My earliest spiritual memory is being 6 or 7 years old and terrified of hell. I burst into tears and asked my mom, “Am I going to hell?” Bewildered, she comforted me and said, “Of course not!” I felt reassured at the time, but looking back, I was right to be worried.
Despite my fear of hell as a child, I didn’t feel a need or desire for church. I grew up in Texarkana, Texas, jumping on hay bales, picking blackberries and climbing trees. My family sometimes attended a small Methodist church, but it was just another activity to me – and a boring one at that.
I had parents who loved me very much, but at home I was surrounded by drugs and alcohol. My parents divorced when I was 9, but I continued to witness years of hurtful words and abuse between them.
I was a “good kid” throughout junior high and high school. My rebellion was not rebelling. I watched my parents mess up and, in my pride, thought, “I’m going to be better than you.” I stored up bitterness toward them, slowly hardening my heart.
My senior year of high school a friend invited me to her church’s youth group. I spent so long in a church where the average person was 75, so I went to satisfy my curiosity. The atmosphere was different – kids raised their hands, yelled, fell on their knees. I crossed my arms and observed.
Despite my discomfort, I continued to go. One night, I started to cry during worship. I ended up face down on the floor, spilling pent-up, bitter tears. The youth pastor’s wife knelt with me on the floor, and the Lord spoke to me through her, telling me things about my life no one else knew. I was shocked. God never felt personal to me before.
In my first two years of college at UNT, I started to grow and follow Christ. I began attending The Village in 2009, becoming a Covenant Member in 2011. I also graduated that year with a B.A. in English and Psychology. Shortly thereafter, I began working at The Village on the Communications team and have experienced one blessing after another. God is good.
Hope for The Village Church
I hope and pray that we continue to proclaim the gospel faithfully and clearly, out of overflowing hearts, gratified by His mercy and grace.