Several people have asked me over the past few months about the experience that I call my "fall TO grace". It's an exciting part of my faith journey, one of the pivotal growth periods in my relationship with Christ.
So here begins my story, with some background.
I was raised by Christian parents who instilled in me the importance of God's Word, and the gloriousness of Christ. As a young mother, it was important to me that our home be a strong Christian home, and that our children be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Since I was taught to be a Christian nonconformist who looked to Scripture for guidance, it was fairly easy for me to adopt some rather different lifestyle choices for our family, such as having more than the socially acceptable number of children, etc.
During those early parenting years, I also read a lot. As my oldest son grew a bit older (around 7 years of age) I began a far more serious study of theology than I ever had before, just in order to keep up with Eldest Son's questions. I became really excited about the idea of loving God with all my mind.
It was during that time that I discovered some of the authors who greatly influenced me during the next few years. It was also during that time that I first became involved in online theological discussions, discovered the "Reformed Faith", and became more committed to a certain ethic of family life.
Much of that was valuable and exciting. We became involved in a small church that provided excellent Biblical teaching, indepth Bible studies and discussions, and wonderful sweet fellowship. Our children thrived in this church environment. So did we.
But, at the same time, the stage was being set for something in my life that was not so healthy. My concepts of holiness, sanctification, and grace were becoming less truly Biblical and more influenced by various authors, teachers, and intenet discussions.
In many ways, this was not a new problem. Years before, a friend had talked to me about the importance of realizing that Christianity was far more about relationship than about rules. It was a lesson, unfortunately, that I had not yet learned.
More to come...