A year ago, LIFE Worship Arts determined that it was important for our teammates to know each other’s Christian testimonies. For several months now, a member of LIFE Worship has chosen to share their story each Sunday morning with their teammates. Prior to sharing their story with our team, team members are asked to go through the process of writing out their story.
We look forward to featuring some of these salvific stories in an effort to strengthen our community of relationships on and off the ministry platform at LIFE. Our story this week comes from one of our vocalists, Robin Pugh. Robin is a talented singer and musician. She is married to Troy and they have three children. Here is Robin’s story:
Little House on the Prairie… Leave it to Beaver… The Partridge Family…. my childhood had elements of all these iconic American families. I was blessed to be born into a close-knit Christian family – and not just a Christian family, but an Evangelist’s family! My dad, Ron Comfort, began a ministry in full-time evangelism in the late 1950’s and today at 81 years old, is still going strong, preaching all across the US and internationally. My mom, Joyce, homeschooled my two sisters and me, sewed all of our clothing, taught children’s church nightly, played piano, sang and is to this day, the model Proverbs 31 woman – a high bar to live up to. Growing up, my dad preached (and therefore we attended church) 6 nights per week, approximately 10 months of the year, in a different church every week. Because of his itinerant ministry, we had the opportunity to travel the United States and the world, sharing the good news. By the time I was 10 years old, I had been to Africa, the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, many islands in the Pacific and Caribbean, and many European countries…. To say that I had a blessed childhood would be a massive understatement.
My two older sisters started bugging me at a very young age about being saved. However, I thought I was a pretty good little girl and really wasn’t enough of a sinner to require Christ’s forgiveness. That all changed one day at the Ben Franklin (the Dollar General stores of my generation). My mom was paying for her purchase, and I decided to steal some candy and a bag of balloons. No one noticed until later that day when my mom saw me playing with my ‘take.’ Of course, she connected the dots quickly and my freshly spanked bottom was marched back to the store to tell the manager what I had done. After that harsh realization that I really WAS a sinner, a few weeks later, I raised my hand at the invitation time in children’s church and I accepted Christ as my Savior.
As I got older, and especially being in the fishbowl of being a preacher’s kid, I really started focusing more on externals – looking, talking, acting the part…. Not actually making my relationship with Jesus my priority and being focused on the internals, my relationship with him. It became more about making sure my parents weren’t disappointed in me, and making sure I wasn’t getting in trouble for pushing the limits on the length-of-my-arm-list of different “standards” that people in the various churches seemed to hold the preacher’s girls accountable for. Over time, I really started to get comfortable with being two different people – the People Pleaser and the Rebel Undercover.
In the late 80’s my dad started a Bible college called Ambassador Baptist College, and after I graduated high school, I began attending. After a few years of Bible college, I married someone who was just like me: a pleaser on the outside and a rebel on the inside. Together, we were a disaster, and my marriage ended in divorce. I could no longer maintain the good-girl façade that I had created so I wouldn’t disappoint my parents or create a blight on their ministry.
Slowly, I started realizing that I while I knew I had a relationship with Christ that would never change, I needed fellowship with him. I am so thankful that the grace of God extends to those like me who should know better. Those who have no excuse, like me, because I had been taught the truth from the time I was a child. Those, like me, who fail time and time again. God’s grace — his amazing, unconditional, unreasonable grace — allowed me a second chance at a happy marriage and a Christian family. Life is full of peaks and valleys, and still God’s grace has been constant. Our family has experienced the highs and lows that every family does. We’ve had two military deployments, been given great career opportunities, and gone through layoffs…..We’ve experienced the heartbreak of losing a daughter, but then experienced the incredible blessing of adopting a daughter that God clearly hand-designed just for us. Good times and hard times. Yet, God’s grace, unwavering love, forgiveness, restoration and peace have been the central theme of my life as I’ve learned to walk beside him in sweet fellowship.
This church and serving alongside each of you has been a beautiful part of my most recent spiritual journey. God is teaching me things that I’ve never seen or thought of before. He’s continuing to build me into the woman he wants me to be. I could talk for hours about how he’s teaching me lessons in humility, dependence on him, empathy, and on and on. I’m so excited to be his daughter, and to this day, I’m amazed with the incredible, unconditional love he heaps on me every day.