April 14, 2022
When I look back at the years I spent growing up in my Old Order Amish community, there’s not much I remember liking. My relationship with my parents was shallow. They were the cat, and I was the mouse.
Eventually, I got tired of the rules, and I began searching for a better life. My parents went to church one Sunday morning, and I didn’t go. When they came home, I was gone, never to return again. Later, my dad called me, but I made it clear that I wasn’t moving back home.
I moved in with a family that loved me, and they helped me graduate from a public high school. Because I had a loving family take me in and treat me like their own child, I had it quite easy compared to others who leave. However, it was very difficult for me to learn in the public school system. The subjects were not difficult, but fitting in and going from classroom to classroom was tough. It was a very hard the first year, but I adapted, and today, people would not know that I used to be Amish if I didn’t tell them.
I do still talk with my biological mother to this day. My dad died a two and a half years ago. I come from a family of twelve and am the eleventh. In my family, only four of the twelve stayed Amish. My brother is a bishop, and I don’t have any contact with him.
Years went by. When I was forty years old, I sat at my kitchen table reading the Bible and nothing really made any sense. Then, I read Ephesians 2:8-9, and I didn't believe what I read at first because it was opposite of what I was taught. This was my “burning bush” moment. I had to go investigate. It was at that moment that God spoke to me.
Then, I thought to myself, "I wonder what else I was taught that wasn’t true," so I kept reading, and I came across 1 John 1:7-9, which says:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This discovery poured a little gas on the burning bush. As it turns out, the Amish do know scripture, but they lack understanding because they do not have the Holy Spirit. I realized that I was lost and in need of a Savior!
Today, I love reading the Bible; it’s beautiful. As a child, I pictured God as a big angry guy that hated everything I was doing. As it turns out, the God I know today is pure love, peace, joy, merciful, gracious, faithful, forgiving, gentle, kind, patience (Galatians 5:22-23) (1 John 4:16).
My future and long-term goals include serving the Lord. I love Jesus with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength, and I'm still working on loving my neighbor as myself. I am working to learn as much about The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as possible, and I am sharing what I learn with others ( Matthew 28:18-20).
This letter has been published with permission from the owner.
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