Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thinking for Myself #2

I'm one of those weird students who didn't go to college to party or even to get a piece of paper. I simply wanted to learn and grow. Yeah...I'm that dorky. But proud of it!:o)

I engineered my entire education in order to achieve the goals I set for myself. In order to fight my natural shyness, I forced myself to initiate social contact with others on a regular basis. I forced myself to take roles in community service that I was uncomfortable with. I took advantage of travel experiences simply to go somewhere new, in the hopes that I would learn something new. I thrived on discussions with people who believed differently. I laughed when my Buddhist-Unitarian roommate in England said: "You know...I was really freaked out when I found out I was going to be living with people from '---' University, but you guys aren't at all as close-minded and brainless as I thought you were going to be!"

Throughout my college years, many aspects of my life got questioned. I questioned church and organized religion. I questioned my future. I asked questions like...did I want to go to grad school? (yes-I didn't want to stop learning!) and did I want to have an outside career? (no, but maybe I should have something to do part-time or from home).

I never questioned God. In all the tumult of the world around me, He was my one constant and the only One I could anchor my soul to. Sure, I questioned theology and doctrine...but, He was THERE. I could see Him working and sense His hand guiding me, even when I didn't feel ecstatic about Him or understand what He was doing. There were many times when I didn't have the warm fuzzy-wuzzies about church or even God during those years...but He was there, nonetheless.

My questions continue to this day, and will until I die--no doubt about that! The more I know, the more I realize that I don't know. Since graduation from college, my questions have led me to the conclusions that grad school isn't as important as I once thought (I can still pursue further education WITHOUT spending thousands of dollars I don't have!:o), and that life with God means learning to value what He values: My family...serving the people around me.

Despite past mistakes and troubles, and the inevitability of more in the future, I'm excited about what God has for my future! I'm thrilled with the journey He has me on, because I know it's taking me where I want to go: to be with Him.

People looking at me and my life may see only the mere outlines of my journey and assume that because it does not deviate all over the map, I must not have questioned or considered my own path. But let me assure you! Every step has been analyzed. Every twist and curve has been agonized over. And throughout it all, God's hand has been there to pick me up when I fall and to prod me forward when my questions threaten to paralyze me. Thank God for His faithfulness!


Blogger Samantha said...

Thanks for sharing such a personal life testimony. I read Mrs. B's salvation testimony the other day as well. It's so incredible how God works in all of our lives. Everybody's salvation story is unique.
BTW. Your story isn't as "cookie-cutter" Christian as you think :) I don't know very many people who were saved at such a young age. Alot of people who were raised in Christian homes know alot about doctrine and religion, and assume that they are a Christian because of this. The fact that you, at such a young age, made a concious decision to accept Christ's salvation is such a blessing! God is good!

7:21 PM, May 04, 2006  
Blogger Becky Miller said...

WOW. I cannot believe how similar your story is to mine! I could have practically written these two posts myself! The main difference is that my husband is not an MK, but that's about it!

10:10 AM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

Samantha, I used to be frustated that my story isn't as exciting and dramatic as others, but I've grown to be thankful for it as you said. God saw fit to work in my life the way He did, and I'm so thankful that he brought me to Himself as a young child! I didn't have to spend years and years searching for meaning:o)

Becky- that's pretty amazing! Really? The MK thing is about the only difference? Wow!:o)

12:38 PM, May 05, 2006  
Anonymous The Happy Feminist said...

I don't doubt that you are your own person and have come to your own conclusions! Of course, I don't think it's a coincidence that you were (I infer) raised in a conservative Christian household while I was raised in a secular humanist/Unitarian household. We all tend to be shaped by our parents' values-- although there are certainly people out there who have made radical shifts away from how their parents thought.

I have certainly rejected some of my parents' beliefs, but I always come back to the same essential humanist framework of looking at the world.

9:37 AM, May 06, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

HF- I agree that parents values do influence their children. However I believe that for a person who thinks for himself or herself, values are more likely to stem from their basic worldview (i.e., Christian or humanist) than from what their parents say. I think that I share many of my parents' beliefs because I share their basic worldview. If my basic worldview wasn't Christianity, I can guarantee you that I wouldn't subscribe to their other values!

I'm not a Christian because my parents are. If I didn't have the absolute conviction in my heart that God is real and Christ is the way to reach Him, I would definitely not be the type of person to pretend to believe it or even to remain agnostic. I would be out there searching for some truth that I could hold onto.

12:49 PM, May 08, 2006  

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