For this month, I am interviewing Carla Lapre. I met her on Christian Anime Alliance. I think she is a very interesting person, and I admire her frankness. For this reason, I thought she’d be an excellent person to interview.
1. Why do you believe there is a God?
That’s a challenging question. The Bible makes it clear He was and still exists. Plus if you look at the wonders of animal, bird, and plant life, how can you not say there is a God? Beauty and creativity couldn’t have happened by chance. Also, amidst the chaos, Someone must be in control or else things would escalate far worse then they may seem or have been in the past.
2. What was your childhood like?
I grew up in a home where both my parents were dedicated Independent Fundamental Baptist Christians. Early on, it didn’t seem so bad. Had lots of friends who went to Sunday School with me, and later on AWANA meetings. I accepted Christ at the age of 7 and got baptized a couple weeks afterward. Plus I went through elementary and high school in a private school that was located in the church I attended for most of my life.
You’d think school was fairly pleasant. Hardly. I got bullied a lot for no particular reason. Personally I think some hated the fact that I have a good memory (and at the time read a LOT) and could spit out facts like nothing. Plus I didn’t understand a few things about what was happening to me physically as I approached my teen years. I think part of it was due to the culture clash between me and my mom. She was born and raised in the Philippines, not to mention her body is different than mine, so there were certain issues regarding personal grooming and being attractive that she didn’t bring up with me, let alone grasp why it was important.
Before my sister was born, my dad stayed home to take care of me, so we grew very close. Still, even he couldn’t understand my “rebellion” that cropped up countless times as I got older. Maybe it was because he was a bit of one himself and he didn’t like seeing it in me. I don’t know.
I know it seems like my childhood sucked, but there were some fun times. Making up stories and pretending with my childhood best friend before she moved away. Learning how to swim (and later teaching my sister what I knew to the point where she learned to swim). Staying up late at night with my sister ’cause we thought an 8pm bedtime on school days wasn’t fair. There were a lot of good memories as well.
3. How did you meet your husband?
We met while in college, long before he decided to enlist in the Navy. At the time, I was in my last semester completing requirements to get out with my associate’s degree, as well as to be able to transfer to a state university. Aaron was just into his second year. Around that time, I was hanging with a group of other students my husband and I refer to now as “the drama squad” (and I don’t mean a theater group). One evening, shortly after my 19th birthday, I sent a pretty stupid text to a guy I thought I was in love with. He showed it to his friends and, well, they turned on me. Until things cooled off and they accepted me again, I was alone. I first saw Aaron during a game session before this fallout, but it was a few days after they didn’t want me around them that he saw me by myself and joined me where I was sitting. The rest is pretty much history .
4. Have there been any moments that have tested your faith? Have they made you stronger? If so, how?
There have been several moments in my life where I had what I call a dry spell in my faith, the most recent being the loss of my unborn baby. In each case, I slowly had to remember that God never failed and each time, He brought me through. In light of the miscarriage, I was part of a women’s Bible study, going through the different names given to God throughout Scripture. The night after the miscarriage happened, I was lying in bed, unable to sleep, my husband snoring softly beside me. I was angry. How could God have allowed this to happen? But I knew it was foolish to be mad at Him and slowly recalled everything I learned in previous study lessons, and what the names we covered meant. Finally I was able to tell Him how I felt, that I was hurt, angry, and confused, but that I trusted He was God and would take care of me.
5. Is there anyone in your life that inspires you to be a better person? How?
My in-laws. I’ll not go into detail, but my husband’s family has and is still going through something that would have easily torn them all apart. Even though they believe differently than I do in some areas (they’re Catholic), I’ve noticed they demonstrate a lot more love and openness than I’ve seen in some Believers growing up. As far as how to live my faith, I would call them, especially my mother-in-law, role models.
As far as being a Navy wife goes, it’d probably be my best friend Ann Marie, whose husband was (at the time) an officer on the ship my husband is now assigned to. We met during the long deployment last year. She helped me understand how things operate, and she’s definitely an amazing woman in that she and her husband have been apart longer than Aaron and I have during our (almost) 2 years of marriage and the love and trust between her and her hubby is still strong.
6. What is your current profession?
You mean a job? I’m currently a consultant for The Pampered Chef.
7. Do you have a favorite biblical figure? Why is this person your favorite?
Having just finished 2 Kings recently, I would say my favorite is King Josiah. When he heard the message contained in the book of the Law they found in the temple, the first thing he did was tear his clothes in anguish, knowing how screwed the nation was and how fierce God’s judgment was going to be. I think that was a big deal that the king–the king!–rent his own royal garments and humbled himself in that manner, rather than protest or try to justify his own actions. The other thing was that when he told the people it was time to get serious about worshiping God, he meant business. Destroyed EVERYTHING that pointed to false Gods. We need more people like Josiah.
8. What is your denomination, or do you just consider yourself a Christian with no specific denomination?
I go to Calvary Chapel Newport News. I don’t label myself (e.g. Baptist, Lutheran, etc.) ’cause labels limit and divide.
9. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
John 16:33, especially the last part.
10. What do you think is the worst misconception of Christianity?
That is another hard question. There are a lot of misconceptions regarding Christianity, and for many of them I can understand why the person saying so would believe such a thing. I think what I would say is the “worst” is that Christians are all about filling butts in the pews and converting everyone they meet into a complete clone of themselves. Unfortunately for some churches and/or denominations, that is their mindset. The minute I sense a church or even a Believer who cares more about having more people in the service or “changing” someone from the outside, I’m immediately outraged, because that is NOT what Jesus said. Is it any wonder people think “I’ll get right with God AFTER I clean up my act”, when it’s really the opposite?
It’s one thing about the IFB church that my sister and I hated. We had to go door-knocking with our parents every weekend, dressed in Sunday best (though I tried to break away wearing jeans eventually). While I won’t disagree that some people have gotten to know the Lord by that method, I’m not a big fan of it. As my sister once put it, that method of “witnessing” treats people no more than tally marks in the “number of people I led to the Lord” column. Um, clarification. YOU (the person) don’t lead anyone to the Lord. The Holy Spirit calls and directs them. He just chooses to use you as the instrument. It’s not about the holy roller.
11. Does it bother you when people criticize Christians for being hypocrites?
I actually think it’s pretty stupid when people call us “hypocrites” ’cause ANYONE can be a hypocrite in some area of life, not strictly religion. I know I was for a time, and I’ve no doubt I have the potential to do it again, but that shows I’m human and as a Believer, I struggle with a sin nature.
12. Have you ever had any moments of doubt? How did you overcome them?
I’ve had plenty of doubts growing up. I think the biggest ones involved whether or not my sweetheart and I would have a future together, and then later, the miscarriage. Part of the reason was I believed what people (specifically my Fundie parents) tried to drill in my head instead of looking directly to God and what He has revealed about Himself in the Word. In regards to losing our baby, I had to remind myself and accept once again that God knows what He is doing and His plans are for the best, even when they don’t make a lick of sense to us.
Would you like me to interview you for this project? Email me and I’ll interview you! My e-mail is:
firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll notice when you click on that, the subject “interview” is in your subject heading. I will only accept interviews if “interview” is the subject.