On faith, doubt, and growing up in church

A great post from an old friend. It’s funny that we grew up in church together and never realized, until recently, that we’d been struggling with many of the same problems of doubt, guilt and frustration at the same time. While the journey she’s been and continues to be on hasn’t always been easy, it has always been about digging for answers and asking tough questions in the face of uncertainty. An admirable thing that I wish more people could proclaim they themselves have done.

lee, malinda

I have such happy memories of growing up in church. I remember vanilla wafers and flannelgraphs on Sunday mornings,  all the girls in our tights and ribbons, all the boys in their tiny jackets and miniature ties. I remember memorizing the books of the Bible to the tune of nursery rhymes and reciting verses in exchange for AWANA pins, trading prized “Bible cards” for candy, and earning Pioneer Girl badges for giving my “testimony.” I remember daydreaming about playing the coveted role of Mary in the Christmas pageant while perched in the baptismal as a manger-scene dove and singing a slightly off-tune Handel’s Messiah in the choir every Easter.

I made my first life-long friends in youth group and played out the awkward flirtations of my first crushes in the fellowship hall. There were road trips and lock-ins featuring elaborate games of Capture the Flag followed by contests to see who could stuff…

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