A Struggle to Believe

Amanda - Mitchell, Indiana
Entered on December 12, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

When I was young, my family went to church. I remember going to several different churches as a child. Many different family members on both my mother and father’s side took me. I don’t remember having one specific church, but I do remember that they were all Christian churches. The belief in God was instilled in me at a very young age by many influential people in my life. However, I’m not sure that I ever understood that belief or really took it to heart. In fact, I’m positive that I didn’t. Sure, I would sing “Jesus Loves Me” and I did, in my childish way, believe in God because I was told to. It wasn’t until much later in my life that I truly understood what it was that I believed, how I believed it, and why I believed it. I don’t feel like I can say that I truly committed to belief until I was old enough to do so myself.

I believe that there is a God. I believe in Christian values. However, it wasn’t an easy road for me to get to this belief, and even now it’s not an easy road to continue travelling. When I was six, my father died. I moved to a small town, Mitchell, in Southern Indiana to live with my mom and stepfather. While both of my parents would identify themselves as Christians, neither went to church. This was a drastic change from my earlier experiences with my father and grandparents. However, children are adaptive, and I was okay with the change of pace.

I wouldn’t say that I lived a horrible lifestyle, but I wouldn’t say it was a Christian lifestyle either. We didn’t talk about the Bible stories or go to church or even pray every night. I think I if asked I would have said that I believed in God, but I didn’t go to church. In my junior high years, I would occasionally get asked to visit a friend’s church. I would usually go if I could, and I often enjoyed it. However, I do remember feeling out of place in the setting because I didn’t grow up in the tradition. I enjoyed the worship, but often not actually going to the services. This was mostly because I didn’t understand all the references and felt like an outsider.

It was not until I was in high school that I really began to understand my faith. I think this was mostly due to the people and church I surrounded myself with. They made God sound real to me. My belief in God has grown stronger and it has helped me through some difficult situations, just as it always has. I believe that God really pursues some people and I believe that I was lucky enough to be one of them.