1. What was your life like as a kid?
My childhood was seemingly normal. As normal as any other kid in a modern, semi-successful, American family. My parents both worked as nurses, well educated, and were sure to maintain their status as registered Democratic voters. So we never saw any noticeable threats to our “lifestyle”. And in typical, semi-successful, American style, my parents decided to divorce when my brother and I were relatively young. Like so many other children, since the ripe age of nine, I could easily say this division in our family has characterized most of my thoughts and memories of life as a kid.
2. What were some of your dreams growing up?
Honestly, my dreams were hardly impressive, or even exciting to say the least! I suppose I made a dream out of what I had always been taught would make me “successful”. I had pretty set plans of going to college, adding lots of impressive degrees and titles to my name, studying abroad, traveling, making enough money to earn my own independence and to enjoy maintaining the same style of life I always had.
3. How did you come to know and treasure Jesus?
The God of great heart reversals, decided to reverse mine! I had grown close with a few girls from school, who were faithful to boldly tell me a story I had never heard. The story that included a heaven, and a reality of hell. They told me about the reality of a God who was far lovelier and holier than any after school “bible talk and pizza party” had ever mentioned. Honestly, I was rather shocked with how scandalous this story was. How offended I was by the reality of this “sin” they had told of, which up until then, I had no concern about committing. More than that, it was months, even years of finding myself unsettled by the sin I saw, not only in my own self, but the same sin that infected almost all of my life up to that point! So many prayers to a God I didn’t know, and so many late nights searching the Scriptures for evidence of His character! Treasuring Christ came when I had given up wrestling this sin on my own. When I had seen it in its fullness and read in the Scriptures the weight of what this same sin had done. And God, rich in mercy taught me of his plan and the advocate that had come as the remedy for it all. When I saw how badly I needed this sin forgiven, that is when Christ became a treasure!
4. How has following Jesus changed your life?
In a lot of ways it’s as if my inwardly bent, near sighted gaze, has been permanently lifted! With Paul I now can say the same; that whatever I had gained on my own, I count as loss for the sake of Christ! Indeed, I count everything as loss because of a surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus. Following Christ has uprooted every desire of my heart. Where I once knew only my own wants, wanting my own glory, I now see One who is far more deserving of glory. Where I once saw intellect and intelligence as a means to be lifted up, I now see the great humility of a King who has made the most brilliant wisdom, seeming foolish to a world that is perishing. Where I once knew only how to need people for my own selfish gain, I see the joy set before Christ when He loved a people who could offer no love in return!
5. What role has Kaleo Church played in your growth as a Christian?
God has used the people of his church in every way that, before being apart of it, I had only ever read of in the Scriptures. The church has been a teacher to me, equipping and faithfully feeding me the Word of God. The church has been a friend to me; involving itself in all of my life, mourning alongside me in affliction, and reminding me of Christ when my eyes are fixed elsewhere. Perhaps mostly, the church has been a family to me; allowing me to experience reconciliation. And, in small glimpses, the reality of a heaven where brothers and sisters will dwell in perfect unity with one another! In all these things, the church has been a people. What was once a building, and those who were once far off, God has reconciled to Himself and brought near!