I was a keener. I devoured the bible and missionary biographies. I rededicated my life every Sunday before communion. I went up to be prayed for to receive the Holy Spirit (read: speaking in tongues) when I was about 10. It didn’t happen. When my lips started to say things I wasn’t in control of, I stopped.
At camp the summer I turned 12, I was baptized. And I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. How can I describe it? I felt like my feet didn’t touch the ground. I couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t stop speaking in tongues. I was all light and bubbles of joy. It was similar to the beginnings of a manic phase.
After that I went up to almost every altar call chasing encounters with God. I sat as close to the pulpit as I could, which was usually right behind the musicians on the side.
I lived from camp to camp. Church camps were the centre of our lives. They were family reunions as both sides of my family were there. Like my parents and grandparents, I believed that my friends from NB camp were my true friends. The emotional highs, the tribal friendships… Life in between wasn’t as real.
But, I was in a small centre and there were few kids in my local church who actually lived locally. Many families drove for hours to get there on Sundays. Throughout the next years I explored other churches seeking for more of the spiritual high. I went to nearly every church group there was. I was in Quizzing, youth groups from several churches, prayer meetings, and youth band. In a week, I’d go to as many as 4 different churches’ events.
My uncle (an elder in my home church) was very concerned that I wouldn’t have the appropriate spiritual covering with being involved in so many churches. He pressured me to choose where my loyalties lay. How confusing. Hadn’t I heard so many messages on the Oneness of the Body of Christ at camp? I thought my loyalties were to God and His Church Universal.