I lived two lives growing up—one was a good girl who was active in a Southern Baptist Church with her parents; the other was a girl who tried to cover up for sexual abuse.
The Lord had been working on me little by little for quite some time; small things, like what would I do after I graduated, what should I become, where should I go? When I would ask my mom she would say, “Pray about it.” But every time I prayed, there seemed to be a small voice saying, “the Lord will not give you direction for your future if you are not saved.” I pushed that voice away because at the time it was just easier to ignore it, but I still had doubts.
My name is Jackie Wolf, and this is my story. I was raised in the Zion Lutheran Church in Sunbury, PA. My dad worked most Sundays, but it was a ritual for my mom and me to attend every week. I wasn’t too excited about church because I had no friends there. There was no fellowshipping, the singing was morbid, we never took our Bibles, and the sermons were just reading and repeating after the pastor from a Lutheran book.
When I was young, neither of my parents belonged to or visited any church. In the area where I lived there was not much for children to do on the weekends. My neighborhood friends used to go to Catechism on Saturday afternoons, so I decided to join them. I completed the studies necessary for my confession and confirmation. Later, I attended church some, but going to church was more of a routine than anything else.
Growing up in a loving family, I had a very happy childhood. I have many wonderful memories of spending time together with my parents and a younger sister and brother. My memories also included our weekly attendance and active involvement in our church, the United Church of Christ in Berwick, PA. After graduating from high school, I remained faithful in church, but allowed the sinful nature with which we are all born, (Romans 3:10,23) to control my life.
When I was sixteen I was considered a “good girl.” I had attended the Presbyterian Church from the time I could walk; I was baptized as an infant, I was an active church member, I obeyed my parents and did well in school. And, just to make sure—I made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. I viewed it as an insurance policy just in case “being good” wasn’t enough.