Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Growing up as a PK and my life changing experience

Growing up as a PK, to summarize, is not different with how other's grew up. Well, yeah you could say it's different, but in essence it is the same. We all experience life. We all have our own moments of joy, happiness, troubles, pressures. There might be some "unique" experiences that we could say only pk's experience (You are a PK if..struggles of a PK) but it is also true for everyone. We all have our own unique experiences. Well all have our own story to tell.

A story to tell

I know some PKs and also have read blogs of other PKs, and they have their own story to tell.  And by that, I can say that not all PKs are the same. There are some who became rebels, and lost their way because of the false expectations placed upon them. There are some who lost faith in God and there are some who are faithful and even became part of the ministry. There are some who became missionaries and pastors. 

Growing up as a PK is a blessing as I learned about God at a young age. I met people and earned friends. I also faced trials and testings, troubles, struggles with my faith, and without these, I may not come to love God, the church, and my life.

A critical event in my life - the circumstance that drew me close to God

When we transferred to our church now, the year 2006, was the most remarkable life-changing event of my life. It was not until 2 or 3 years later that I accepted and gradually learned to love the church and this experience in life.

The Church Setting:

  • The church was located 17km away from town and has a 1 hour drive to get there
  • Church attendance average to 10 adults and 15 children
Going there for 1 year and my dad as the interim Pastor, I used to have the mindset of "I'm going to church for the sake of going to church." I even hoped that the church will not accept us to stay and vote for my dad as the Pastor of the church. But guess what? All of them voted YES! My initial reaction was  "oh. ok" while having a poker face expression, but inside I have a sad expression.. the "okay meme". 

It may seem that I am picky, or complaining at that time, and I have a reasonable case for it (I love my church now, so yeah, don't mix the then and now). I think it is an acceptable fact that change is painful. Before we went to our church now, my dad was a Pastor in a big church located near town. His resignation was painful and we transferred to another church as members. 2 years being members there, (I think) our pastor assigned, or offered my dad to be the interim pastor to the church where we are now since there is no pastor at that time. It was like God's way of saying to my dad that "I am still working in your life (and your family's lives), and I have a better plan for you." 

So here is why I was not ready to accept my dad as the pastor of the church at that time. It was only because I did not like the church environment. I was around 12 or 13 this time, and it felt kind of lonely having no friends or companions at church. It was a drastic change, from a big church to a small and far (somehow remote) church.

(church 1)
  • It was near our house, walking distance in fact
  • I grew up there and have my sunday school friends

(church 2)
  • It was 45mins away from home, but still located in the city
  • I was involved with their youth group

So near, and yet so far

My problem can be shortened into two words, "church growth." I did not love our church because I felt like it was not good enough for me. I wanted a church that will be fun, full of people, full of friends, full of activities just like other churches. Little did I know that this affects my spiritual growth. I did not rebel and went out of the church, but deep in my heart, I did not feel the joy that a Christian has. 

There are certain events that I loved about being in our church and that was summer camps. We are part of the canteen crew, and yeah, it was fun. Then after summer, my life becomes dry. I join other youth fellowship activities to find joy and happiness that I can't find in our church. 

I was near God, but my heart was far. It was a spiritual condition where my heart was in rebellion.

Learning to love God

My love for the church can also be shortened into two words, "church growth." Of course, when we just transferred, and when my dad became the pastor there, the number was small. And all great things always start from small things. That was what I couldn't see, and probably because I was still young. 

The church growth was just a part of why I love the church. If I don't love God, I wouldn't learn to love the church in the first place. God was and is still working in my life. It was a long process, and until now, the process is going on. That is God's transforming grace. 

Like I said earlier, it was only until 2 or 3 years that I learned to love our church. Our youth group in particular started to grow, and we started with six. This is the foundation that God used in order for our youth group to be established. Now, we have 28, and this is a great blessing!

The church, or the numbers of the members is not the reason why I love God. It is through the church that I learned to love God. See the difference? If I love God because of the church, it is no difference with my initial problem - loving God only if the church is good enough for me. The church was the instrument for me to learn to love God.

When we visited one church, I saw how nice it is to be a pastor, through my dad and through the pastor of the church we visited. It became an emotional event for me (and no, I did not cry) and it was one of the reasons why I thought about quitting college and enter bible school (another essential part  in my salvation story post). 

Then after my mom talked some sense into me, like how I wasn't spiritually and emotionally ready to enter bible school, I started to study and read books about God. My outlook in life grew bigger. The Christian life is like an adventure. You attain one goal, and then there is yet another one waiting for you. So there, I learned to be of use to God, and then I learned to be a living sacrifice. I learned, and I am still learning about God. The thing that fuels my hunger for God is the joy that I get when I am learning about God and serving God. The joy that a Christian has. The joy of loving God. 

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