Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Life with a Guest Post!

Hello there!
Welcome to:
Here we are today with my first guest blogger.
Emily is one of my dear friends that I met in college. She was a freshmen when I was a junior.
Emily also has the distinct pleasure of being shorter than me! Something, you’ll have to ask her about. Seriously, the first day she walked on campus everyone on my Orientation Staff came to me and said, “Rachel, dude, there’s someone here who’s shorter than you!” (Sorry, Em, had to share!)
She blogs over here.
I’m so blessed to have her here today, I’m also guest posting at her place.
Could you stop by and tell her I sent you?
Take it away, Emmy!

10 days old: I get baptized and my parents throw a party

5 years old: I love my kindergarten teacher at my Lutheran school. She uses a felt board to tell us about how God created the world - it's so cool! At home I listen to the We Sing Bible Songs cassette tape Mom got for my sister and me. I love singing all of the songs and proud of myself that I can spell B-I-B-L-E. At night when we don't have time for long stories I ask Mom if she can read from our book of really short Bible stories instead.

8 years old: In elementary school helping with chapel and the operettas are some of my favorites. Noah's Ark is chosen for the school operetta - and Lisa and me are cast to say the first line. "When God first made the world and space the world was fine without a trace of imperfection wrong or sin, a wonderful place to frolic in." Lisa isn't as excited as I am though. In the summer I can't wait for VBS to start. By this age I have seen The Ten Commandments on VHS dozens of times and I'm sad because my favorite character, the Egyptian princess, doesn't love God. When I have surgery I tell my mom I'm going to pray before I go to sleep so everything will go well.

11 years old:  Religion class is a little more in depth than is has been before and I can't remember all of the different facts my teacher wants me to remember about the book of Acts - but that might be because I'm distracted by my first big crush on a boy. In Sunday School our teacher tells us the story of her faith. Other kids in my class didn't like it and got really freaked out by some of the stuff she said. I didn't say anything - but I thought it was a good story and I thought she was brave to tell us.

12 years old: My sister spends a week at a Christian camp over the summer and shares her newly revived faith. She tells me about how she felt sorry for everything she had done wrong but knows how much Jesus loves her and it's the best feeling in the world. She asks me if I ever have felt Jesus' love like that. I tell her no - which I feel like is a partial lie. She says she feels sorry for me. I later go back to my room and cry because I didn't tell her the whole truth, and I feel bad for everything I had done wrong even though Jesus loves me so much.

13 years old: Religion class has turned into Confirmation class. Although... I couldn't really tell the difference. They tell us that at the end of the school year we will get confirmed and have our first communion. Communion seems pretty cool, I don't get the point of confirmation though. They say it's when we tell everyone that we believe in Jesus and know he's in our hearts. Well... of course he's in my heart and I believe in him. Isn't that why I got baptized when I was 10 days old and go to church every Sunday and go to a Lutheran school. But as I get older I learn that it's not "cool" to like the Bible and religion class anymore. So I don't.

In the spring my mom has to get something from the Christian book store, and I go with her because I love books. In the young adult section I find a book called Summer Promise by Robin Jones Gunn. It's about a girl around my age, she's from Wisconsin, goes to California, and makes a promise. It looks good so Mom gets it for me. I eat it up. Christy is just like me. She thinks the way I do. She likes the same kind of boys that I do. She grew up as a Christian like I did. She has the same insecurities I do. And we both learn... loving Jesus is so much bigger than just going to church and Sunday school and praying before I go to bed.

So that's what this whole confirmation thing is about. I've always known God's love - but now it's time to show it and live it.

15 years old: I have one whole year of public high school under my belt. It was different than the Lutheran school, and I was nervous at first. But I love it. I have great friends and I like my teachers. Band and theatre are the best. I make my first friends who aren't Christian, and they ask me a lot of questions that I don't know the answers to. I have to tell people why I love Jesus for the first time. It's hard. But it was good for me. I go to the National Youth Gathering in New Orleans with my church youth group. Not many of the other people in the group seem to really enjoy the sessions and the big gatherings as much though which makes me sad. A friend at school says he plays guitar for the youth group at his church - he tells me to come visit and maybe they can help me grow in my faith. It turns out that a lot of people from my school go to that church. For the first time I feel like people outside of my family understand my relationship with Jesus.

17 years old: It's my last year of high school and things are going to change. I pray everyday for a boy I like so that he can love Jesus. I lead a home Bible study group with a new friend I've made and help a small group of freshman girls come closer to Jesus. I'm not sure what I want to major in when I go to college, and I don't know what college I want to go to, but youth ministry seems like a cool possibility. The boy I like breaks my heart the day before a big Bible study I'm leading... but God gives me strength. I know he's by my side. I'm not really sure of anything.I'm stressed and I get sad sometimes, but I need to learn to trust that God will guide me through.

19 years old: I've finished my first year of college. I wasn't as nervous as I had been for high school. College is awesome! I have the best friends ever. I learned how the people I surround myself with have a big impact on who I am. I go on my first mission trip and want to go back. I can't wait to find out what my field work church is going to be in my second year. Somehow I have gotten it into my head that Bible studies with friends and coffee go hand in hand and my Bible now has Caribou Coffee stains on the pages. I'm learning more and more about grace and how it's nothing that I can do to earn God's love - He freely gives it.

22 years old: I'm in my final year of college and internship is quickly coming. I have no idea where God is sending me. The little second family I've created for myself at school has to come together like we never have before. Dealing with doubts about our futures, relationships, faith, family, and friends. People are getting married, graduating, heading to seminary, or who knows where later. None of us feel like we really fit anywhere except with each other. We want to break tradition but still cling to our roots even though we aren't sure why. We learn that faith is a journey and sometimes stepping into the unknown.

25 years old: Life outside of the safety of school walls is different. It's hard and challenging. My friends, family, and I are all scattered throughout the country - and sometimes the world, trying to figure out this whole "being an adult" thing. We are all getting married, having kids, getting apartments, working on grad school, and facing the world of the job hunt. It's scary. Realizing that building relationships with new people, keeping the old ones healthy, and connecting to family is hard work. Sometimes even faith is hard work.

Then I write a post for a month long blog challenge about faith, where the first post is about your faith story. I realize: a simple blog post, no matter how well written or how long or short it is, can never really express the journey God has me on, how he lives in me, and how he works in my life. Any writing or blog post of mine can never fully show who he is and what he has done for me.

So... what's your story? If you're a Christian... how did you come to be one? If you have another religion - why did you choose it? If you don't have any religion - how did you come to that conclusion? I would love to hear your stories.

Emily is a city girl who after college found herself working as a youth minister in a small town. She blogs over at Love Woke Me Up This Morning  and Tweets at @LoveWokeMeUp where with a little bit of love and a little bit of coffee she walks through life one day at a time.


: @LoveWokeMeUp

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