I wasn't raised with any formal religious education. As a little girl, I was the one in the neighborhood that would go to church on Sunday with any family that would take me. Baptist Church with RuthAnn, Lutheran with Gina, Catholic with Patty (I was welcome to go but don't I dare take communion.)
Sure I can still name all the books of the Bible in order, but it was only to earn the glow-in-the-dark cross prize. I memorized verses to accumulate badges for my sash in Pioneer Girls (Baptists answer to Girl Scouts.) And I know the 10 commandments, the "popular" stories from the Bible, and thanks to Christmas being such a big part of commercial America, I knew about Jesus.
But I never "got it."
I always claimed to be agnostic ... a fence rider, just in case I was found unexpectedly at deaths door, I might be able to back peddle and sneak into Heaven at the last minute.
Last fall I begin to go to Kensington Church, a new age type of place. Humongous building, sans steeple, stained glass, crosses, pews, not even a photo of JC himself. But, they do have a great quasi Starbucks on the second floor. I had gone there on and off since they begin their ministry in this area. It seems over the past 10 years, when I have been mentally lost in a direction, I was always drawn to go and listen to their service. The electric guitars, drums, synthesiser and upbeat music reaches out to me more than the dreaded church organ with robed middle aged men and women singing from a hymn book. The skits and plays make the lesson of the series being taught a lot easier to understand and apply to scripture. The delivery from less than perfect pastors in their jeans and Polo's puts everyone on an equal level. This Christian, bible based church has introduced me to an undeniable faith, something I have struggled with for years.
I have always prayed ..."Please God, don't let me get caught skipping class and I swear I won't do it again." "I pray God I am not pregnant, I promise I will get on birth control if you get me out of this one" "Lord, please help me" ....etc, etc, etc ...always a prayer for me, always making a deal with God. The first prayer I think I ever really meant was when my brother was in a coma 16 or so years ago ... I remember really feeling that my prayers were being heard by God. And yes, they were answered. I pray now, daily, and my prayers include more thanks than cries for help.
I will continue to seek just as I did as a little girl, but now I am able to seek with an open heart, mind, and with direction. I see God answering and guiding me.
Oh yea, for those of you reading this that know me, no Hell has not frozen over, my closed mind has just thawed out.