Growing up a PK (preacher’s kid) I had a front row seat to all kinds of things done in the name of “ministry.”
I saw religion, spirituality, atheism, agnosticism. I saw searching. I saw people who were “worshipers of satan” and those who claimed to be their own god. I was never allowed to be in the presence of anyone who was supposedly possessed by demons. Though my dad would get calls at all hours for these types of things.
He only talked about it once. Said that it was the most frightening thing he has ever witnessed and hoped that he would never have to witness it again. It was a girl. A teenager. She was speaking in different voices and climbing the walls. Weird, huh?!
This can be very confusing for anyone, but especially a child.
I found that the easiest and most convenient path to take was to adopt the God of my parents understanding.
The only problem was that they had very different views of who God was and how He sees us, His children.
During the Summer, my dad would meticulously pack up the Buick and we would all pile in and head off to where he was speaking for the week.
This usually entailed at least a 5-10 hour drive.
I am the youngest of 3 girls. We would all three be in the back seat with our one thing that we were allowed to bring along to entertain ourselves.
Keep in mind that these were the days of 55 mph speed limits on the highway.
I have always been prone to motion sickness. My mother would say multiple times during a road trip, “Focus on the center yellow line and you’ll be fine.”
“Oh God, please don’t let me vomit in this car!”
I could only imagine how awful the next few hours would be with the smell on the upholstery.
I stared at that yellow center line for more miles that I could count.
Though it sounds rather horrific, I loved those Summer travels. Even though it meant we were not with our friends, I met knew friends and before you knew it, we were running up and down the seemingly endless isles of a gigantic auditorium.
It was always great to come home too.
I can close my eyes, even now, and remember walking into our house on a hot summer day in the south. The turn of the key in the lock and stepping over the thresh hold. The air had been off for days, making it just bearable to be inside while waiting for dad to turn on the AC.
Upon the first breath through my nose, I knew I was home. The smell was familiar and comfortable. The sun streamed through the sliding glass doors, across the carpet and onto the tall stools at the kitchen counter where we ate breakfast every morning.
I remember as if it was yesterday, seeing the dust stir in the sunlight. I turned the corner, walked down the hall to my room and felt at ease. Collapsing on my bed and looking up at the popcorn ceiling, life was good. I didn’t know any different.
And then it broke. Never to be put back the same way again.
After all, with so much at stake, how could it be?
(This is where I will place the bookmark…for now. Let’s pick up where we left off in the story, tomorrow.)