While I was traveling north, we were on the road going to Liverpool. I don’t want to use a cheesy cliché, but… it was seriously raining cats and dogs. So much rain! The coach windows up in the front became hard to see out of. Yep, I’m one of those people. I like to see where the driver is driving. You know, looking ahead at the road in front of me.
The thing about English rain is that it rains but then it also mists and sometimes that means that there’s this weird combination of mist and rain simultaneously, and I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s really not that complex. Basically, it’s beautiful. But it’s also scary sometimes. I can’t imagine driving in it. Awgh. That would be terrifying.
Looking out of the window up front was practically impossible, like I said. The window wipers would go swish, swish, and almost instantaneously the window would be misted up again.
Almost everyone on the coach was either asleep or on the verge of going to sleep or attempting to pretend to be asleep with eyes half shut. Generally, I am one of the above. But this morning, a bright ‘n’ early kind of morning, was different. I guess you could say I was feeling metaphysical or whatever. But I’m like that a lot. I like thinking about the world around me.
Because my front-window-view was, well, not working out too well, I spent a large part of that drive thinking about life and looking out of the side window. It was an incredible drive. Truly amazing. So much greenery. (Is that even a word?) The window to the side of me was like a giant glass screen, separating me from the world just out of touch, barely out of reach.
The window by my side was large and clear. It was definitely misty outside still, but I could see the road better. Raindrops splattered across like tiny dewdrops across a meadow. Some raindrops were isolated, little worlds alone in the vast universe of the windowpane. Other raindrops melded together to form bigger raindrops like little ponds become lakes. Yet some raindrops formed a trail. They followed the other one in front of it, and sometimes the blurry lines meshed together, while other times the lines formed a connect-the-dot trail across the wide window.
I watched these raindrops for a long time, and I thought about my conversion and who I am. I couldn’t pin my conversion on a single event. It just kind of happened over time.
Since I was a child, all the family scripture studies, family home evenings, and family prayer seemed to meld together – like the raindrops on the window. There were lots of memories that in the moment were so vital to helping my growth as an individual, but together seemed to form this bigger picture.
So although I can’t remember an exact date or time when it happened, what I can say is that it began in my home. I grew not only physically but also spiritually in my home and developed a love for Christ in my home. That’s where my conversion began. Like each minuscule drop of rain, each experience contributed to the whole of my beliefs.
But growing up, I also didn’t want to be like the raindrops that were in the connect-the-dots line. I was and still am very independent in many ways. I never wanted to just “follow along” or just do what everyone else was doing. I didn’t want to be a member just because my parents or my grandparents were. I wasn’t just going to follow the path of what my family was doing. I didn’t want to just follow previous patterns of faith blindly. I remember wanting to know for myself.
I became truly converted on my own.
True conversion. It sounds almost pretentious – like is there even a false conversion? That seems contradictory. But I think true conversion is sort of like trying to be loyal to something greater than yourself, being honest to yourself of what you really belief, or being exact about what you want to do with your life. I gained my true conversion by living the principles I was taught. I read the scriptures by myself. I went to church activities, and I think usually tried to have a positive attitude. I prayed and asked. By doing these things, I felt something change inside of me. Once again, I can’t pin down a precise moment, but it was a transformation or a gradual turning away from mere obedience to a greater motivation – a greater love of God. I remember feeling this incredible warm feeling inside my chest, a burning, a glowing fire, a remarkable feeling, really, that seems impossible to describe. But it’s a feeling that I can’t explain any other way. The logical part of me had studied it out and spent lots of time thinking and pondering. But the feelings that I experienced really did shape my conversion.
My conversion, I guess you could say, is kind of a blur. I can’t pin it down exactly, but I know that by the taking little steps I mentioned above and then living my life in the best way that I could, and if I could take a step back in my life, I know that each memory, each experience, like each raindrop, blurs together to shape who I am today and what I believe.