Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
I nervously sat down to the computer and started typing. Creating an Evite wouldn’t seem like a big deal to most people, but it was to me. Always having been too shy to reach out to my teammates from soccer, I had never been included in their friend group. They all went to school together and I was the only one who didn’t, making me the ostracized homeschool alien on the team.
Despite my qualms, the day of the sleepover came and everything went perfectly. We stayed up all night talking; I had never felt closer to a group of girls who were already so close to each other. Around six in the morning, we fell asleep.
Knock. Knock. Knock!
The sound suddenly woke us all up around eight. Everyone sat up confused, wondering who it could be. I opened the door and there he was: my dad holding a Bible, his special Bible that was as big as a geography book. I knew what this meant and all I wanted to do was hide.
Growing up with my dad being a pastor, I spent a decent amount of time being uncomfortable. Whether he was praying in public, trying to convert my friends or speaking in tongues, I couldn’t help but squirm when imagining what thought when they heard him. That’s why it took me so long to tell my friends at Trinity about my dad. Halfway through junior year I was approached by my school’s chaplain asking if my father could do a chapel at school and if I could introduce him as the speaker. I was hesitant in my response because all I could think of were the times he had embarrassed me in front of my friends… this would be in front of the whole school.
The day came and I’d never been more nervous. I stood in front of the school and read his introduction ending with, “Please welcome, my dad, Pastor DeRoco.” A few eyes looked up at me as I sat down and he took the podium. Those next few minutes rushed by. People laughed at his jokes and listened intently when he got to his main point. His charismatic personality came out through his words and made evident the passion and love he has for God and in his faith. Throughout the rest of the day, students and teachers were coming up to me, commenting on and complementing my dad’s sermon. My friends were filled with questions about his job and what it’s like being so involved with the church. It was then, while answering the many questions involving my dad, that I realized I was no longer ashamed or embarrassed in who he was. Watching him up there, pouring out his heart into expressing what he believes, inspired me in a way that it had never done before.
Now, my father has spoken a few times at various club meetings and team dinners. Afterwards, multiple people had come up to me and shared how much they enjoyed what he had to say. Before, being a home-schooled pastor’s kid seemed like an identity I had to hide. Through this experience, I developed a new maturity and knowledge in how I look at the impact my father’s job has on my life. No longer anxious, I am proud of his faith and of the inspiration he has on everyone around him.