Taryn Griffin: We did have to find different churches every time we moved. That was kind of my parents’ job since I was still young. I went with my family because that’s what seemed right at the moment.
My name is Taryn Griffin. I am 23 years old. I was born in Colorado and lived most of my life in San Diego, California until I moved here to Hawaii.
While I was in Colorado, I did live with both my parents, my grandparents, and my cousins. So, I do have fond memories of bonding with family. We all went to churches. We believed we were Christians and we would go to churches that claimed to be Christian.
When I was about four or five, my dad joined the military. And after he finished his boot camp, we moved to California. First, in Monterey, California, then San Diego, California for a good long time and now here in Hawaii.
One of the biggest things that military kids face is constantly trying to make new friends because you’re moving around so much.
Right in the middle of high school, right in the middle of your young adult life, my family, we moved to Hawaii. And at first, I had just gotten comfortable being in California for a good eight years. Moving to Hawaii from California was definitely a big challenge for me, at first. I was super nervous. It was definitely harder to jump in and find friends because everyone’s already found their groups in high school. So, that definitely made it a little bit challenging.
We did have to find different churches every time we moved. That was kind of my parents’ job since I was still young. They would already talk about trying to find a place that was based on the Bible. Especially since my mom had an off-putting experience with a church that she went to when she was younger. So they really put time and effort into finding a church that they liked and they felt comfortable with.
Well, when my family would get together and we would say our prayers, if I was going through a rough moment, I probably said some prayers to ask God for help and guidance. I think we tried a couple different churches. We went and my family felt, at least, a little bit more at ease and more comfortable or more confident.
Though I never really felt a connection with the people in that church, necessarily, I went with my family because that’s what seemed right at the moment.
One of my friends that I had met talked to me briefly about the church that they went to and asked me if I was going to church and probably invited me a handful of times. Being that I was already going to church with my family, I guess I felt content. They encouraged me to…to try it, come to an activity, see if I liked it.
The first activity or event that I do remember going to with the Church Of Christ was a CFO or Christian Family Organization activity. Everyone was really friendly and it seemed like a casual and really comfortable way to be introduced to the Church, I guess.
When we sat down, the minister brought out the Bible and had a certain topic that we were going to talk about that day. Every question that was brought up was answered straight from the Bible. It was very clear and easy to understand.
In the Church Of Christ, they give you a question, they answer it. They give you another question and they answer it. Every question that was brought up was answered straight from the Bible. Even the questions that I had going on in my head, before I even asked them, it was already answered.
So it was very, very easy to understand, very clear and it was refreshing. As I was going to Bible studies in the Church Of Christ and going to church on the weekends with my family and still trying to figure out what I believe and what’s real, what’s true. It’s amazing how timely the Bible studies were because I remember there was one lesson pertaining to the topic of Valentine’s Day that I had just learned. And then, when I went to church with my family that weekend, it was also about Valentine’s Day. And I was like, “I already have the answer to this and this is not it.”
I guess at that point my angle kind of turned. Maybe the Church Of Christ really is where I am supposed to be because I’m getting all of these timely answers.
After listening to a handful of lessons, I became more and more interested and more and more curious. Especially, you know, growing up as [a] Christian or believing that I was Christian. There were definitely a few lessons that took me by surprise. And that’s when I really started getting curious and I wanted to learn more. I became more consistent with my Bible studies and wanted to know…what was really in the Bible.
Some of the lessons that really stood out that caught me off guard that I thought were different or surprising or shocking were the one about the trinity and probably about Christmas too. Growing up, always having and celebrating Christmas , and then finding that it’s not actually in the Bible was…was definitely a game changer, especially when it came to the trinity. The churches that I do remember going to, they always taught the same thing about the trinity. And then, here in the Church Of Christ, there is no trinity. So that took me off guard. I was like, “What do you mean there’s no trinity?” I learned that there’s only one God. God is only one. And they read the verses to me. They showed me the verses, I could read it for myself.
Growing up, always celebrating Christmas, my family always tried to implement, you know, the true meaning of Christmas, part of the holiday. Going to Bible studies in the Church Of Christ and learning more, that was one of the lessons that really stood out to me because Christmas isn’t actually in the Bible. And that was shocking.
I was nervous to share what I was learning with my family because it was shocking for me to find these truths and to learn about these truths. And I just wasn’t sure how they would react and there was still more for me to learn.
My family was curious as to where I was going. I told them that I was going to Bible lessons and [worship] services with my friends in the Church Of Christ.
Being 18 at that point, they were understanding of me making this decision on my own.
I just remember being in a worship service and it was during hymn singing. I really felt the presence of God and the singing was so beautiful and I just really felt it. From that day, I kind of was like, “Okay, this is where I want to be.” I felt like God was telling me, “This is where you’re supposed to be.”
Having this newfound confidence and peace of mind, I felt like whatever I was missing before, now I [have] is in the Church Of Christ. I feel more whole in the Church.
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Taryn was baptized in the Church Of Christ on November 25, 2016.
Being a young adult and trying to figure things out and learning how to live life on my own can be challenging and sometimes lonely. In the Church Of Christ, there’s…there’s so much love and it just feels like…like family. Anyone and everyone should give the Church Of Christ a chance. Because for me, I found truth and I found confidence in my faith and I found a home. I’ve never felt stronger in my faith than I do now.
My life has changed so much after joining the Church Of Christ. Despite whatever trials or hardships life throws at me, I just feel more confident that God will guide me through it because I’m in the true Church Of Christ in these last days.
I have a relationship with God.
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