Stories of Renewal: Parker — St. Peter's Fireside | Vancouver, B.C. 

by Stories of Renewal
March 5, 2017
3 min read

“This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

I wrote that down and stuck it to my bedroom wall about six months ago. Shakespeare’s words helped me before, so I thought they would serve as a good reminder while I was having a bit of an identity crisis.

I’d met the girl of my dreams and life was better than ever; It felt like we were made for each other. Except for one tiny detail: She was Christian and I was not. We tried our best to ignore the elephant in the room. I was never pressured or made to feel bad, but we ultimately couldn’t dodge the fact that we were building a world together on two different foundations.

I was devastated by the idea of losing someone so wonderful, but I couldn’t just change myself to please her. I knew well enough that pretending would hurt us both. Then the unexpected happened: My parents said I should give this Christianity thing a try. What? I love my parents dearly, but this was the last piece of advice I expected from them. I was used to being told to move on or let it go. Words that, while out of love, reaffirmed my ego. But this time I was asked to reach beyond myself and I felt strangely enthusiastic about exploring the Christian faith. I realized that I hadn’t even considered trying to expand my point of view.

Before Alpha, I was extremely prejudiced towards Christianity. While my immediate family isn’t religious, my extended family is Catholic and I’d gone through the motions of obligatory church visits to please relatives. I went through Catechism as a teenager because I was curious. I even considered myself an actual Catholic for a couple years. But all this was because I was afraid of missing out, and I latched onto faith without any real thought on the matter. It didn’t stick.

When I started Alpha, I was extremely nervous. I promised myself I would consider the ideas honestly even if I heard some crazy stuff and met aggressive people. But nobody was delusional and nobody was pushy. Several times I caught myself thinking These people are so reasonable.

Then this realization hit home: I was projecting the years of negative stigma. I was the ignorant one. The Alpha experience was nothing like I imagined it— we ate together, learned together, and asked big questions together. Little by little, I was able to peel back my inherited view of Christianity and look for truth. What I found was people putting words to our innately human experience. God’s love took on tangible form in His community. We’ve always had a need for God, we’ve always fallen short, and we’ve always felt God’s love. Now I was connecting the dots.

What I found in Alpha and am continuing to find at St. Peter’s is a faith in God that is truly mine. Now I can be true to others too (Thanks, Shakespeare). I’m baffled to be honest. Just six months ago I would not have seen this coming, but here I am: I’ve found my home in God’s community. Jesus is very good news indeed.

about the author
Our Stories of Renewal feature people connected to St. Peter's Fireside who are experiencing spiritual, social, or cultural renewal. If you'd like to share a story, we would love to hear how God is working in your life! Please email us.

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