Evidence of Things Not Seen: The Return

My faith journey had been on hold for eight years by the time I moved home in the spring of 1997. I knew that church was important to me and that I wanted to go back, especially since I was in a serious relationship and hoped to be married in the church I grew up in; the only thing that held me back was the passage of time. I was worried that I would be judged as somehow less worthy because of my time away, or that my friends would have moved on without me. Despite my trepidation, my mother and I went to a service (and with the exception of one man who had to make a scene when he saw us) and it was as if we never left. Our minister, Eddie Leonard, was as old-school as you could possibly be in the late 1990’s but I really loved that. I was raised on the traditional services and music and the familiarity and comfort associated with that truly made it feel like a homecoming. I had begun keeping a quote journal in college, so I copied my favorite hymns and Biblical passage into it, together with staples like the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed (the Apostle’s Creed is my favorite). I was interested in joining the bell choir, but I knew I’d be travelling a lot because of my long-distance relationship with my fiancé. I didn’t want to make a commitment to the group if I couldn’t give one hundred percent to it, so I decided to wait and instead focused on my personal spiritual growth. We became very close with Eddie and his family, and in June, 1999, he presided over my wedding. It was the most profound moment of my life, one that brought my husband and I together before our families and God as we pledged our faith in and to each other. I remember feeling so laid back on my wedding day that I took a nap before the ceremony – it was the biggest decision I had ever made, but where some women might have had cold feet or second guessed themselves, I was confident in my knowledge that God had brought Bill and me together and would bless our marriage. The only reason I cried at the ceremony was because I was just so happy to be starting my life with him, and it was at this point that my faith journey took another turn, a more adult one which I embarked on when I moved with Bill to Memphis.


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