Hey guys 🙂
As I enter into a new week, I have put my armor on and I’m ready to kick some butt. 🙂
One thing I have done to help with that is I have started making a point to get back into church and make it routine. For awhile there I just couldn’t get seem to get it together and just go to church…an hour out of my week, and yet something as simple as going to church seemed like a challenge but I am determined to make that stop.
In the last couple of weeks I have started to dig deep and get back to basics. I long for a simple, uncomplicated life and that has meant keeping my inner circle as close to me as possible and the rest will have to make an appointment.
Self preservation is not a bad thing. ❤
Last week when I attended church, I managed to show up early for Sunday School before the main sermon. The topic that morning revolved around being born again, being saved.
This struck a chord in me and actually made me emotional. I had been so wrapped up in earthly, day to day junk, that I wasn’t feeling as spiritually in touch as I wanted to be.
I spoke up in class and asked how can I truly be saved when I am bound to make mistakes and falter? Do I just ask for forgiveness and continue to be born over and over again?
I said, I feel guilty that I have missed so much church. I feel I have let my church family down. I said, it’s not just my work schedule that makes it challenging to show up. It’s an internal thing…it’s me.
When we discuss being saved, I am never sure how to approach it or what to say. I feel I have a relationship with God and I certainly have faith and believe in him but I said, I struggle to come right out publicly and proclaim that I am saved or that I want to be saved and make that true commitment to God.
I mentioned the persecution I feel sometimes as I become more rooted in my faith and more outspoken about it. That lead to discussion that as we get closer to the day when God will return, the bible clearly states Christians will be persecuted more and more each day…
Timothy simply states:
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted
I continued to discuss the fact that am not sure I am ready to go there yet. That I tend to sit on the fence when it comes to making something like being saved offical and so I feel behind sometimes.
I didn’t mean to hijack the class and I said as much but the result of me speaking up and allowing myself to be vulnerable turned out to be a much needed positive experience and great discussion among the class.
Emotional and overwhelming but truly cleansing in its own right. I received so much support from the ladies and they were happy I spoke up and they prayed with me. I didn’t even realize I had so much pent up emotion until that moment.
One thing I have realized is that on a subconscious level, I think the reason I had started to avoid going to church in the last few months is because it was striking too many chords within me and overwhelming me.
Also, I am not used to receiving that kind of support…I don’t know how to ask for and accept it and so it feels awkward to me. I walk through those church doors sometimes and think, I don’t deserve to be here…I am not a stand up Christian. Church reminds me that I am painfully human and sometimes I just don’t know what to do with that and so I hide.
But I am starting to realize and understand what church is really about. It’s not about being the perfect Christian or keeping judgmental tabs on each other. It’s about helping each other as we walk our path with God. It’s a support system, a safe haven and a social outlet with like minded people that I desperately need but tend to avoid.
Today, I managed to make it to church again (2 weeks in a row woo hoo!) and today’s sermon was great. Now that I am really starting to dig deep and allow myself to be open I am getting much more out of the sermons and Sunday School lessons. I am left full with soul food and it makes me feel ready to face my week as I know that’s when the devil works the hardest. He loves to beat us down and encourage stress and worry over the day to day.
It’s also a nice outing not only for me but for my fiance too. It brings us closer together as a couple. It makes us stronger.
I finally have a man in my life who also has faith and believes God is with us. We are able to rise above a lot simply because we hold God’s hand together and if one of us is down, we’re able to lift the other up by reminding the other that God will take care of us.
The uphill climb a Christian faces today and throughout history is real. For some reason, many people cast stones on religion…They associate the word “religion” with being radical, close minded, judgmental, self righteous, corny, out of touch, uptight and stuffy.
This is unfortunate and I am not trying to say none of that exists within the realm of religion…but Christian or not, there will always be someone pointing fingers…always… in fact we’re all guilty of it if we’re being honest.
We are ALL human.
There will always be good, evil and everything in between… more importantly there will always be wolves in sheep’s clothing no matter where you turn but that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself and it starts with surrounding yourself with the right people instead of trying in vain to get people to see what you see, think what you think and feel what you feel…we need to stop focusing on that, myself included and turn inward and hold on to the people who are truly there to offer love and support.
Keep your friends and family close and your enemies as far away as possible. Don’t engage, don’t react and fuel futile fires.
Try saying that three times fast. 😉
I made that mistake just in the last month in one of my posts…it reeked havoc on my Facebook page.
People deleted me and lashed out at me…persecuted me…I had a strong, controversial/Christian opinion and when I wrote the post, I was frustrated and instead of just leaving it alone and turning the other cheek, I sparked one of those futile fires and promoted the wrong kind of conversation and energy…for that I feel remorse and have learned my lesson. I ultimately took down the post because it’s not my true goal to start a social media firestorm of that nature.
Does that mean I retract my stance? No. It does not. Could I have expressed myself in a better way? Definitely.
All I know is I am going to screw up and that day I did but the quicker I make peace with that and stop worrying about what other people think of me the better. I have never claimed to be perfect and I never will be.
I think that’s what non-believers need to understand. Being a Christian does not mean being perfect or living some prim and proper, holier than thou lifestyle. We all have free will and are free to choose our own path so maybe we all just need to focus on paving our own path instead of trying to pave someone else’s.
This has been a valuable lesson that I have learned.
There are many things going on in today’s society that I do not agree with. Things that make me cringe…things I find hypocritical and totally backwards… I am sure there are people who feel the same about me and my beliefs but the one thing I have realized about that is to just stay true to myself and walk the path that is right for me. Talk about that and keep my mouth shut about the rest because honestly, why waste energy on and argue with people who already have their mind made up. Why stir that pot? In my experience, it was nothing but trouble…a total waste.
The best thing I can do is keep promoting the positive example I strive to be. Continue to grow in my relationship with God, with my spouse, my family, my friends and my church. The rest will fall naturally into place and will weed out the people who don’t need to be anywhere near my inner circle.
Aim for simplicity, for peace. Sure, you won’t always get it right. You won’t always practice what you preach but I will leave you with this cliche –
If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.
Take Care & God Bless ❤