This post may not be relatable to everyone, BUT I do not want to pass up an opportunity to tell some of my story if I have not mentioned before. I posted the poem “I Shut the Door.” to talk about my decision to turn away from certain lifestyle choices. Yes, I have been raised in the church, wanted to leave the church a few times, and found my way back to church through my decision to go after God for myself. I notice that some people who have been raised in church go on these long rampages about “how bad the church is” but fail to point out that people did the “bad things” and not the “church” itself. There is a difference between a “person that goes to church” and “a person that has the church in them”. So let me share my experience as a person that went from just “going to church” to a person that has “the church” in her.
Churchy. When I was approaching my college years, I thought that I finally entered a stage in my life where I can be “independent”. I went through my stage of peer pressure and bullying during my junior high and high school years so I was happy to be in a place where I could just “be me”. The issue with that is that “I did not know who I was”. If the people around me, (including some in the church), did not find pleasure in the “Christian life”, I will cower down and try to act like the people in the world. I saw how I dress changed, and the entertainment I partake in changed to align with this “cool, rebellious” persona I was trying to portray. In the midst of that, I was becoming a hypocrite. I will go to church on Sunday mornings and be in the dorm room with my ex that night. So, I struggled between both lifestyles throughout my college life and into my 20s as well. After I got pregnant, I experienced shame from others in my church that almost moved me out of that church for good. Not to mention, the devil was adding thoughts of condemnation to my shame that made me feel like “church was not for me”. I believed that lie until that lie was exposed.
Chosen. I struggled with the truth that God called me to be a leader. I tried to act a certain way and talk a certain way to show that I am not “one of them” a.k.a. real Christians. Nothing I did proved that I belonged “outside of church”. A few years back when I was staying in Mississippi before I moved to Arkansas, I was struggling with my faith. I did not attend church as often as I did at the beginning of my walk with God, and just felt a lot of pressure from other things that have happened in my personal life during that time. With that sudden confusion in my life, I craved an “out”. So, I got involved with this married man to fill the emptiness I was feeling on the inside, but that void only got bigger. Even during that involvement, I was still trying to appear as this “good Christian” to people on the outside, but my personal life was jacked up. So, when I received a job opportunity to move out of Mississippi, I had to come to a decision about my life. I had to choose to either live for God or live a life without God, and both choices carry consequences. To be honest, I did not want to be a “fake”. I wanted to be the leader that actually model a “truthful life” not a lie. So, I let go of that man a couple of months after moving to Arkansas and never contacted him again. I blocked his number and social media and sever the tie with him. After that decision, I knew that I needed to become like “the church” and not just go to one. Now, I am working to maintain my relationship with God and also attend church as well. I don’t hate the church, and I aim to never again abandon my relationship with God over what people do.
To be churchy is to live a life “in the church”, but to be chosen is to live a life according to God and BE THE CHURCH.
That’s a piece of my testimony/story. I am unashamed because I tasted freedom and refused to go back to the “OLD ShuCora”. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and chit chat with me…It’s a safe place…Have a great night peeps!
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