Let’s just get this out of the way.. I did not grow up in a church.. I did not know anything about religion.. I assumed John 3:16 was a 316 year old magic character from a book the church popped open on Sunday.. Wait.. Was church always on Sunday? I couldn’t have even told you that. I was not a Christian. I was an Atheist. a·the·ist // noun // a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.
Yes, that was a perfect description of who I spent being for the majority of my adult life (ehh who defines what an adult is? Let’s just say from ages 18-23), a very committed atheist. I spent my entire life working with kids.. I LOVED kids! In high school I took special classes to study Early Childhood, when I started college at Eastern Michigan my main focus of study was initially Early Childhood Education. My entire life God knew exactly who I was destined to become..I mean he created me, but me discovering God.. that took some time.
I would say lets fast forward to the part about where our Youth Group grew and things were great and life was nothing but rainbows but there are two problems there. one.) The ministry is never all rainbows if your doing the job God is calling. Two.) your testimony matters. My relationship with God began when I met Pastor Jeff Cardimen and his wife Erin. They didn’t call us out for being sinners, or tell us how much we needed Jesus. Instead, they invited us into their lives. We became friends very quickly and after a couple weeks they invited us to church. Of course, if you are an Atheist you understand that church is the absolute last place your going to go. However, God was giving me Grace before I ever even knew what Grace was. After a long talk my husband and I decided to try church. We walked in that Sunday and sang songs praising a man I knew nothing about & worshiping a God I didn’t believe in. I felt uncomfortable but I continued to come back. Very quickly, church became apart of our lives.. I cried at my bedtime prayers praying to find Faith & one fall day in November God gave me just that. Once I accepted the carpenter from Nazareth into my heart my entire life changed. The Holy Spirit began work & my life became transformed & I became a New Creation. Eight months later I told my head Pastor, Jeff Cardimen, that I felt a call on my life to become a Youth Pastor and that is where my story begins.
I titled this first blog Hang on Tight because that’s exactly what I have had to do in my minsitry and in this new found Faith. I decided to write this blog to encourage atheists to find God, to reach other Youth Pastors that know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed, but mostly to share with people who will read what it’s like to be in the life of living second. I want this blog to be a place for me to share what it’s like to live second while you put God in charge of your life.
Hang on Tight my friends, this life we call Ministry requires a whole lot of prayer, but a whole lot of laughs too! Remember, your not reading my story your reading HIS story through my journey.
Acts 20:24 (NIV)
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.