This morning, Grasshopper and I were travelling to a doctor's appointment together (Baby Boy too). She began to talk about this and that, as seven-year-olds do, and then she asked me an interesting question. She had heard our priest say in one of his homilies that often kids at around seven or eight start to wonder and question the existence of God.
"Mom," she said, "I kind of wonder. Did you ever wonder when you were a kid?"
I took a deep breath because I can honestly say I have never doubted. It's just always been there, this faith in God. I told her as much and encouraged her to pray for the gift of faith, but the conversation still sits in my thoughts because I had more to say.
My parents converted to Christianity just before I was born. I grew up in a world where faith in God was exciting. My parents were filled with joy and zeal for the Lord. We attended prayer groups, retreats, Mass, conferences, you name it, we were there. I even followed my mom around the living room in the mornings with a tambourine singing praise songs to Jesus (off key). My parents' faith, especially my mom's, splashed on me like a bucket of cool, clear water and I drank all that I could exuberantly.
Of course, our life was not always so full of joy. My parents had their fair share of trials. However, their faith remained through it all and has only grown stronger. (I don't think my mom dances around the living room any more, but that would be a sight to see if she did!) Even to this day, my parents are Catholic/Christians to the core and I don't think anyone would doubt it.
Because my childhood was so immersed in Christianity, my relationship with God began when I was very young and, although I was blessed to have a huge boost from my parents' bubbling over with the joy of the Lord, I took it on as my own. From a young age, I prayed to Jesus with all my heart. I read my Bible, listened and sang songs to Him and did my best to live in His way. Now, my relationship with God is the very breath of my life. Even if I was sitting in a hospital bed or a prison cell all alone (I'm not sure why I just imagined myself in prison), it would still be there..without a doubt.
What I didn't tell Grasshopper was that faith in God takes not only a decision to believe, but it takes work. The work is in prayer. Just like any other relationship, we must talk and listen to one another and that is basically what prayer is. Just like communicating in a marriage is so important, so is communicating with God. Sometimes, and for some people, the work comes easily, but it's still work. The great thing about a relationship with God is that sometimes He pours cool, refreshing buckets of water on us!