Even as a child, I knew about "knowing Christ". My parents raised me in a solid, godly home. Church was a natural part of that. Christ's teachings were the foundation of our family. My parents taught me to tithe at a young age. (Okay. My allowance was a dime...but still!) I never had any doubts about the true meaning of Christmas or Easter. My parents lived out their faith.
As I grew into preteen life, there became a bit more of an awareness of the need for a personal relationship with Christ. I began looking at the words of the hymns, realizing they were words to live by. I began reading my Bible. And even more as I became a teen, I saw with even more clarity the need for the Holy Spirit's work in me personally. I even began listening to sermons! And (gasp!) taking notes!
During my teens, I went on three missions trips to Central America. Those trips changed me forever. I will never again view the American lifestyle or even the American definition of Christianity in quite the same way. I was exposed to true poverty for the first time in my life. I saw people who had a shack with a dirt floor, with little food, and large families, with a Christianity that outshined anything I had ever known. Those trips caused me to look deep inside and wonder what Christ was asking of me--one who had been blessed with so, so much.
This is when the journey took me to Bible college...
And that, my friends, is a post for another day.