My faith is very important to me. At times, it seems that it got pushed to the back burner because I knew where I stood, and I was surrounded by people that knew that as well.
I made some dumb mistakes. SO DUMB. But, I am thankful for what they helped me to learn regarding my faith.
Every day, I'm touched by the miraculous work of the Lord. When I get to see a little baby's heartbeat on the screen, and get to rejoice with those who choose life, I am reminded of the huge God I serve.
But every once in awhile, I get so frustrated. I used to think I was getting frustrated with God, but, recently, I think I realized what the true root of it is. It's the church, and, subsequently, followers of Christ.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A POST TO GOSSIP, SPREAD LIES, AND TEAR APART THE CHURCH. IT ALSO ISN'T REALLY A POST ABOUT MOMMYHOOD, THOUGH, HONESTLY, I THINK MANY OF THESE REALIZATIONS WERE BROUGHT ABOUT BY BECOMING A MOTHER, AND FINALLY UNDERSTANDING WHAT IT REALLY MEANT FOR GOD TO SACRIFICE HIS ONLY SON ON MY BEHALF. IT'S A BIT OF A SOAP BOX, SO CONTINUE READING AT YOUR OWN RISK.
I grew up in a small, Southern Baptist church. Being the granddaughter of a preacher, and a daughter of parents who taught that faith was important even if it wasn't lived out all the time, it only made sense for me to accept what I was given.
And, I grew at that church. From Sunday School, to Children's Church, to even meeting my first crush, I loved that church. I can remember "walking to the alter," and being led through the Roman's Road by a lady that had really bad breath. Isn't that such a great conversion experience?
So, I accepted it. And I was dunked the next Sunday. And I sat and shivered with my wet hair and a smile through the rest of the service. Cause my Grandpa was proud.
Looking back on it now, I think I developed a very legalistic view of religion, and more importantly, faith. Don't get me wrong, I still believe there is only one way to enjoy eternal fellowship with the Lord, but I feel as though I was instructed to believe that the only way was to follow the rules set forth by the Southern Baptist Convention.
I'm not hating on baptists. Trust me, I'm not. They have their flaws just like every donomination. And there are some things from my time in that church that I treasure. Like singing old hymns. And understanding my brokenness. But, every church has it's problems. And that, more importantly, is what this is about. It's about man getting in the way of God's work. It's about the church being seen as something that sparkles and is just surface level.
I can remember seeing the piano player from church out in town, and seeing him smoking. Not because he was on fire, but because he had a cigarette that was. And, even today, so many years later, I can remember the judgments that flooded my mind.
That was 4th grade. We stopped attending that church about a year later. Fast forward to high school, when I started attending a youth group with a bunch of my friends. CHANGED.MY.LIFE.
I think I'll stop here for the time being, and turn this into a bit of a series. I have a feeling it can go on for a while, and in order for me to articulate my thoughts, it's best if I break it up.
So, to be continued...