Finding and understanding my faith was a difficult journey for me.
When I was young I was baptized and went to church every Sunday with my family. When I was around 5 years old, my passion for hockey grew, and my time on Sundays became limited. For years I didn’t go to church. I always considered myself a Christian, but never fully understood what that meant to me.
At 14, I began questioning my faith. I had a vague understanding of Christianity and a yearning to know more. That summer I asked my best friend’s mom if I could go to church with their family.
So, on an early Sunday morning in September of 2017, I walked into St. Matthews and immediately felt goosebumps—which lasted the entire service. I was welcomed into the church family with open arms and I felt at home. I’m not a morning person, but from then on, every Sunday morning I had a spring in my step and a desire to be at church. The world seemed so clear through Jesus’ love.
I enjoyed my routine of going to church on Sunday’s and slowly learning more about my love for Jesus until my first experience of real tragedy on May 26, 2018. I woke up to a text message about the tragic death of my close friend, Daniel, and felt lost and confused.
That morning, the world became a blur, and I began to question my faith. I didn’t understand why God could let a person who was full of Jesus’ love die such a senseless and horrible death. I questioned why I believed in something that would let this happen.
During what I considered to be the lowest point in my life, I wanted to turn my back on the church, but instead all signs turned me to God. Daniel sang in his church choir, he enjoyed attending church and spent a lot of his time with his youth group, but most importantly he lived in the light of Jesus. I knew Daniel would want me to go to church, so that day I went to Messy Church and found myself sitting in a pew furthest from the altar overcome with grief. Yet, although I was alone in the church I felt surrounded by love. I realized that I could turn to God and lift up my grief to him.
The book of Philippians states, “I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.” This verse reminds me of the overwhelming love God surrounds me with that pulls me out of the darkest of days.
From that day on, although I go through ups and downs, my faith and love for God has always remained constant.
By Lauren Simpson