A couple of weeks ago a friend remarked that she has always known God's loving, comforting presence. She has never doubted that God is always right with her, through the good and the bad ~ and she has had some tough times in her life.
Since my experience has been quite different, I've started to wonder where such confidence comes from. I asked her a few days later whether she thinks that it is a consequence of her upbringing and she concluded that yes, it is. Her parents instilled a deep faith in her. Not only did they set a consistent example by regular mass attendance and an obvious devotional life, but they talked frequently about matters of faith and clearly understood God, and especially Jesus, to be as engaged in their lives as they were themselves.
In truth, I've wondered about this question many times over the past several years. After the deaths of my mother and brother, God was no longer acknowledged in my family. Not that God was given much of a place before, but those tragic deaths marked a watershed in our lives.
And so I've speculated: What if those who cared for us, for my brother and me, in the aftermath, had mentioned God, even occasionally? What if they had referred once on awhile to a God who continued to love us, who continued to offer us a beautiful world, albeit one marred by tragedy and sadness? What if they had practiced, and articulated to us, a continued reliance on God as they navigated those very difficult years and made the decisions that would affect all of us for the rest of our lives?
What about you? How did your childhood experiences affect the faith with which you do or don't live these days?