The thought crossed my mind, if all these major events that I am sharing as a part of my legacy happened as I was an adult, then was it really important that I grew up in church? Was it truly beneficial for me or did it actually hinder me? My Very good friend and fellow blogger Elise Hurd, who initially challenged me to do this 31 day legacy posed a question that answered this for me. On day 3 of her blog she queues her readers to remember ..How did you first learn about Jesus? Did you have any strong initial impressions of Him from this experience? Who was the first person, what was the first resource, or in what first experience did Jesus communicate His realness, goodness, power, or loveliness to you through? It made me really have to think and here is my answer to all those questions because truly it is the beginning, the start of my legacy memory.
I remember being unable to stand. I remember feeling AMAZING, giddy and laughing uncontrollably. Lying down right where I was and laughing over and over but over what?, well, nothing! It was all to funny, I felt all to amazing, and just plain HAPPY! I can remember hearing my mom say…yeah she’s drunk! I thought really? uuuuuhhhh ok! I don’t know what was happening really but I liked it! I didn’t care if I was drunk or not, I never wanted it to end and always wanted to feel this way. I was only 8 mayyyybe 9 years old. I know what your thinking WHO IN THE WORLD WOULD LET A 9 YEAR OLD GET DRUNK!?! Well, my mother was referring to a term Charismatic Christians use called being drunk in the spirit. It is described in the church world this way because it’s the best way they can describe the feeling in a secular term.
This experience(regardless of what you call it) stuck with me my entire life. It was the first time I truly felt God’s presence and the Holy Spirit just engulfed me. I do not remember the circumstances other then we were at church. I don’t remember all that happened, I merely remember the feeling and experience. The wonder joy, comfort, love, and bliss I felt and then remained in! It was not prodded by anyone, it was not fabricated for show, it was simply an unforgettable amazing moment in my young life. How can this happen at such a young age? Why wouldn’t it? I had no reason not to fully accept His glory…not preconceived ideas..no wounds or walls to prevent me from allowing Him to love on me. I was young an open to Him and He just simply showed His glory to me because He loved me.
As an adult, after I had grown hardened and drifted far away from the God, I knew I needed to be back with Him. Going to church was no longer enough(which I had been doing for quite some time), so my prayer went to that moment that experience I had as a child. I had been back in church and felt nothing. Couldn’t worship, couldn’t feel, couldn’t engage with His presence like I so longed to. I didn’t know how to anymore, it had been so long. It was at that time I prayed, “God I just want to feel you like I did back then, when I was a child. I know you are real because I remember feeling you . I know you exist because I have experienced your overwhelming glory. I don’t know how to but I want to worship and feel you like that again.” That was the beginning of the end of my hardened stoned up heart and life. He met me right then and there.
So think…when did you first feel God? Know He was real and true? Experience His presence for the first time? So, was being raised in church a good thing? Yes! It gave me a foundation, a navigation to where to go back to when I was lost. Back to the church? NO! Back to the personal experience I had, what I felt with Him. It set my eyes on the Lord, seared those intimate moments with Him in my heart and mind, and showed me that even as a child He longed to be with me and show me how much He loved me. So I was trained up young, and did I leave…yes but now that Im old…I have not departed from His Ways.