I’ve always been drawn to music.
A look at my past reveals a disenfranchised young church soloist who sought meaning in New Age music ministry and as a member of a mystical Jewish band before immersing herself in the LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) faith.
Each verse of my past story was different than the last but beat to the same refrain. Measures of time, never measuring up; my heart pounding a broken melody in its search for belonging.
I spent years trying to find my place in the world, seeking a connection with God by experimenting with religion, when all along Jesus was calling me to lay down my striving and rest in his love and grace.
I was born and raised in the church. Baptized at age nine, I began singing in church a year later. As I entered my teenage years, however, I found church boring. I prioritized partying over my presence in the pews, and my church attendance dwindled. The seeds of faith planted in my childhood lay dormant as I grew to adulthood, and life lacked greatness. I longed to reconnect with God.
I began experimenting with religion. Having moved from California to Utah, I joined the music ministry at a New Age church. At first it was fun and exciting. I was free to do and think whatever I wanted but still had a divine connection.
During this time, I also traveled with a mystical Jewish band, attending High Holy Days at an Arizona synagogue. I investigated the Jewish Renewal movement, taking conversion courses and studying with a rabbi, but it didn’t resonate in my heart.
I stayed with the New Age church because it helped pay the bills, but my heart wasn’t in it either. There’s freedom in boundaries, and the church had none. I longed for a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Soon after, I married an LDS man. At that point, I had tried so many churches, I thought, “What’s one more? Besides, they’re into Jesus. It’s in their name.” I went all in. I met with the missionaries, was baptized and had a Mormon temple marriage.
But gazing below the surface, I realized there was more to it than I first thought. We read the Book of Mormon more than the Bible. A checklist of things to do weighed me down. No matter how hard I tried to be a good Mormon, I couldn’t do it. I knew life as a Christian wouldn’t be easy, but my heart told me it shouldn’t be this hard.
After 14 years, I couldn’t maintain the facade anymore, and my marriage ended. I felt like a failure. My shattered heart ached for my kids, and my health plagued me. I didn’t have a dime to my name. The pit in my stomach weighed heavy as I walked a lonely road. Months went by, and I wondered if I’d ever feel right again. Although I didn’t realize it, Jesus was with me on that dark road.
During this time, a guy from my past resurfaced. We had been best friends and bandmates in high school. He relocated to Utah, and we married. A former Jehovah’s Witness, he knew the difficulties of navigating out of a religion and supported me greatly during a time I wasn’t attending church.
In time, I gave church another chance. The lyrics of the worship music soothed my broken heart, lifting me out of the pit and keeping me coming back for more. I dared to hope I could find my place and be me again.
The words of 1 Peter 2:24 I heard that first Sunday echoed my soul’s cry for healing, and studying 1 Peter showed me Jesus was waiting for me with open arms.
When we moved to West Jordan to be closer to my kids, I found South Mountain Community Church online. After one week, my husband and I knew we wanted to be in this together. We publicly declared our faith through baptism and have since joined the worship team.
Now I’m starting over, like a newborn baby craving pure spiritual milk. It’s hard to think I spent so many years trying to be something I wasn’t. Yes, I still have days of anxiety, doubt and sorrow, but I’ve found freedom in Christ.
Jesus gives me grace and peace I couldn’t find in all my searching. There’s no more guilt or shame. I am enough. I know where I belong, and my life breathes an anthem of grace.
As told to Janae Rempel.
Amy Faust resides in West Jordan, Utah, with her husband, Mark. She is called “mom” by four beautiful kids: Kate, 21, Connor, 12, and twins, Abby and Ella, 7. Amy is employed by the United States District Court but her heart belongs to music. She and Mark serve on the worship team at South Mountain Community Church—she as a vocalist and he on bass and both working in the production booth. They were baptized together Sept. 24, 2017, and absolutely love their church community. They adore spending time together exploring the beautiful Utah landscape and making fun memories with family. Amy is excited to see where the Lord will lead her next and in what other ways she can serve him.