I graduated from college, I moved out to Denver to go to graduate school. My boyfriend stayed in Virginia and we had a long distance relationship. I continued to dabble in joining a church again. I wanted to find a church for the fellowship. It is a good way to meet good people, right? My mom and I even did over the phone bible studies every now and then, but it was a chore to finish. I did it though, so I was set, right?
Preparing to video chat bible study with Mom - January 2012
My boyfriend moved out to Denver, we got engaged, and we got married. We discussed having a family. I want a big family. I have always wanted a big family. When I was little I used to tell my mom that when she got old she could live with me and my million children. While I have scaled down my expectation on number, I do still want a big family. In those discussions we discussed raising our children in a godly home. From what we both knew, that meant going to church and going through the rituals, right?
Cutting our wedding cake - October 2013
My husband and I have been together for just over 6 years, but we had been married for just about 6 months when he came to me and said "I have a strong feeling that we need to go to church!". We dabbled in the thought and researched churches in our area. We went to a few Catholic masses and a few other denominational churches and never felt like we were in the right place. We let that go for about 3 months through the summer. Finally in September my husband came to me again and said "I still really feel like I need to go to church, let's look for a non-denominational church!" I agreed and we set to our good friend Google. Eerily, every single listing on the search page was for a local bible church.
That Sunday we got up and went in to church. If God can smack you upside the head with a Bible, he did it to me. The teaching that day was on having a RELATIONSHIP with the Lord. Ensuring that you were honoring his teaching, reading his word, and having an honest relationship. The pastor even taught on the difference between relationship and ritual. I found out that I had previously had a relationship with the ritual and not with the Lord. Looking back I don't know how I ever thought that was possible, but it is true.
We went to church the next Wednesday, September 3, 2014. At that service we were again smacked in the face with The Word. At the end of service that night we both stood up and asked God to forgive us our sins. We pledged in our hearts and with our mouths that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and died on the cross to forgive us of our sins. According to Romans 10:9-10 we were officially saved. I was saved. Saved. It is still lifting to my heart to say that word in relation to my own life.
I . AM . SAVED