Debra’s Faith Story
My first memories of being in church were the days my mother would join a special group of women to make a quilt. I played nearby or sat and watched the skilled fingers push their needles in and out of the colorful squares. I remember the ladies talking amongst themselves, but the most special memories are when they sang hymns as they worked. I was very small, just three years old, but those hymns still reverberate through me.
As I grew, the music became my own. I wasn’t blessed with a good singing voice, but that didn’t stop me from singing. As a young girl I sang “Jesus Loves Me” and “This Little Light of Mine”. Later, I enjoyed the beautiful hymns written by Charles Wesley. Raised in the Methodist Church, I listened to and sang a lot of his hymns. As a teen I enjoyed more contemporary Christian music as well as the old favorites.
By the time I was fifteen, God had claimed me as his own. My confirmation and baptism took place when I was ten, but it wasn’t until I turned fifteen that I really explored my faith. Youth leaders, Sunday School teachers, and other adult mentors guided me in my young faith. By the time I got to college I knew who I was and whose I was. The University of Kentucky Methodist Youth Foundation became a second home to me. The friendships I made there were some of the most special of my life and I still maintain some of those. My husband-to-be joined me at the student church and we both sang in the choir. Our choir even made an album of Christian music.
It was in college that I first participated in an organized Bible study. I was hooked. I wanted to read and study more. My love for Christ grew with each passing year and I have never looked back. I have served in my church in a variety of roles including lay leader, lay speaker, Sunday School teacher, Bible study facilitator, and serve with a fabulous group of Christian sisters. Our Circle participates in various events throughout the year such as Cinderella’s closet and sponsorship of local at risk teens. As a lay speaker I occasionally fill a local pulpit for an absent pastor.
Now, in my retirement years I understand pain, disappointment, and heartache. These come to everyone eventually, but living in Christ means I am the daughter of the King and I know he is always with me regardless of circumstance. I don’t have to be happy with what life is dishing out to be joyful in the Lord. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossian church: Colossians 1: 11-12 “May you be strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.”
My God spoke the world into being, calmed an angry sea, and raised the dead. He is the Great Yahweh, and yet he is always with me—encouraging, strengthening, and holding me. My greatest desire is to be called his friend and until my dying breath I will praise his Holy Name.