My Confirmation is the next part of my spiritual autobiography that I want to share with you. As most of you probably know, I didn’t attend church services regularly until I was sixteen. At that point, for a variety of reasons that I can’t mention here, I started going regularly. And by that I mean every Sunday. And sometimes on Wednesday nights. And at all other hours of the day.
At that point my family was living in Flower Mound, Texas (insert guffaw here). The church that my family attended infrequently was the Church of the Annunciation in Lewisville. When I heard about the bishop’s upcoming visit, I signed up for confirmation class. And of course, I was slotted for confirmation class with the other youth in the parish.
Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of my confirmation class. I hadn’t grown up in youth group, so I thought all those kids were weirdos. The youth minister was nice, but as a confirmation class teacher, she proved to be ineffectual. At that point in my life, I was seventeen, driving a ’78 pink Cadillac Coupe deVille (yes), reading things like Dante’s Inferno and C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. For all intents and purposes, I was a teenager acting like an adult who needed adult classes, not the unrememberable Christianity that I was told about in Confirmation class.
Then came the day of the Confirmation. The retired bishop of Northwest Texas, Sam Hulsey, was the bishop doing the confirmations that evening. I vividly remember walking across the church parking lot and seeing him zoom in. No joke, he was driving a 2000 blue Mustang and wearing those giant driving sunglasses that you buy at Walgreens. “What a pair!” I thought, “He’s driving a car fit for a teenage girl, I’m driving a car fit for a Mary Kay saleswoman. Maybe this whole thing will actually work out in the end.”
And work out it did. That day, May 26, 2002 was a fateful day in my spiritual journey. I can’t recall anything else about the service but my fear and trembling as I knelt before the bishop. His hands, firm yet loving on my head, and his voice making supplication to God: “Strengthen, O Lord, your servant James with your Holy Spirit; empower him for your service; and sustain him all the days of his life. Amen.”
So the craziest thing happened. That prayer was answered.
The confirmation class, the other kids in my confirmation class, being the misfit – none of that really mattered. The power of God worked through all of my misgivings and here I am now; strengthened, empowered, and sustained for life in God’s Kingdom.