Intro: Kim Tisor was reared in a Christian home that emphasized weekly attendance at their Southern Baptist Church. She remained a Baptist well into adulthood and was content to be one, until radio airwaves carrying Catholic teaching reached this Christian, music-playing DJ’s ears. It placed her on a journey of discovery that would ultimately lead her and her husband out of Protestantism and into the Catholic Church, taking their young children with them.
I grew up in south western Kentucky where, not unlike most southern towns, there were more churches than library books. It just so happens that we attended one of the largest churches located downtown on South Main Street. First Baptist Church has been standing on the same corner since 1818 and is where my parents wed in 1964. It’s where I first learned about Jesus and his love for me. It’s where I attended Vacation Bible School.
It’s the church that sent me to my first summer camp where I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. It’s also where my husband and I exchanged wedding vows more than 30 years after my parents did. It’s where my mom still attends and my dad did too, until he passed away in 2014. The people there are like family. I can assure you there was rarely a Sunday that we missed church while I was a kid and we were members at First Baptist.
The story throughout my teenage, college, and young adult years is fairly uneventful. No falling away or crisis of faith to mention. I remained in church and in God’s word and Christ remained in me. As I see it, I am, and have always been, a pretty blessed gal. So how did my heart and mind ever shift toward Rome? It started with a prayer and gained momentum with a bumper sticker.
My husband and I were living in Colorado Springs, CO and looking for a church home. We visited no fewer than 20. One thing I discovered was that there were many aspects to various forms of worship that spoke to me. I liked singing the familiar old hymns. I liked praise and worship songs. I liked liturgy. I liked raising my hands (at times) and I liked silence. But then I thought to ask God, “What do you like?”
I began pondering what forms of worship God prefers. Does He have a preference? Does God like all forms, so long as they’re sincere and from the heart? I didn’t know the answer, so I asked Him to show me.
A couple years passed, kids came along, and I still had no answer to my question. Instead, I had other questions. All of a sudden whether or not to participate in Halloween festivities became an issue due to its pagan undertones. If we concluded that it was wrong to parade our kids through the neighborhood dressed in costumes searching for candy, then trimming Christmas trees and hunting for Easter eggs would need to be eliminated as well, because they, too, contained traditions with pagan underpinnings.
What to do? I sought the scriptures. I longed for nothing more than to please my Lord. But the verses I found weren’t explicit. Funny, at the time of my dilemma I literally thought it would be easier to be Catholic. At least the Catholics placed their trust in previous Popes’ decisions when designating Christian holidays. These weren’t, in my estimation, concerns that kept Catholics up at night.
Several years passed and my children grew along with my list of questions. Sadly, because of my “on the fence” position regarding holidays, we hadn’t created any family traditions. It didn’t help matters that neither my husband nor I grew up with any traditions of our own from which to draw. But things were about to change.