Chapter Four

When I was 15 my Christianity clashed with my life. Boy friends complicated things for me. Now it’s not just me that is either going to heaven or hell, it’s the one I love also. And it’s up to me to share that good news.

The first boyfriend of that year broke up with me and then spread partially true rumors about how I was too “Christian” for him. I was embarrassed about that and tried to defend myself by denying it. I didn’t actually deny being a Christian, I just denied the specific thing he was accusing me of—going to church too much and forcing him to go with me. The reality was he wanted someone he could have sex with and that wasn’t me. So he hopped into bed with the first willing participant he could find and dumped me. But lodged in my psyche was this, “if you talk to your boyfriend about God, he will reject you.”

This is why I did not talk to my next boyfriend about God. That is, I did not talk to him about God until I could bear it no longer. One spring day while we were driving in his turquoise and white 1956 Chevy Bel Air for a fun sunny day at the ocean, I suddenly turned red faced and burst into tears. He was a little bit shocked and said, “what is wrong with you!?!” I was afraid to tell him because I thought, “this could be the end of our relationship”. But I summoned my courage and blurted out the question, “Do you know where you are going when you die?” He didn’t. And he was like, “what the heck are you talking about?” I told him he needed to ask Jesus into his heart so that he could go to heaven and not hell. He thought that sounded like the prudent thing to do. I made an appointment with my Baptist pastor a few days later. That pastor led my boyfriend, in a “repeat after me” fashion, through the sinners prayer and voila, instant eternal fire insurance. One of my best Christian girlfriends, when I told her, literally beamed with teary pleasure. Mostly I was just relieved that he didn’t break up with me, Oh, and also, now I didn’t have to worry about him going to hell anymore and that was a HUGE relief!