The Jesus Things

We all have different stories of how we came to know Christ. Some have the “I was a crack addict for four years and had a bright vision of Jesus dying for my sins while I was snorting it in a back alleyway, and Jesus and helped me through a difficult recovery and now I’ve been clean for twenty-seven years” story. Me? I became a Christian when I was three. I was snuggled up all ready to go to bed in my Pooh Bear toddler bed.

I’m not sure if I really knew what was going on, though. I don’t know. It’s been a long time since I was three. We’ll never know if I had a real knowledge of what I was saying.
But anyway, I’ve lived the church life. I’ve been going to church since I was in the womb. My parents sent me to Lutheran preschool. Bible story picture books were all over the house, along with Christian movies and Christian music. I was immersed in it.

Third grade, I think, is when it started becoming my own faith instead of just what I was taught to believe. For once, I had a longing for Jesus to hear me. I kept a thirty-day prayer journal (which I still have) and drew bracelets that I wanted Him to “wear.” I would plead that He would find a way to wear the bracelet, even if it was two-dimensional and drawn in black ink.

Then, the summer before fifth grade, I went to camp for the first time. I think camp changed my life, in some respects. Beforehand, I’d never known that Jesus could really do anything except sit in heaven and smile at us. I didn’t know that He could make us laugh and cry and feel so many wonderful things.

Jesus became just a camp phenomenon for me. I’d be so close to Him for five days, then it would be all over until the next August. I didn’t care much about my faith outside of the summer. It was this way for fifth, seventh, and eighth grades. Sixth grade was its own special thing. I blog a lot about fifth grade, seventh grade, and eighth grade, but I rarely talk about sixth. Remind me to do that sometime.

Only this past spring and summer have I really tried incorporating God into my daily life. It started in May and lasted through most of September. I was closer to Him during those months than I ever have been before.
I’ll admit, I’ve drifted from Him. I don’t think I’ve read my Bible on my own time for three months. I don’t feel Him so close anymore. It just feels like the time between camps. The time where I break all the promises I made to myself during those five days.

I have more to say on Jesus. Right now, though, I’m exhausted.

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