I returned to church in 2011. I felt the need to reach out to God, and find more meaning in my life.
My friend Diane stopped by my house and invited me to come to her church. She was not pushy at all, and she read me clearly. She knew there was some pain involved in my decision to stop attending church many many years ago, and that made me realise that avoidance of that pain was keeping me hostage.
There was a time in my young teens when church and school were the only safe places for me. My church family and my friends at school were the only family I had during those hard lonely years. My aunt (who my brother and I lived with)was mentally deteriorating and becoming violent toward us, and as it became obvious that Martin and I were no longer safe there, the decision was made that the aunt would have to be hospitalized and Martin and I would have to be removed from that home and sent back to our mother.
The agony of leaving my church family so abruptly was so difficult for me. That church was truly my sanctuary. I was devastated.
So I didn't attend church for 41 years. I couldn't. I was afraid to commit to possible hurt again. Yes, I did drop into a church here and there over the years, but there seemed to be nothing for me there.
And yet I knew something was missing in my life. I knew it was a relationship with my Lord.
I took 3 weeks or so to consider accepting Diane's invitation. And one Sunday morning, the time was ripe.
I sat in the back of the church and listened carefully to the worship going on around me. It seemed joyful and easy.
Calvary Baptist Church in my little town is small and intimate. There is humor in this congregation and I feel relaxed and comfortable there.
I began attending Sunday School to learn.
And then the desire to be a member of this church manifested itself. I asked to join and was accepted. I was satisfied to attend Sunday School and the worship service every Sunday.
Then I heard the voice telling me that I must be reborn and begin my walk with God in earnest.
So today I was fully immersed and washed of the sadness and sins of the past, to recommit my life to God.
I'm joyful and looking forward to my life in the Lord. I consider myself a baby Christian now, and look forward to learning with all the excitement of a child.