I was not raised in the church.
I never learned the song “Jesus Loves Me” and despite the fact that my mother had been raised in the Southern Baptist Church, we were not a family to share goodnight prayers or grace before meals. When it came to attending church or worshiping God, my mother always made it clear the choice was mine.
I was not indoctrinated within the confines of one set of beliefs, which left me free to explore and question, a freedom I will forever be grateful for.
I can still remember sitting with the little old ladies in my great grandmother’s Sunday School class and how cynical I was of their unwavering faith in the love of God.
“How,” I asked myself, “could these women, who have experienced first hand the horrors that men inflict on one another, women who have dealt with a lifetime of loss and heartache, how can they be so sure that a God who allows such suffering loves them?”
My great grandmother’s faith was steadfast and she held firmly to the belief that God’s will was above reproach.
My father, on the other hand, was just as cynical as I and tended to view God more as the mischievous prankster who enjoyed watching the ants scurry about in the ant farm He had created.
And so I began my search, armed only with my mother’s precious gift of allowing me to choose my own a path, a great desire to feel the peace of God’s love which my great grandmother took so much comfort in and the unabashed skepticism of my father.