It seems, from my memory, that one day we were a "normal" military family for a while, and then we turned into freaks. Jesus freaks. I think this happened for the same reason the some people get pulled into cults (you may decide after reading some of my stories that we were in a cult, I will explore that later). I would like to study a bit more about cults to perhaps understand this.
My mom's dad died when she was a teenager and her mom was a working mom who had her own grief to work on. My mom and her sister were left to deal with their sorrow on their own. Perhaps a church family with open arms was appealing to her.
My father (from what I can gather from little stories here and there) was verbally, and perhaps physically, abused by his cold-hearted dad, who never knew how to show him love. He joined the military at age 17 and left his family behind. Maybe the pastor of the church represented a father figure for him to follow. It seems they were both searching for a family to love them, and church offered that for them. I can imagine it must have felt so good to have the Christian community gather around them and support them. In a very short time, my father went from being an ex-catholic who thought the church would catch fire if he walked in, to a leader in the Baptist church and eventually a Baptist preacher himself (but I am getting ahead of myself here).
As my brothers and I moved through our lives, we began to see some changes in my parents. Sunday mornings became a time of getting dressed up and heading to church. We were all pretty good kids, and I remember that I always wanted to please my parents. I learned Bible verses and went to Sunday school to learn all the Bible stories I could learn. I don't have specific memories of my actual "conversion" experience except that my parents were SO happy! We lived in Hawaii at the time and I remember I was baptized outside at the ocean on a cool, breezy day with several people on the shore watching with smiles on their faces. I am not sure if I even knew what being a Christian meant, but I knew that my parents were happy with me, and that was so important to me. So, I emerged from the water "born-again" and ready to start my new life. At age nine.
Picture: Me at about age 12 or 13 with my little sister.