Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Growing in Faith

There are two points in my life when I feel I grew the most in my faith. (I'm sure there are more to come being I am a work in progress.) One, the latter, I have mentioned on this blog a few times already. The former is when I attended First United Methodist Church (FUMC).

FUMC was a lot of "firsts" for me...it was the initial:
1. ...church I ever attended,
2. ...(and longest running) "crush" I ever had (on a boy who was also an attendee),
3. ...time I ever went to the snow and attempted skiing (with the youth group),
4. ...school to which I went (preschool),
5. ...choir in which I participated,
6. ...moment I felt my heart beat with a deep desire to know God,
7. ...Christmas party at which I was a guest... (one of the church families allowed the youth group to take over their beautiful house for an evening).
8. ...season I wanted to go to worship service. It made a difference to me and I felt void of something if I missed it.
9. ...encounter with and adoration for hymns.
10. ...communion.
11. ...volunteer position in the church (as an acolyte and then years later as the leader of the liturgical dance group).

To say FUMC helped mold me would be a gross understatement! God had given me the most amazing congregation in which to mature. I was young, innocent, naïve, and the FUMC family was safe, understanding, protective, and nurturing. Though it was bigger, I was known there, encouraged, instructed, and loved. To put into words all that it was, to me, is impossible. But, I'm sure you can imagine a child so unaware of all this world has hidden in its shadows---trying to feel accepted, and find her place---searching, questioning, and attaining, with gentle guidance.

I have lost some of my FUMC family. Those like Ms. Lucy, Mrs. Wills, and others who God has called home...yet, I am certain I will see each of them again, for an eternity! Until then, however, I think of them fondly and miss them dearly.

This month, there is going to be a reunion of the FUMC youth group, which I am going to miss. But, my heart will be there! How I would delight in sitting with them again, singing our favorite songs! Actually, the absolute BEST would be the chance to show up at the old youth room (with it's 80's video games, DC Talk music playing, ping pong table and pool table), have pizza (or whatever else we used to get for dinner), hang out with the old crew, play games, learn, share, sing, pray, and anything else we used to do, together! I guess those days feel like an old friend. What I would not give for one more evening there, with ALL of them. To me, it was a small taste of heaven.
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