Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)
TITLE: Preacher's Kid
By Doreen Hammond
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Growing up in a family of six as the youngest I tended to be spoiled. I never had to make my bed, do the dishes or take out the trash. I didn’t have any responsibilities growing up and I was able to get away with anything. Mom or one of my siblings always took care of the jobs around the house, so there was never anything leftover for me to do.
We were in church every time the doors opened. We knew better than to try any shenanigans in order to stay home because Dad was the preacher. If we were sick, he took us to church to have people pray for God to heal us. If we were faking, we would jump up and praise God, knowing that God would get us but Dad knew what we were doing.
Life was okay as a preacher’s kid. It was expected that we all accepted Jesus at a very young age “so the devil wouldn’t get his ways into us.” As I look back at my “conversion” it was just lip service, like everything else I did. I wasn’t serious about anything. How does a four year old really give their heart to the Lord anyway? Because I was special and the baby of the group I mimicked what everyone else was doing. I did what I thought they wanted me to do. When Mom asked me to pray to invite Jesus in my heart, then I did it. As I grew into a young adult life changed dramatically.
I noticed in high school, my thoughts were different from other people in my family. Up until then, I hid my feelings and views from others. I was the playful kid who couldn’t be serious, so my true self never really emerged. Once in my junior year, I got hooked up with the wrong crowd at school. I don’t know if they just wanted to challenge me because I was a preacher’s kid or if they just liked me, but they invited me out into the woods behind the school during lunch.
Nature was at its best that fateful day. The trees were in their spring bloom, the sky was perfectly blue with few clouds floating above and the temperature was a perfect seventy degrees. Everyone sat in a circle. There must have been about six of us. They all were watching me to see what I would do. I just wanted to fit in. Feeling very uneasy, I did what I always did and told a joke about my dad. Feeling sick in the pit of my stomach, I knew something was seriously wrong. I needed to go before something horrible happened, but I couldn’t move my feet. I sat like a sheep awaiting the slaughter.
Whack! Someone hit me in the head from behind with a board. I fell forward, face first into a pile of leaves. There, I received the beating of my life, with everyone yelling and screaming how I thought I was better then them because I knew Jesus and because I was a Christian.
Like Peter, I denied it, but they didn’t believe me. I knew it was true. They ran away. I sat up, alone in my sin, hurting more on the inside than anything they did. Rubbing my head with one hand, I wiped the tears of shame with the other. Knowing I should never have put myself into that situation, I asked Jesus to forgive me and to come into my heart. Asking Him into my life for real was the best decision I ever made. No longer could I deny His presence and the need for Him in my daily life. I needed personal peace and with Him guiding me, I finally believed what my father was trying to tell me. Jesus is the Answer.
I got up to walk out of the woods and it just so happened that my sister was cutting through on her way to work. She helped me get the aid I needed as I shared with her what Jesus did for me. It was a bittersweet afternoon filled with praise to God.
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