Monday, August 06, 2007

The Interview

Becky was interviewed by Becky and then offered to interview readers of her site, so here is my interview with the fabulous Becky.

She has got some great questions that one!

1. The Leap of Faith: This may be way to involved to go into here, but why the leap of faith? Was this is a slow journey or was this an "aha moment"?

Well, I guess this will be the short version of my testimony. This is still going to be quite long though, but I would love to share my journey and thank you Becky for asking.

Growing up I had very little religion in my life until I moved to live with my Dad and Stepmom in 5th grade. They are both Jewish and so it only made sense that I would attend Hebrew School. I got Bat Mitzvah'd when I was 13 and continued attending Hebrew School until I graduated from high school. Although I was going to religious school every week, I did not have a relationship with God. Through out most of high school and college, I considered myself agnostic or an atheist, flipping back and forth between the two, which ever one sounded good at the time.

One day in college, I was walking through campus on my way to find out if I had passed a class. I stopped on the East Mall by the Tower and looked up and said to myself, “Please, God, just let me pass this class.” Nothing too profound there, but in that instant it became clear to me for the first time in my life that I believed there was a God. Why else would I be talking to him?

Now that I knew that I believed in God, I did little to pursue what that meant or to further my relationship with Him. I went along living my life the way I thought was best, with little regard to what place God had in my life. During these years, I would argue with Christians about the Bible and its validity. I argued that it was just a history book. That Jesus was just a really great man, but not the Messiah. I mistakenly thought that the Old Testament was the Torah and the New Testament was the Bible. I didn’t know that the Old Testament was actually more than just Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. I didn’t know that the Bible included the Old Testament and the New Testament, I thought it was just the New Testament. I argued against all that the Bible stood for, without knowing anything at all about it. I was na├»ve and stupid to argue against something I knew nothing about, I just never argued it to anyone who really knew much about it either, so I was never really challenged about my beliefs. A lawyer doesn’t go into court without studying all the facts, yet for years I had been walking into court blind so to speak without having ever read the Bible, yet arguing against it.

When I first met my husband, I did not know anything about his religious beliefs until one day he told me that he was finding his faith again. He was not a Christian when I met him although that was his background, but it didn’t mean anything to him at that time. As we dated, he grew in his faith and was led to start reading the Bible more often. When we got married, we knew that our religious differences would be a difficult part of our marriage. We thought love would be enough to get us through those difficult times. In the past three years we have argued more over religion than anything else. When I got pregnant with Boo Bear our arguments increased because I grew worried about how we would raise our child (as did he). I worried about the view point of Christians and how we would separate his viewpoint and mine.

During my pregnancy, my friend Tami lost her baby at 38 weeks and for the first time in my life the only thing I knew to do was to pray. I relied on God to help me with this difficult time and somehow I made it through my pregnancy without worrying more than any other mother that something horrible would happen to my baby. The death of Ethan caused me to rely on God like I never had before. Because Tami was a Christian and I wanted to help her grieve, I asked for Bible verses and Biblical advice that might help her in regards to what she was going through. Watching Tami go through such a horrible experience and come out the other side still loving and glorifying God and thanking Him for this experience in her life was a huge testament to the power of her faith.

From that point forward, I prayed more often and consciously tried to quit swearing, mainly because I know it isn't Godly and partly because I don't want my children ever saying those words. I had a relationship with God, but still felt it wasn't as complete as it needed to be.

To keep this story short, over the last two years, I have tried doing Bible Study, I have attended Church on occasion, I have tried reading the Bible with my husband and on my own. I went through periods where I did nothing to further my faith. I went through periods where I wanted nothing to do with the Bible and nothing to do with religion, when I though I had a good relationship with God.

For about 6 months to a year now I have been praying for God to show me the truth in regards to my beliefs, whatever the truth was. If that meant that I would become a Christian, then so be it. I put it in God’s hands and trusted Him enough to lead me where He wanted me to be. As I mentioned above, I did Bible Study for a little while, answering the questions “correctly”, but not really getting the whole truth out of what I was reading. When I truly let go and let God take over, that is when reading the Bible changed for me. I all of a sudden saw things clearly. Things that I had read before, but gotten nothing out of, now impacted me greatly.

About 3 months ago I decided to go to Church with hubby one week. I don’t know why this week was any different than any other week, but I felt led to go. At Church they mentioned a ladies Bible Study that was coming up for the summer. I later mentioned to hubby that I thought I might like to go. These things came out of my mouth without me thinking about them really or realizing what I was doing.

I started ladies Bible Study at the beginning of June and have gone every Friday but one since then. We are reading a book called Idols of the Heart that helps us to see the idols that we make for ourselves and the things we worship other than God. It has been a great way for me to connect with other women who struggle with the same things I struggle with.

At the same time, I started going to Church every Wednesday evening with hubby. Where as before, the Pastor would rub me the wrong way with his preaching, now I was learning from it. It was touching my heart and teaching me things. I was then asked to volunteer at Vacation Bible School. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to learn along with the kids the story of Jonah and the whale. I learned more than the kids I think.

Then I decided I would start going on Sunday mornings as well as Wednesdays. So now I was going to Church Wednesday nights, Friday mornings for Bible Study and Sundays. Before, I never wanted to go to Church because it took up my free time. Before, the words sinner, unbeliever, and saved made my skin crawl. All of a sudden, my heart had been changed and it can only be attributed to the Holy Spirit working in my heart to show me the truth. I know that sounds far fetched, but it is the only way I can explain it. All of those decisions regarding going to Church were made without thought, without intent, without hubby pushing or encouraging me. Nothing in my life had changed, yet everything in my life had changed.

Before I became a believer, I had many misconceptions about Christianity. I thought that Christians were zealots, overly strict, stifled by the rules of some “book.” What I have found about being a Christian is that it is the most freeing experience I have ever had. I have had such peace in my life since June 20th when I became a believer. I know that my life will not always be easy, but I can always be thankful for what happens because I know that God has a plan for me and that His plan is good.

This journey essentially has taken me my whole life and I think will continue through out the rest of my life. If anyone is interested in reading my whole testimony (20 pages), I would be happy to share it with you. Email me at shootersstation (at) gmail (dot) com. You know the drill.

2. Motherhood x 2: Planned? What is your initial thinking (boy vs girl)? Is this the beginnings of your own football team or will this complete the family?
Yes, this second pregnancy was planned, as much as one can plan these things. It took a small leap of faith on my part as some days I barely make it through the day with one, but I knew I wanted another child. TMI ahead... I had trouble regulating after breastfeeding and so instead of switching from one pill to another and then getting off altogether in a couple of months, we just decided to stay off and let God decide when our next child would come.

Boy vs. girl? Well, we are of the camp that doesn't find out what is in the womb until the birth day. With Savannah, we were sure we were having a boy and you see that got us a girl. I would love a little boy, but will be happy with whatever God blesses us with. Hubby wants as many kids as we can have, but I think that 3 is probably my limit. I tell hubby that if he can figure out a way to carry and have the kids, we can have as many as he wants. 4 is a possibility, but I just can't see how we would afford that many children. We will have to see where the Lord leads us.

3. Getting away: Mountains, lake, ocean, desert....heat or cold.... where do you prefer to go when you want to get away?
I'm a beach girl. I like warm weather, tropical settings preferred. Although I generally hate being hot, when I'm on vacation, it's a whole different ball game. We honeymooned in Costa Rica and I would love to return there as well as visit Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, any of the islands in the Caribbean. Who am I kidding? I would love to go anywhere. We haven't had a real vacation since I was 7 months pregnant with Boo Bear and before that it was our honeymoon.

4. All about you: What would the title of your autobiography be? When will it be written (now vs. when you are retired)? Will you talk about the adventures of your youth, the discoveries of your adult life, all of the above?
That's a tough one. Despite writing on this here blog for the whole world to see, I don't know if I could write a coherent book about my life. I think it would definitely have to wait until I retire so that I could really focus on the book. I would include my entire life, the adventures of childhood, the craziness of college, the growing as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend. I have been told I have lived a pretty interesting life, sometimes hard, sometimes wonderful, but always mine. In fact, that sounds like a good title for an autobiography, Life: Always Mine.

5. Looking glass: You seem to have a passion for photography. When did this start? Do you see something as beautiful and want to capture it or do you see it differently through a lens?

I don't know when my passion for photography started. I have always enjoyed taking pictures, but didn't really show an aptitude for it until about 5 or 6 years ago. I would love to learn more about photography, maybe even go to school and become a professional photographer. But alas, my job right now is to raise my children. Maybe someday.

I usually see something with my naked eye and want to shoot it. My skills are not such that I can make the photo fully reflect what it is I am seeing in my eye. But I try. One of the main things I have learned is that lighting is the number one thing (for me, because I don't know enough or have enough control of aperture and shutter speed) for me to take into consideration when shooting. If I have good light, I can shoot good pictures. I shoot still, inanimate objects better than moving objects or people due to the fact again that I have such a long shutter lag on my point and shoot. Someday I hope to get a digital SLR, but now can't justify the cost.

Now that was fun!!!! And it gave me something to post on this here blog that I have neglected so terribly lately. If you are interested in me interviewing you, leave me a comment to that affect and I will do my best to make you think as much as Becky has made me think.


snakeepoo said...

I am so happy to read your testimony. I definitely wanted to hear it when we had a good opportunity to talk about it. I'm just so happy for you! I can't wait until we're all together again next month!

Sandy said...

Hey! Thanks for stopping by my spot on the web earlier. I really enjoyed reading this post. Your testimony is beautiful to read. Congrats on the pregnancy and good luck with these new roads you're on.