Those that Leave Can Return

A mother finds her way back to church and to the love of Christ

As many as seven out of eight young people will leave the church by the time they are 22 years old! This is what recent research estimates. It does not surprise me as I look around at the distracting and disturbing culture our young people face, but mostly it does not surprise me because I was in that group of seven.

I did come back to join the church five years ago, but only because I grew up in the church and felt my children should know the comfort of God. Comfort, much like a teddy bear or a “blankie”. I don’t need a teddy bear, but I know my children needed one so I sought to provide one for them. This was very similar to my view on God’s role in my family’s life – I will give them access to God, but I don’t need Him… or so I thought.

God gives us the freedom to hear Him or not. When my mother died a year and a half ago from lung cancer I finally listened to the voice I had ignored for so long. It was then that I realized not only how much I need God but also how much we all need Him equally – the rich, the poor, the old, the young. I am so glad He keeps calling to us and so grateful to have finally become the one out of eight that returns to the church.

I have spent the last year and a half learning about God and marveling over His Grace in my life and all around me. I have also spent a great deal of time pondering His call to me. I often feel like Peter or Jeremiah, unsure, unsteady yet completely overwhelmed by His power and love. I guess it was that power and love that brought me to a LOGOS training event in Bethlehem PA this summer. It was the most amazing educational and spiritual experience that I knew it would be since I had already fallen in love with the LOGOS program at my church.

I don’t know if I would have become that one child out of eight and found my way back to the church if it weren’t for a mother who loved God and a childhood church with a wonderful and loving children’s program. I have thought about that church a lot recently. That is where I first met the Jesus I now know and love. It is like being reunited with an old and wonderful friend – “Hey friend, I remember you!” It is life coming full circle.

I want our children to meet and hold on to God. If they do fall away because life seems to lead us that way sometimes, I hope we will be His hands and feet and give them what they need to find their way back. This is my prayer, and this is why what we do with our children and youth at our church and in every part of our lives is so important.

God bless you all and thanks for allowing me to share this. ~ Leigh

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One Response to Those that Leave Can Return

  1. Tom Beagan says:

    Leigh,
    Thank you for your message. What a blessing!

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