Short Stories

Kate Scherer – Before & After

Short Stories By Jesus Series

Our fall worship series was entitled Short Stories By Jesus, in which we were looking at Jesus’ parables, especially some of the most problematic ones.  We enlisted the congregation to write Before & After stories.  Each Sunday one member shared a story in which there was a before and an after, and after which, many things in his or her life changed dramatically. Here is one of those stories.

Kate Scherer – Before & After

I had never felt a strong connection with God growing up. Being brought up in the Catholic Church, I felt as if things were always structured way too much for my liking and that I was forced to go each and every Sunday to mass by my parents. Sunday School felt much the same and therefore, I failed to pay attention to most of what was being taught by our teachers. I never knew the answers to any of the questions they would ask me, nor did I seem to want to learn them. When I look at where I am now and through all the transitions I’ve made, it amazes me at the simple fact of how close I feel I am becoming to God.

I have been through many before and after situations in the past three years alone and I see God in so many of my transitions and decisions I’ve made.  However, the biggest decision was to move eight hours away from my parents, in a state I’ve only visited a handful of times, to be with my boyfriend. Two weeks after I graduated college, I made the big move to North Carolina to live with Stephen. I had gone from living with my parents my whole life to living with a significant other. Some people wish they still lived with their parents or were back in their college years, but I genuinely enjoyed being on my own and still do. I’ve always been quite an independent person regardless, but this transition, faired well for me. Although thinking back on it, it was quite a crazy decision.

I do think often about the differences between living with my parents and on my own. There are many things that a person is not taught about the real world before making that huge leap. For instance, I had no clue that I would legally have to change my driver’s license over in sixty days after moving from New Jersey. With that transition, came studying for a driver’s test that I would have to retake to acquire this license. I had been driving for six years. Why did I have to retake a test to prove this again? Did you know that 38% of deaths from car accidents are alcohol related? Bet you didn’t, but I do now thanks to that test. Not sure how this helps me to be a better driver, but that question will be on the test in case you might have to take it again. Many other transitions came with this move such as my parents turning over the title of my car to me, finding my first job out of college, making all new friends, and coming to College Park Baptist Church regularly.

I have to admit, it was intimating to start coming to College Park with the overwhelming welcome from everyone. I did not know how to handle it at first because my home church was nowhere near this inviting, nor did they have the plethora of activities to be involved in. No one stayed after church to chat with other members and everyone was quite cold generally. I remember the first time I had to stand up and “say hello to someone I didn’t know” and it was quite terrifying. However, I look back on all these small instances of greeting one another, or talking after church, and I can’t imagine it any other way now. I can’t believe that it took so long for me to find a place that feels like home, is accepting of everyone, where I can learn and grow closer to God, and also be a part of so many things. Stephen gave me the courage to want to pursue things that I’ve always wanted to be a part of such as singing in the choir, becoming a deacon, playing ultimate Frisbee, and growing more with a church community to nourish my relationship with God. I often find myself wanting to read the bible, learn more about the readings, and come to church on a consistent basis. It’s actually not so much a wanting, but a needing. It makes me feel centered and more at ease. College Park has made me feel like I have a place to go to let go of my daily worries, feel more connected to people, and nurture my relationship with God not just independently, but with people who feel the same as I do.

Kate Scherer, September 2015

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