I see several landmarks along the path of my faith journey. I was baptized at nine years old, and I assumed that moment was my own doing, not the influence of divine grace. It’s only the more recent and seemingly insignificant moments in which I’ve more readily recognized something actively moving me. The first time I remember awareness of divine movement was when I found myself in a class studying The Lord of the Rings. These readings and discussions introduced me to prevenient grace, the particular sacredness of communion, the permissibility of doubts and questions, and the importance of a public, active faith. Coming from a different Christian tradition, I was often overwhelmed with these revelations; yet the outline of ideas continued to simmer and act as an anchor for my faith until finally finding fullness in the expression of the United Methodist Church.
Another remembrance of divine movement came while reading Dorothy Day’s autobiography. I was stirred by Day’s story of devotion, simplicity, community, and solidarity. Her faith naturally impelled her to the needs of the world. A Catholic encyclical commission echoed Day’s witness: “to help in the renewal and humanization of society and in the rediscovery by believers of the true face of the church.” These imaginings continue to shape my faith and give direction to my vocation.
I felt a third important memory of divine movement when I entered the doors of this church. I had been out of sync with my family’s tradition for some time, but within these walls, found a new rhythm. The continual reminder that I’m not expected to leave my brain at the door has been life-giving to this born- questioner. Hearing the experiences of others shared and valued in conversations about faith have confirmed that my own voice matters; and the acceptance of all that is good and beautiful in worship has taught me that I’m beautiful and good, and that God accepts every part of me. In each instance, God brought me into the moment, rather than choosing it for myself. I see this as God’s grace moving me in an unseen direction down a dimly lit path. I’m learning to notice God’s spirit leading me. I’m confident that she will continue drawing me into wider spaces, directing me to “the calling to which I’ve been called.’’ (Eph. 4:1). This never-ending, ever-moving beckoning of grace is my story.