This is my faith journey. A glimpse of what it has looked like for me to be in a relationship with my Jesus. If you don’t know who Jesus is, I would encourage you to skip over to My Jesus before continuing. My journey continues to develop every day, and I hope you find encouragement through reading about my past.
I grew up in the church. In fact, we were the family that sat in the very front row every Sunday. My mom blames this on the fact that if we sat in the back, she’d get distracted by the babies in the church. I can’t say I wouldn’t disagree. I accepted Jesus into my heart in elementary school, but I really didn’t know what that truly meant at the time.
Through middle school, I was pretty confident in my faith in Jesus. Nothing really hindered me from pursuing what I thought was a great relationship with him. That wasn’t until I turned fourteen and lost my grandmother to cancer. Gram was always so loving towards us growing up, and I took this loss fairly hard. I always just assumed that she would be there and suddenly she just wasn’t. I remember specifically being mad at God for allowing Gram to watch my sister graduate high school, but she’d never get to see me graduate. I came to terms with that loss not too long after, knowing that she was in Heaven at peace with our King.
At the age of sixteen, a very special man came back into my life. At the time, Seth helped me grow in my faith and love for Jesus. Seth has always known when I’ve had things on my mind, and he’s never hesitated in helping me talk my way through tough situations. We often talked about our grandparents, my gram and his pappy, that passed away. I’m very excited to get to Heaven someday and meet his Pappy Ben. We continued to date throughout high school (and eventually got married).
Within this same time frame, my church began to go through some major changes. Our head pastor, who had been there for many years, decided to retire. Meanwhile, our associate pastor felt as though he was being called to move to another church. Right before our associate pastor was to move, a member of our church, who was only twenty years old at the time, passed away suddenly. Our congregation was kind of rocked.
While all this was happening I was about to go to Penn State Altoona, and I knew about two Christian Student Organizations on campus, as well as who was running them. Christian Student Fellowship was run by Tom Trexler and Students About Living Truth was run by Matt Stumpf. I was so excited because I thought this was going to be my stable spiritual place. Not too long into the year Tom informed me that he was no longer going to be running CSF, and soon after I was told that Stumpf was no longer going to be running SALT. It felt as though I couldn’t get any kind of stability anywhere. Meanwhile, back home we were transferring from interim pastor to a new full-time pastor. I’d lost and gained six “pastor figures” in a span of about two years.
I soon joined the SALT Leadership Team and found a small family there, this included my two best friends. These two never ceased to show me the love of Jesus throughout our time together on campus. After about a year on the team, I discovered it was best for me to stay out of the leadership position because I needed to focus on myself and really find where God is calling me before I can help others with that as well. Regardless if I had that status or not, I still consider(ed) myself a leader for Christ.
Throughout the above, Seth and I got engaged and planned for a September 2016 ceremony. Upon graduation, I soon began preparing for our wedding. It was the most beautiful day of my life, however one important person was missing. My grandfather passed away on the night leading up to the wedding. My faith again took somewhat of a blow. It was hard for me to imagine why God would want to take someone so special to me on what was to be the best day of my life. My comfort was found through knowing that he got to reunite with his soulmate on the day I married mine, as well as a whole lot of prayer and guidance through scripture. I’ve written about this in Wedding Bells and Little Red Tractors.
Soon after getting married, Seth and I discovered that I was pregnant. I knew this could only be a blessing from Him, and from the moment we found out I knew it was going to be a little boy. After losing such an important man in our life, it only made sense for it to happen. His name is Benjamin Robert, named after two very special men in our life.
Our little Benny is a little over a year old now. He’s quirky, inquisitive, loving, cuddly, goofy, and so much more. This little person has taught me more about love in a year than I’d known in a lifetime. Seth and I work our hardest to make sure he knows he’s loved by us, and by Jesus! I’m blessed enough to stay home with him every day. This gives me time to pray, sing, and worship my Creator almost constantly!
Things have not been clear or perfect. In fact, they’ve been smeary and messy. However, it’s my story and I know it needs to be shared. Everyone’s story should be shared because that’s the only way we’ll make connections and be able to build each other up in this life. I know my God is good. He’s never failed to bring healing to my soul.