You mentioned the God (I write-it-out. I’m bold like that, ☺) you grew up with. He happens to be the same God I grew up with. And, we have had our trials, believe-you-me. But, my Father was devout. So was his Mom. He had that upbringing and passed it onto me.
My Dad was extremely active in the church, he placed that expectancy on me: Sunday School, church-centered activities, Vacation Bible School, devotion, Wednesday night service, etc. He became a Deacon when I was 9. He looked other-worldly in his dark suits, full of scripture, and “do as I says and not as I dos.” I was taken with his presence. A surefire Daddy’s Girl, why would I not want to follow his… orders? He was like God in our household. Our very own symbol. I worshiped him because he worshiped God.
Of course, life has a way of kicking you in the shins and removing the Zen-like nature of familiarity from you and inserting the dreaded “Growing Pains.” My parents divorced when I was 12. For years, my Father’s presence remained. He was ordained when I was 15. It was his calling. This was suitable, we all knew this would be so. Even though he was no longer in our home, he was still in our home (can you dig it?). So, as a preacher, my Father preached every bit of advice he had.
Granted, we are not as close, I still lean on His (his word). There are bits and pieces that aren’t easily digestible, but there are also chunks that when chewed to just rightness, suit my way of life… of living. I follow a God of peace, one who doesn’t pick and choose who He loves; he LOVES us all regardless of what anyone says. I follow a God who isn’t a chump and comes through in the clutch because that’s his thing. I follow a God who doesn’t come down on me for being “different” & not settling because settling looks good.
My Father’s teachings live in me, at 36, I still carry his stories of the God I grew up with, but the God I know now is bigger and better.