Faith story: Abby McLeland
Editor’s note: Abby McLeland is one of about 50 ninth-graders who recently completed confirmation by sharing their faith story. She talked about important people in her life, including her mom, small group leaders, grandmother, and someone who taught her how to let things go.
Going into confirmation in 7th grade, I had no sure thoughts in any part of my faith at all. I didn’t even really see until recently how many people have been there to guide me through my faith. Of course there are many people, but these people stand out.
It all starts out with my mom, Betzy, who is the person who drags my brother and me to church every Sunday possible. We went to Sunday school too, which was my favorite part. I also have very vivid memories from moments at school where there would be a fight, or someone would get bullied. When I would tell mom about what had happened at school, she would say to pray for them. So as we would pray for them, in the car or at the dinner table, she would always pray for the bully first, asking God to forgive them or help them see the right way next time. I would come home mad at that bully or person because of how they had hurt someone’s feelings. She taught me how to forgive someone, and see that they were good people, even if they had just made a mistake.
Next there is Becky Schmidt and Myrna Miller, these two amazing women were my small group leaders. They taught me more about faith in the past two years than I’ve learned in my entire life. I’ve had some really special moments with each of them. They were great partners! Myrna is very wise, and she seemed to know how to say the right thing whenever I needed advice. She never steered me wrong. Becky is the best listener I have ever known! If I ever needed to just talk about something (and I talk a lot) she would always be there. She is so patient. I remember the last small group meeting we had and she brought her runner’s bib. On it, it had people that she prayed for, like her family. She showed us that every single one of our names were on it as well. She had been doing that for two years! That taught me how to incorporate faith into my daily life. Becky and Myrna inspire me to be more faithful all the time and I will always remember what a big impact they had on me.
Then there is my grandma. There are two things you need to know about my grandma. Number one, she loves angels. She loves angels so much that every single day she wears an angel pin on her shirt. I have always admired how close she is to God through those angels. Whenever I see one, I think of her and her sure faith. The other thing you need to know about my grandma is that she is a prayer warrior. When she prays, she knows exactly what to say to God. She is so sure that God hears every single thing she says, and even when God doesn’t respond, God is still listening. Her trust and her faith never cease to amaze me. She is so strong through everything because of her faith. I hope I can be that sure someday.
The final person is a bit different. She is different in the sense that at some points she steered me the wrong way. She changed my faith more than anyone ever has. I had to realize the fact that this was in God’s hands, and as much as I would like to help her, I couldn’t anymore. That taught me how to let things go and just pray. I would love to have patience like Becky and Myrna, trust that God was listening like my grandma, and to show forgiveness to be able to pray like my mom taught me.