A Trip Down Memory Lane: My First Church Memories

It’s hard to admit, but I have really fuzzy and inconsistent memories of most of my childhood. I don’t know why this is the case, my childhood was pretty typical and fill with happy times, or at least as far as I can remember.

For instance, I don’t remember my first day of kindergarten, but I do remember the painting easels at my preschool because I loved craft time. And even though I was the oldest of four, I don’t ever remember my mom being pregnant with any of my younger sisters. But I do remember being dropped off at my aunt’s house in the middle of the night when my mom went into labor on a hot summer’s night.

And although I don’t remember a ton, I know my childhood experiences have shaped the woman and the mother I’ve become today. Many of these memories, although vague, also center around my childhood church and Sunday mornings.

Looking back – a few of my first church memories and experiences:

  • I remember an early Sunday morning, my mom and dad sitting around our dining room table hunched over the yellow pages section of the phone book. It was the early 80′s and they were searching for a new church to visit. My mom was making suggestions based on denomination, and my dad was making phone calls, trying to figure out what time services were being held.
  • I remember joining a new church, and going up front to be introduced to the congregation. I also got baptized on that Sunday morning, I remember wearing a blue and white frilly dress. To this day, my parents are still members of this small town church.
  • I remember going to Sunday school in the basement of the church. Feeling nervous that I would mess up my memory verse, but hoping I could nail it so I could get a piece of candy at the end of class.
  • I remember that one time my parents forgot my little sister at church, and an elder brought her home (we still joke about this one today).
  • I remember how the bell choir that would play during the holidays, and wishing that just once I could wear those bright white gloves and play the littlest bell.
  • I remember my first kiss. Yes, parents beware,  it was in the basement of my church during a game of hide-and-seek at a middle school “lock-in”.
  • I remember my church organizing an epic bone marrow registry because a little boy in our congregation needed to find a match. Ten years later, because of this event, my dad would be a perfect match for a sick young women living across the state and he would become her donor.

All these memories, from reciting bible verses to bell choirs and first kisses have molded and cultivated what my faith has grown into today. I even remember (and my parents might still have, stored in a box somewhere in their basement) my very fist picture bible.

I oftentimes wonder what will be the little nuggets of childhood and our church my kids will remember when they’re an adult. Will they remember the devotionals we do after dinnertime? Will the remember the bedtime prayer we recite faithfully? Will they remember their very first bible?

Only time will tell, I guess. And every night I pray that their memories of growing up in a Christian home will stick with them into adulthood. And that no matter what the future holds for each of my children, that they always remember and feel God’s unwavering love.