I am so happy to introduce you to my friend, Sylvia. I met Sylvia through the World of the Blog a few years ago. She is the mother of nine, that is NINE, beautiful children. All of whom were home schooled and home birthed. I am in awe of her patience and so touched that she is sharing her challenge with us today.
What’s My Challenge? My Changing Faith
I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but for a brief time when I was about five years old my mother did take me to Sunday School. There I asked Jesus into my heart! In fact, I asked Him in twice just to make sure He was really there! And that was the extent of my religious upbringing!
As I grew older during the early seventies I spent my teenage years dabbling in sex, drugs, and rock and roll. When I found out I was pregnant with my first son I cleaned up my act and straightened myself out because I didn’t want to harm my precious little baby and I was determined be the best mother that I could be.
Then I got married and had another son. When my sons were two and four my first husband died and I began thinking about my long forgotten faith. At first I just began dropping the boys off at a local church for Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. It was during one night as I was retrieving the boys from VBS and heard all the children singing, Jesus is my King, that I felt the Lord’s presence and renewed my faith in Him.
Flash forward thirty years and I find myself in somewhat of another spiritual awakening. For years I had been content to sit in a pew and believe what was taught from the pulpit having complete trust that what I was being told was the gospel truth. I never really occurred to me to challenge what I was told or even t to study for myself whether or not what I was believing was really the truth.
Until now, that is! The internet has exposed me to so many new and different thoughts and interpretations on the meanings of scripture. I am no longer content to just sit quietly and unquestioningly believe what I have been told. I have come to the startling conclusion that I am just as capable as anyone else of studying the scriptures. In fact, there are even verses that confirm the crazy notion of searching and studying the scriptures to make sure that what we are being taught is the truth!
(Acts 17:11) Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
( 2 Timothy 2:15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I realize now that I no longer believe certain doctrines that I just took for granted as being the truth without question. I won’t lie and say this has been easy to admit. It’s actually been pretty scary for me! I don’t want to be wrong after all! But after thirty years of holding to a Christian Patriarchal and Quiverfull mindset. I no longer believe that men must be in control of everything or that women should just sit back and be silent and submissive.
Having a child with disabilities has also opened my eyes and softened my heart to the plight of other people groups fighting for equal rights and acceptance. I no longer believe that it’s the Christian’s job to judge or deny equal rights to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
I believe that everyone is worthy of being treated with love, acceptance, and respect regardless of their race, religion, skin color, social class, abilities, disabilities, convictions, opinions, choices, lifestyle, sexual preference, or sexual identity.
Thank you, Sylvia for being so honest with how your faith has evolved. I know my own has changed from a little girl who feared God to a grown woman who questions and seeks answers. You can learn more about Sylvia, her beautiful children, and her faith at her blog, Living with Our New Normal.
What's your challenge is a series that was inspired by a program I created at Abby's school. I am amazed at how honest and hopeful the challenges have been. Thank you to all who have contributed. To submit your challenge, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org