Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Middle Part

After graduating from high school, I went on to attend Union University.  It was like youth camp every day, except we had classes like Calculus, Physics and Microeconomics.  Everybody was a Christian.  I learned a whole lot more about having a personal relationship with the Lord and TONS of theology.  About half-way through my college career, I sensed the Lord was calling me to vocational ministry, so I changed my major from Accounting to Christian Studies.  And while I grew tremendously over those 4 and a half years, periodically something bothered me.  Sometimes people would talk about loving Jesus, and when I was honest with myself, I had to say that I didn't really get it.  Love for God, I got.  But Jesus?  Not so much.  Everything he said was kind of obscure, and I just felt like I couldn't relate.  But I didn't let myself worry about it much, and hardly ever thought about it.

After taking a year off after college, I moved to Texas to go to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  The first semester was awesome. I loved school, I loved being on my own, I loved where the Lord had me.  But after spending the summer working at a church in Montana, I struggled with coming back to Texas.  It was hard for me to put my finger on it at the time, but I now realize what I loved about being in Montana was that the people there had genuine faith that I desperately needed.  They weren't playing church; it wasn't socially acceptable for them to be Christians.  No, they genuinely loved Jesus and walked with him each day.

My second semester in seminary was terrible.  I was mad at God for bringing me back to Texas when all I wanted was to be in Montana. I had a terrible attitude; and every second of that semester was torture.  I suppose it got better after that.  I repented of my attitude, grew closer to the Lord, and tolerated school.  But by the time I was finished with school, I was completely burned out.  I wasn't really interested in anything about the Lord that would require me to think.  And I certainly didn't want to act on anything.  I just wanted to sit back and rest. 

Rob asked me out on our first date the day after I graduated from seminary, so instead of pursuing my plan to move back to Nashville and edit curriculum for LifeWay, I just stayed in Texas and took a temp job. It was quickly apparent to both of us that we wanted to get married, and 6 months later we were engaged, the temp job became a permanent job and 8 months after that we were married.  

We've been married now for about 8 and a half years.  I remember really struggling with loving the Lord for those first few years because I loved Rob so much.  I had wanted to be married for so long that it had become my functional savior – I thought marriage would be the thing to save me from my miserable life (which really wasn't that miserable, but I thought so at the time).  So then, once we’d been married for a while, I began to think having a baby would satisfy me.  As I've written before, I spent a miserable year being mad at God for not allowing that to happen.  But He is faithful and continued to show me how much He loved me.  

What about you?  How did your faith develop after you first believed?

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