I just wanted to take a moment this morning to say thank you!
For what you ask?
I don’t know how to put it into one sentence, so come with me and I’ll tell you why.
I was raised in a Pentecostal church. I knew the Bible. Seriously, I had scripture memorization down to an art form, thank you Junior Bible Quiz. For real, thank you!
Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
I did that.
And I am so thankful that I did. Because though I fell away from the church (more like swore I was never stepping foot in a church again), I had that foundation to fall back on.
I was one of those people who said, I believe in God, I just don’t believe in organized religion.
I would actually say, that’s still true to an extent. I believe in God. He is who I trust. I don’t want man’s interpretation of God’s word. When “the Holy Spirit anointed holy men, giving them both the truth and the words to write” (that’s in quotes because it’s a JBQ answer to the question, who wrote the Bible) I want to know exactly what was meant by those words. Thankfully, now I have a pastor who feels the same way.
I say that it’s true to an extent because on the other hand, I think I still just needed to find the right church for me and honestly, I didn’t put any effort into it.
I actually found 2. I loved Glad Tidings Assembly Of God. Pastor Bill is an amazing man. I loved his sermons and really like him as a person. The only problem was that the south side of Des Moines was a long drive, especially on icy Iowa roads in the winter. My mom heard about a friendship fest for a new church and talked me into taking the kids. I was all, sure, they can go play, but I am not switching churches. I love Pastor Bill!
Off we went to Fusion.
I really liked Jeff and Tracey Crowder. But I felt a loyalty to Glad Tidings. After all it was the first church I had started going to and loved going to after I had sworn to never step foot into a church h again.
It took me a couple of months to start joining the rest of my family at Fusion, but I’m so glad I did! I keep saying this, but I want people at Glad Tidings to know that it wasn’t anything about the people or the church, I loved it there, but I loved it at Fusion too.
We’ve been going since October and I now feel at home there, like if I’m sick or one of the kids is sick, I feel like I should call someone and say hey! We’re not going to be there today, but don’t worry, it’s just a fever!
And I missed a whole section of my story.
What brought me back to feeling the need to go to church?
About a year ago, I had this nagging thought that I wasn’t doing right by my children. I was not laying that strong foundation for them that my parents had laid for me. I started out by getting out my Bible and reading it to myself. Then we started going to the park and I would read it to them and explain the chapter and then they could go off and play. I started praying with my children. And before long, my mom started talking to me about going back to church. No no no no. I am not going back. I was hurt by those people. It’s amazing what you can hold on to from 20 years ago. She wore me down though.
Before I knew it, I was on fire for the Lord like I had never been in my life.
Am I perfect? Not even close. I screw up multiple times a day. I’m impatient, I can be quick to anger, and I can be just as lazy as the next person. I am still working on my mouth. I could swear with the best of them, but I am getting so much better about it.
Old habits are hard to break. I’ve just had to turn it all over to God and say you know me, you know what I’ve done, help me turn my life around and be the child to you I was meant to be, the wife to my husband I should be, and the mother to my children that you want me to be.
Was I a horrible person? No. I’d like to think that I am always good to people, that I help those in need, that I don’t break the law, that I love my family, but being good just isn’t good enough.
Where does thanking you all come into play?
I thank you because I made a dramatic turn around in my life, which meant a turn around in my blogging, in my Facebook posts, in my tweets. I became so excited and I just want to share everything with everyone!
I’ve seen what happens when people of different beliefs get together online. The mockery, the nastiness, it can get downright cruel. I’ve seen atheists just tear apart Christians and I have seen Christians use scripture to tear apart anyone who doesn’t believe like they do. It’s honestly disgusting. I don’t understand how anyone can use the Bible to back up their spiteful angry cruel hatred. We are supposed to love one another.
I’ve lost a couple of Facebook friends, including ones that I have known in my everyday, before the Internet life. I haven’t though experienced any of the hatefulness that I have seen. And I thank you for that. I have Facebook friends and Twitter followers of every belief, born again Christians, Catholics, Mormons, Jewish, atheists, Muslim, Wiccans, Pagans, I’m sure there are even more than those, and not one of them have ever ever said anything hurtful about one of my posts or tweets.
I told a friend that I went to school with the other day thank you for just being her. She is Jewish, and I honestly have learned so much from her posts about her daily life. If I didn’t understand a word she used, I would go look it up. If I didn’t know about a tradition, again, I would go look it up. I honestly want to know why people believe what they believe. What, I hate to use the word proof, but that’s the only word I can think of, what proof is out there that makes you believe what you do?
I do it to my own beliefs too. I am always looking things up, wanting to know how this timeline in the Bible matches with what science has proven to be true, you just can’t blindly shut your eyes and say la la la la when carbon dating shows dinosaur fossils to be X many years old. I look up historical facts. I think I drive my mom nuts when I can’t find the answer to something. I turn to her and she has to find it for me.
This post has gotten incredibly long, but it boils down to thank you for coming along with me! If you don’t believe the same as I do, thank you for being respectful of my feelings, and I hope you can feel the same way about me. I was not put on this Earth to judge anyone.
I am just here to let his light shine through me.
Have a beautiful day!