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My Faith Story

When I think about what faith means to me, I sometimes don’t know what I’m going to write about. One of the powerful quotes that I always use when I talk about my faith is, “We are called to encourage, enlighten, and empower each other because we are all unique and different.”

The Bible verse I chose to talk about my faith is Joshua 1:9, and it states, “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

I chose Joshua 1:9 because ever since I started Sunday school at Salem, God has been with me wherever I went and was with me every step of the way. Still to this day and forever He will be with me wherever I go.

During these years of spreading my faith, I have been encouraged. I have been encouraged to bring kindness and joy to others. I have also been encouraged to do what I love to do and to be me.

Another big quote that has stuck with me is from Martin Luther King, Jr., stating, “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

I want to share a moment in my life where I was very committed in my faith. It all started when my grandfather, who attended Salem his whole life, started having medical issues during COVID. He and my grandmother were very close and they weren’t able to see each other for a while. We would visit him a lot while wearing masks, but it just wasn’t the same.

I never knew that this situation would change my life forever and turn it upside down. I fell asleep that night and my mom was not doing well. For months, my grandfather was hoping that one day he would walk again due to having his leg amputated.

Sept. 3, 2022, is a day that I will never forget. That morning, my mom got a call that they were thinking that my grandfather was taking his last breaths, and before she got there, he had already passed. That same day, we all sat as a family and created his obituary along with planning his funeral. When I was asked to give a speech and carry his casket, I instantly said yes because I knew that God was with me at that moment and my grandfather would be proud of me.

Then, on Sept. 10, 2022, we celebrated his life in the best way possible with military honors and a family dinner to follow his funeral. As I stood at the podium reading my speech, I felt God's presence there and my grandfather’s as well. This is the moment that my faith really came to fruition.

Also, when I became the Salem nursery coordinator in 2023, I feel that moment led to a new beginning in my faith journey, as I get to teach our younger generations about faith and Jesus.

Lastly, in the winter of my eighth-grade year, I was on my last retreat for confirmation and we were told that one of the members from another church took his own life, which also helped me realize my faith. Even though it really hurt that he took his own life, if he were still here I would tell him, “Even when there are dark times in life, there is still a light that shines on you every second of every minute of every day.” We all need to be the light that encourages and enlightens people and show them that they are fine just the way they are.

In all of those tough times in my life, I knew that God was with me. Author James Blanchard Cisneros said, “Enlightenment is not a change into something better or more, but a simple recognition of who we truly already are.”

I have also had some times in my life when I felt down about myself because I was bullied for over three years, and through those times, God was always with me.

I never really knew who I was until about a couple months ago when my friends showed me who I am and helped me through things that I couldn't get through myself. They told me that it doesn't matter who I am; the only thing that matters is my personality and who I am inside my heart. I know that my faith does matter and I know that God is with me wherever I go.

As I close, I want to share one last thing: with all of these times in my life there has been no doubt in my mind that my faith has never failed me and I will live every day for God.

Luke Carr
Salem Nursery Coordinator

Tags: Weekly Word