The guiding questions for writing a testimony are: What brought me here? What keeps me here? & What is my growing edge?
Well, parenthood brought me here. When I arrived at First 15 years ago, I was a new mother and a former Catholic. I had recently participated in the “family pleasing charade” of having my daughter baptized in the Catholic Church. The hypocrisy of it, was embarrassing, so Jack & I looked for a church where we could be honest with our children about our beliefs. A desire for “religious community” also brought me here, though at the time, I really didn’t know what that meant.
Today, I now know that a “religious community” is a safe, supportive place, where members strive to encourage one another, towards personal and spiritual growth. My need for a Religious Community is what keeps me here.
When I joined first:
1. I cried at almost every service – which is ok here.
2. I was afraid to speak up; I didn’t think I knew enough.
3. and email & computers were a mystery to me
Despite all that, I was breathing….. so naturally, I was recruited as a volunteer.
Volunteering here is an opportunity for meaningful growth. Every time I’ve taken on a new role, I’ve been filled with self doubt. And every time, there has been one moment, (and I can recall dozens of these moments) when I realized, that the eyes that were looking into mine, were filled with encouragement and support.
This happened every year I taught RE, when I organized Family Retreats or Halloween parties, when I taught OWL, when I became a Worship Leader, and again when I became the Worship Convenor. Even as challenges & disagreements have arisen, there have always, been wise & encouraging eyes, to steady me, & to remind me, that we all have something to teach.
Part of my sales pitch for recruiting people to give testimonies, is to tell them that this is a “spiritually healthy exercise”. Today I can officially report, that I have been telling the truth!
It’s taken me two weeks, to figure out what the devil my “growing edge” is.
During my first decade here, I focused on building community for my children. After that I pursued my interest in “worship”. But my term as Worship Convenor will end next spring. Then what?
I’m realizing that it’s time to make some changes. I need to broaden my experience, to let my children test their wings, and to be a better partner. My growing edge is to anticipate & embrace the next stage of my life.
I am grateful for this healing community. You make me stronger, and more mindful, of the things that matter. Thank you.