In some ways, faith came easy to me because I always wanted so desperately to believe in something, to belong.

The sacraments of my early faith journey included grape Koolaid and vanilla wafers, popsicle sticks formed into God’s eyes, and a painful game of Red Rover in the church parking lot. In other words, I first came to faith as an outsider. My family didn’t attend church when I was young, and because my parents worked, I was a frequent attender of Vacation Bible School, AWANA, and other children’s programs at the churches in our area.

My earliest faith memory is walking down the aisle of the Baptist church near our home during an afternoon VBS program. For some reason, my parents weren’t there, only my brother, though I couldn’t have been more than 5 years old. My trip through the pews had very little to do with Jesus; I wanted to pet the caged bird on stage.