I am also a child of God and he has been working on my heart double time for the last two years. (Not that he hasn't been working on me my whole life, but I've just really REALLY noticed lately.)
I don't affiliate myself with any particular denomination. I would just call myself a Christian, and I attend a church like God asks me to.
I am a certified teacher, and I am hoping to get into youth counseling in the next couple years.
I have a sister, and two amazing parents.
I also am a scenic designer, and I love the arts. I love drawing, scrap-booking, and crocheting.
|by matt dalrymple|
I grew up in a “multi-denominational” home. It was more of a constant source of tension than a display of tolerance. Due to a pre-marriage promise my dad made my mom, I was only allowed to attend her church until I was thirteen. When the time came, I was supposed to make a decision between the two denominations. To a thirteen year old, that’s like asking whose house you want to live at when your parents’ divorce; the house you grew up in, or the new apartment that dads moving into. The request made me angry, so I didn't make it. I was not a happy teenager. In my thirteen year old way I decided that since God put me in that position, He was going to have to be the one who took me out of it.
Before I left for college the new youth minister, took me out for breakfast. He asked me about the incident, “Why aren't you a Christian?” The youth minister told me that being a Christian wasn't about choosing a church to get baptized in, it was about accepting Christ. This conversation changed my life.
My uncle lived nearby the college I went to. He is a Catholic priest. Sundays, after he served mass, we would meet for lunch and talk about all kinds of things. I appreciated his patient way of entertaining my theological questions, collegiate thoughts and musings on various topics. For the first time that I can remember, religion wasn’t an argument, it wasn’t a source of contention, it wasn’t pressure, it wasn’t a list of things I shouldn’t do, it was acceptance and love. That summer I was baptized.
I continued my conversations with my uncle and grew in understanding, but the ultimate understanding of the gospel didn’t come until years later, when I lay completely broken on my living room floor.
As Corrie Ten Boom says, "I've learned to hold everything loosely because it hurts when God pries my fingers from it." I learned the hard way that when the Lord asks you to follow Him, and you say yes once, He will stop at nothing to destroy the idols of your heart.
After many broken hearts and broken dreams. I gave up my desire of living a life uncommon years ago and set my mind to the task of getting through my days. I stopped going to church and I became a teacher. I worked to pay my bills.
Eventually I started attending church irregularly as a breath of fresh air from what surrounded me every day at my job. My life was still my own, but my spirit needed life breathed into it.
In June of 2010 I found myself curled up on my living room floor of my one bedroom apartment once again I realized how my life was utterly out of my control, "You WIN!" I cried out, "I don't know what to do anymore! You win." My heart longed for the church, the one place I could be guaranteed God was.
I decided to contact a woman my mom had recommended to me years ago. My new mentor taught me about the gospel. She taught me that when God looked at me, He saw Jesus. I was forgiven, and He would not let me go. I was blown away! No one had taught me this before! Christianity wasn't about a list of don’ts; don’t dance, don’t drink, don’t swear, don’t have sex. That list can destroy you while you revel in your guilt and inadequacy. Christianity is acceptance of His grace.
Ever since that day, broken, crying alone, I've felt as though God has been working double time on my heart and changing me into a new person. He has restored dreams in my heart, the same dreams, only tweaked to be God's dreams.