Posted by: Ety W. | February 23, 2008

My Testimony 1: Earliest Memories

Now that I’ve shared the reason why I started this blog, I suppose the next logical step is to give you my testimony. I like the idea of being able to write out my testimony rather than giving it orally. Too often, it seems that oral testimonies are expected to be only several minutes in length. Somehow I never felt that this gave the Lord the credit He deserves for what He has done in my life. In my eyes, He has done a mysterious and marvelous thing, though perhaps I find it interesting because it is after all, my life. If, as you read these first few paragraphs, find it of interest, read on. If you don’t, no offense taken. You can simply click on to broader horizons!

The first thing you will probably want to know is what denomination I am. Well, I’m not going to tell you. The reason for this is because I find that too many folks have pat little categories in their minds as to the “type” of Christian a particular denomination has. Usually, when I answer this question first, I find that the asker either wants to talk religion if they are the same as me, or if they are not, then they dismiss me and anything else I have to say. However, religion and spirituality are not the same thing. A person can be highly religious but not the least bit spiritual. A person can be dedicated to religious form and tradition, but never know Jesus Christ as their personal savior. So if you do manage to muddle through all this, I hope you will see that my life has been one of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am what I am by the grace of God, not by denominational affiliation. Even so, the Lord has used a variety of denominations in my life. If you read on, you will see what I mean.

My earliest memories of church were in the preschool department of the First Congregational Church. I vaguely remember the classroom and the courtyard playground. I was told that, as a baby, I was christened at that church. We were members there because it was my grandparents’ church and I suppose we lived near my grandparents. I don’t recall if we were regular attenders, but by the time I was going into kindergarten, we moved away from my grandparents and we didn’t attend church then.

I do have one very early recollection from that time though. I suppose I was about 4 or 5 years old or so, and I was playing at my grandparents house with AJ, the little boy of some family friends. He was considerably older than me, in 2nd or 3rd grade, so I was quite honored that he would play with a little kid like me. I don’t remember what we were playing, but I do remember a question he asked me. He asked me whether or not I thought that it hurt Jesus to die on the cross. I had heard about Jesus in Sunday School. I knew that he was God and Man too, so I had to think really hard about my answer. I knew that thorns and nails would be really painful, but since Jesus was God, then nothing could possibly hurt Him. So I answered no. AJ, however, told me that yes indeed, it hurt Jesus very much to die on the cross. I don’t recall what he told me after that, but I never forgot that incident.

The summer before I entered 3rd grade my parents bought another home. My mother must have put her foot down about church, because we began attending the denomination she was raised in, Episcopalian.

From 3rd grade on through early high school we were members of Calvary Episcopal Church. I attended Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, participated in the Christmas pageant every year, took confirmation classes, and my First Communion.

Of those confirmation classes, I mostly remember having to memorize things. Things like the names of the books of the Bible, The Ten Commandments, the Apostles and Nicene Creeds, and all the Sunday service prayers in the Book of Common Prayer. I remember only vague bits and pieces about these classes. Mostly I remember the fact that I had to give up Saturday mornings to attend them. Besides that, only one other memory stands out. We were studying the Ten Commandments and the priest was explaining them to us one by one. When we got to number seven, I was very curious as to what he would say because I had absolutely no idea of what “adultery” was. His explanation? That it was two adults who were pretending to be married. That seemed to satisfy the class, as no further questions or comments were made. In fact, no one giggled or snickered, as one would expect today. But then, childhood innocence was protected back in those days.

Of spiritual things themselves during that time period, I do recall contemplating Jesus’ death on the cross. I don’t know how well I really understood it, as I had never made the connection between my own sinfulness and the fact that Jesus died for our sins. But I do remember an overwhelming sense of sorrow that He had died in such a cruel manner. I cried myself to sleep that night.

At some point while I was in early high school we switched churches and began attending the Episcopal church in the next town over. I’m not sure as to the reason for this, except that I think my mother had issues with something that had happened at Calvary. I didn’t really know anyone at the new church, so I never felt very connected. Shortly after that my parents separated and divorced. We stopped going to church altogether after that.
Content copyright 2008 by If you find it anywhere else, it’s been stolen.
Click here for part two…….

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