I’ve had people ask me if I was Christian during my first marriage. Some Christians find it hard to believe you can enter into a marriage like this and be a Christian. I beg to differ as I was personally naive and ignored the warning signs. An early twenty-something doesn’t always have the life skills to recognize when something is amiss in someone else.
I was recently at a book event and this question came up after my talk. While being taken aback for 30 seconds, I gave them an answer I think they weren’t expecting. Yes I was Christian. Did I act like one during this phase of life? No. I was what you would call a little ‘c’ Christian. A little ‘c’ is someone who follows after God when it’s convenient and see Jesus as a blessing dispenser. A big ‘C’ Christian follows Jesus regardless of the outcome and faithfully walks with Him during all times. I explained to this sweet lady the choice I made changed the course of my life and God has used it for insane goodness.
How this plays out
Just last week I was at the pool with a friend and her parents. They explained what was going on with their oldest daughter and how she won’t leave an abusive marriage. You could see the desperation in their eyes asking what to do after exhausting all resources. We came up with some new strategies such as contacting their local shelter and finding a support group for emotional and verbal abuse. Her parents were so grateful as not many people are willing to speak into this prevalent issue. The little ‘c’ in me would not have been able to help with needed resources and kind words.
The little Christian in me chose to get married to a man I thought loved me. He looked fantastic on paper and claimed to be a little ‘c’ too. Who knew it would turn out as it did. This is where faith comes in. I had to lean on what little faith I had in God and myself to walk out the door. After the divorce is when I became a big ‘C’ Christian. I learned who I was in Christ, and found the security and love I was looking for all along.
Most people’s reactions to my story have blown me away. They have lots of questions, are sympathetic and very kind. But a few opinionated people have questioned the validity of my testimony. Each person’s faith journey is filled with personal choices which either bring them closer to Christ or farther away. My hope is that those moments help make each person into a big ‘C’. For the few people who question my Christianity, they deserve nothing but grace and love.