I have a story to tell. It’s not that my story is better than yours—or worse. It’s simply my story and I’m choosing to tell—to share—it with you. Take of it as you will.
Growing up, I never really had any reason to worry about anything happening to me. I was safe and secure in my parents’ love and protection as well as that of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I became a Christian at a very young age. From what my parents tell me, I was about three years old when I accepted Jesus into my heart. While there are times when I wish I knew my salvation birthday as so many others do, I have always been proud of the fact that I accepted Christ so young and that I have never strayed from that walk with my beloved Lord and Savior.
Has my walk been perfect? Have I been perfect and behaved at all times as a proper Christian is expected to behave?
Good heavens, no! Can you honestly tell me, Friend, that you have never done anything whatsoever to fail our Precious Savior?
No one can because the Bible says that “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (emphasis mine) (Romans 3:23, NLT). Even Christians make mistakes. Even Christians aren’t perfect. I wish that every part of my life, every word out of my mouth, every moment of every day, everything I have ever done has been exactly what He would have of me.
But I am human. I am fallible.
With all that being said, for the most part, in my young life, I never came up against any true trials or tribulations. I never experienced any true suffering in my early years.
The first trial I really experienced was when I was let go from a job that I loved. I had been working at the day care for the church where I was also attending. I was the after school teacher for the five and six year olds. At the time, I was in college, around 19 or 20 years old, studying to be a high school English teacher; I loved those kids. I can still tell you many of their names and I think of them with great fondness. I have great memories of those wonderful children.
I was blind-sided by the release from the job. I was walking in to work one afternoon after my morning classes when my boss was suddenly standing in front of me. I had only stepped a few feet away from my car, so not only was I surprised to see him appear, I was also surprised to see him outside the building rather than meeting with him in his office.
He proceeded to tell me that he didn’t need me anymore and that he didn’t want me going to work that day at all; he wanted me to get right back in my car and drive away. I was not allowed to go say good bye to my kids.
I was heart-broken; I don’t think I need to tell you. I cried for days. To this day, just talking about it still makes me sadder than I can even begin to describe. Not only did I never go back to the day care, I also never went back to the church.
It was my first crisis of faith (as my college Religion professor called it).
I did not quit going to church; I just quit going to that church. I have also never graced the doors of a church of the same denomination again, either. (Don’t ask me what denomination; I won’t tell you.) The knife of betrayal just went too deep and I couldn’t face my old boss any more, not even during a Sunday morning service. Smiling and pretending that my spirit hadn’t been crushed was simply an impossibility.
So I ran like the coward I was.