A senior at the College of Charleston, Taylor grew up among the mausoleums of Catholicism in Europe. When should moved to the Bible Belt buckle of Greenville, South Carolina, she occasionally visited churches with friends. Still, even a vague feeling of religious faith seemed like a foreign idea to a natural skeptic with a love for science. Taylor’s faith journey reflects how the Holy Spirit can draw people to Christ gently and gradually, but no less firmly. This is her story.
When I was younger, I grew up in strict Roman Catholic environment in Europe. I remember how much I loved going to the old, extravagant churches and being fascinated with the giant golden statues of the saints. Even at that age though, I recognized this as cultural experience, not a religious one. As I spent more time in the United States for school, I don’t have a single memory of going to church with my parents.
In grade school, I made friends who invited me their churches and Sunday school. I enjoyed the social aspect, helping with church fundraisers, and arts and crafts with children and elders. However, I still had no interest in learning about religion. I thought going to church was just something everyone did and I should too. When I got to high school, I made friends with a girl who came from a very religious household. She invited me to her church. With a separate building for teens, it was heavily centered on the band. I actually wanted to learn about Christianity and the historical background, but playing musical chairs with scripture was irksome. At that point in my life, I had recognized that the difference between everyone else there and me was that they had faith and I didn’t. I wanted so desperately to understand and feel that faith, so I continued to go to church services and pray regularly.
When I moved away to college, I met a guy named Tyler the very first day. He came from an actively Christian family and frequently engaged me in conversation about religion and my views. I told him I identified myself as Agnostic. As much as I wanted to have faith, I was a very logical, technical thinker, which was appropriate with me being a biology major. There was always a voice of skepticism in the back of my head. Tyler was different from other Christians I had encountered though. He didn’t seek to convert, but to understand.
A year later we started dating and he urged me to come to the Journey with him. I loved the environment. There was music, but it was also educational. Much like Tyler, the Journey asked questions and promoted discussion. It was very comfortable and approachable, something I had never really experienced in other churches. Eventually, I started attending Tyler’s church and fell in love with that too. I can’t remember what sparked the change in me to accept Christ, but I do remember the feeling. I remember praying and asking what something meant, and shockingly hearing words back. I was actually having a conversation with God and not talking to empty air anymore. The skeptic’s voice in my head was still there too, but I just couldn’t listen to it anymore. Jesus’ voice was truer.
It has only been recently that I realized how true it is that God will pursue you. Only God could have put the kinds of people in my life to pull me closer to Him. Now, I feel more complete and fulfilled. I rarely, if ever, feel alone anymore. It is an indescribable and unmistakable feeling to be in such a wonderful, loving relationship with God. I will cherish it every day of my life.