- Faith Benbow
As a little girl I sang “Jesus Loves Me” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children” never knowing the impact and meaning of those lyrics. Going to Sunday School and learning about the “B-I-B-L-E” brought joy and laughter to my life. I have several fond memories of Vacation Bible School over summer break. Our family didn’t dedicate every Sunday to church, so I only knew tidbits about the gospel. I didn’t fully understand all that Jesus did or have those Bible stories memorized. God was authoritative to me, and I feared upsetting Him. I am grateful for those seeds that were planted from that southern church though.
Fast forward many years, we hadn’t been to church for some time, except Easter, of course. My parents had separated at this point and for good reason. So my brother, sister, mom and I all moved out and into a relative’s house to share a room. I watched my mom be completely selfless as she took care of us and basically served as a single parent even before the divorce.
Our dad drank alcohol everyday, and it was too difficult to live with and be around him. Nothing phased him, so he chose his addictions over all of us, and he still does to this day. It’s a toxic illness which led to constant disappointments and letdowns. No one can rely on him, and every promise he has made has come up void.
My teenage years led to confusion and angst, watching my dad drink his life away. I fell into the cliche of “daddy issues” to a T. I dated guys like him and lost hope and faith in humanity - men especially. I had trust issues as well which you can imagine made it hard to trust in God.
I revisited my faith though in my early twenties, joining a new church. For the first time I saw Jesus in a new light. I saw Him as a friend that was loyal and caring, and much more (just read Psalms), but most importantly a Father. My old religion transformed into a fresh relationship with the Lord. I realized I wasn’t fatherless, and I could put my hope back into something greater. I AM a daughter of the Almighty. He knows me more than I know myself; He formed me in my mother’s womb the Word said! How incredible is that?
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13 NLT