Thursday, July 26, 2012

Something Different

While living in the apartment my daughter had met a little boy and girl who were about the same age. When we met the parents we found out they were Christians and they were very strong in their faith. It seemed like all they talked about was God, praise God for this, praise God for that. I couldn't understand how they could think everything that they had or happened in their lives, God was a part of. It started to become very annoying to me and I actually started to avoid them. How could people be that joyful and happy?

 One day my wife comes home and tells me that the Christians were moving away. The husband had gotten the job they had been praying about for a long time. I was glad to see them go, I thought sure God could make it so you could have a baby, but having a hand in getting you a job? Really? No way, why would  God take time to help you get a job?

Anyway, right after they moved away our lease came up and we decided to move again. We found another apartment in Kenmore set back kind of in the woods a little bit, and it happened to be right up the hill from a co-op preschool. My wife had been talking about finding a co-op preschool, another coincidence?

My wife started working at the preschool and then working part time as a server or bar tending at night, and then somehow it became a full time job. During this time I had applied for a job as a maintenance guy for a local credit union. I would be driving around taking care of their branches. My current maintenance position was in one 36 story building in the city and I had gotten bored and my new boss was an asshole. I ended up getting the job, which was for more money and better benefits and it seemed like things were going well.

 We made a bunch of new friends from the preschool that we still know today. everything was going fine until my sister called and told me that her and husband were buying a house. I immediately got jealous and upset, how could she buy a house? Then I thought if she could buy a house I could buy a house, and even used the same agent.

After 3 or 4 months of searching we finally settled on a house in Auburn that was 98 yrs old at the time. We got in on a shady loan that we probably never should have got. We were living there for a few months and it was right around Christmas time when my wife comes home and tells me she had seen a Lutheran church while she was driving around town and wanted to go to the Christmas Eve service.

We go to the service and when we walk in there is someone waiting to welcome us and wishing us a merry Christmas. Both pastors walked over and shook our hands to welcome us to service. We felt so welcomed and the love in there was almost overwhelming, there was definitely something different about this church.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Something Missing

When my daughter was about 8 months old my wife went to work for a friend of her sisters as his property manager, he had a number of houses he rented out , but never had time to take care of them.
One of his houses we liked so much we rented ourselves and moved in. Right away it was made clear that we weren't welcome in the neighborhood, they didn't like renters.

 So even though we had our child, my wife's new job, and rented this big house, we were not happy in life. My job was making me miserable, her job started making her miserable, but that is her story so I will let her tell it if she chooses. That combined with the stress of the neighborhood was really hard on our marriage, we weren't going to church, we were stuck in dead end jobs, we were just being.

 I am not sure if I had lost what little faith I had or if I just stopped thinking about it, which is most likely the same thing, but God was not a part of our life. The funny part is we had a pastor living right next door to us and not only did he never once try to talk to us about God, he was one of the neighbors that never talked to us period.

Anyway, my wife's problems with her job came to a head one day and they had a mutual parting of the ways, so we moved into a small 2 bed room apartment and lived on my salary for awhile. My wife had started taking these free parenting classes at one of the community colleges and we started making some friends with other couples that had children our daughter's age. I even scraped up enough money once a week to start bowling in a league again for the first time in 10 years at least. Things were going OK, and we thought we were happy, but it still seemed like something was missing in our lives.

Monday, July 9, 2012

We got Baptized

On October 20th, 2001 my daughter and I were baptized. being baptized at that time was just keeping my end of the deal, not out of faith. I had no idea what it meant to be baptized. I didn't even bother to find out or study anything in the bible. I went to church on Sunday, when I went, and listened half heatedly to the sermon and then went home.

 It went on pretty much like that for a year, my daughter was the hit because she was the only baby in the church. There were a few younger children and teenagers, but our congregation was pretty old. I had made a pretty good relationship with the pastors and started to look for other ways to get involved in the church when it was decided because of financial reasons that our church would blend together with 2 other churches and become one church.

 I think now that I look back that these 3 churches became complacent with where they were at as far as membership goes. There were not any new people coming to the church, and there was no discipleship going on. Anyway, the council in it's infinite wisdom decided it would be better to bring in new pastors to save money. Just like that I lost the connection that was getting me to church and had me looking for other things in the church.

 I started going less and less and eventually quit going all together. We had tried other churches, but none of them seem to draw us in. No one welcomed us and made us feel at home like that first time we walked in to our first church. I had broken my promise to God and eventually even forgot about it, but little did I know He had a plan for me and I don't think anyone could imagine how it would transform my life. I know I sure didn't.