I’m a born-again Christian named Rebecca – many call me “Becs.”
I use the pronouns She/Her/Hers. On the clock, I am a social worker, community advocate and grant writer. Off the clock, I’m a space nerd, a bird watcher, a relentlessly bad skateboarder and a board game enthusiast.
I grew up in a Missionary Baptist Church, where my parents still attend. Although I have since switched denominations to the United Church of Christ, I was fortunate to have had some really inspiring experiences there. I was saved around age 11, however, I wasn’t baptized. Around age 13, I realized something was different about me (queer identity in bloom). Around 17, I came out to an understandably worried set of parents.
I felt that church had no place for me because I was gay. So, I gave up on any sort of spirituality. Off and on I would attend church at different places and would very much enjoy it. I wanted so desperately to be a strong woman of faith like my mom is and my grandma was. Yet, I was still under the illusion that it was pointless for me to let my heart feel the feelings of faith.
Cut to an experience where I was wrongfully arrested and detained in a federally-contracted private prison facility. (Don’t worry. A lawyer got the charges dropped. I’ve made peace with it all. Please, do not be angry on my behalf.) During time in “Core Civic,” I experienced horrific prison conditions and threats. After roughly 30 hours, I found a worn out book with ripped pages, half a cover and a warped spine on the floor near where I had been sleeping. (Yes, due to prison overcrowding, inmates are tightly packed in the cells with the only place to sit or sleep is on the floor.) The book I found was an old 1980’s guide on how to read and understand the Gospel of John. This book saved my life. After thumbing through it’s pages for hours, I read and reread the large sections of John that the author featured in her book. I prayed to God for safety and comfort. What I asked for, I received ten-fold. A wave of comfort and somehow, joy and hope, washed over me all in an instant. I then finally slept for a few moments on the cold floor, under the bright lights, among the loud sounds of arguing and shouting from across the cell. I had a vivid dream of Daniel in the Lion’s Den.
“When King Darius came near the den, he called to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “May my King live forever! My God sent his angel and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me.” When pulled from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in God.”
When I woke, I gave my life to Christ. I recommitted my life to God, I had to. I say “I had to” (and believe me, I wanted to) because… wow, how can you not just immediately commit when you have been given such clarity and comfort while in the midst of one of the scariest situations you’ve ever been in?
So, that’s me. That’s what led me back to faith. Now, let’s hear your story…