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Sam Reynolds is the newest member of the Communications Department. She lives in beautiful Southern California where she serves as the Communications Director and volunteers on the worship team for a larger church. Her degree from Azusa Pacific University is in Business, but she got into marketing and graphic design after college and has since fallen in love with it.
She has a movie or TV quote for just about every situation, anything from “The West Wing” to “Pirates of the Caribbean.” And while she doesn’t follow pop music very closely, she can (and will) talk your ear off about modern film composing. She also reads comics and does archery.
I accepted the Lord with my mom when I was in Kindergarten. I still remember the immensly warm feeling of the Holy Spirit the next day on the playground. I grew up in church. My mom lead the choir, I volunteered with student and kids ministries, I went to Christian schools, youth group, small group on purity, a mission trip, I didn’t really swear, didn’t date, kept my nose clean, had (mostly) Christian friends–I was a “good Christian kid.” Not perfect, but a good kid.
My senior year of (Christian) high school, I took a worldview class. I think that’s when I took my first really hard look at Christianity. An uncomfortable knot developed in the pit of my stomach and I found that I didn’t know if deep down I really believed. It was devestating. Being a Christian was central to my idenity, but was I really saved? I didn’t know. I certainly didn’t feel saved. But I kept trusting in the Lord. When I tried to go off to St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, the Lord made it very clear this was not the spot for me and I knew it was Him who’d done it. So I went to a local community college.
That summer, I took a biological anthropology and a music 101 class. Oddly enough, it was the music class that had the antagonistic, outspoken atheist teacher that we all warn our students about. That wasn’t the issue though. That July, I saw “Inception” in theaters with my friends. We’d been waiting with great anticipation for Christopher Nolan’s next, great film for months and months and when it finally came out–something about it broke me. Between the ambiguous ending, some disappointment in the film, months of essentially worshipping Nolan and this film, questioning my faith, and being outside my Christian bubble of Christian schooling I spiraled. It sounds silly, but I’d built this film up in my head to such heights of greatness that when it didn’t deliver the ultimate…whatever, I crashed. I’d put my hope in something as ridiculous as a movie and I spent the next six months questioning reality, the Bible, God–everything I’d been brought up with.
And yet the Lord was with me. He allowed me to question, to probe, to doubt. I decided to search for the truth. That’s what I wanted to believe. Be it God or not, I wanted to believe in the truth. I kept reading my Bible, kept going to Bible study, kept voluneerting at church, kept talking with my mother about what was going on (she recommended staying in the Gospels as I read through the rest of the Bible, something I highly recommend since the Old Testament can get scary when you’re questioning whether God is good or even exists). I thought and wrestled with whether any of it was true.
One night, I got to the end of it. I was sick of all this. So I made a decision. Down on my knees, weeping, I came back to something I’d decided in my worldview class: it was either the God of the Bible or atheistic nihilism. Nothing else made enough sense. The idea of atheism wasn’t appealing, but if God wasn’t real, then neither was Christianity. I went through the arguments and in the midst of it, I remembered the promise that if you “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). The evidence was there, my friends and family believed and they’re much smarter than I am, and honestly, God hadn’t let me down thus far. I decided to trust in the Lord.
It’s the best and most difficult decision I’ve ever made in my life. Within the next month it feels like, my pastor said something I wish I’d remembered months ago: Faith isn’t a feeling. I have learned that even when I don’t “feel” close to God, He is close to me and I will have faith in Him regardless of what I feel. He I have continued to grow in Him, allowing Him to remove sin from life and direct my path. I have become more and more convienced of the truth of the Gospel and the Bible. I have seen the Lord move in my life, in others, I have felt His presence, and heard His voice. I search for the Truth and I found Him.
I know this is far from the final trial I will go through – it’s far from the only part of my testimony – but I am assured of my salvation, confident in my Lord and Savior who has done the work I cannot do to reconcile me to God. Thanks be to God.
BA in Business Administration from Azusa Pacific University