Lessons Learned from Ditching Church
It may start out with a quarrel, hurt feelings or just burn out, but every Christian at some point wants to give up on church. I want to share my testimony, but y’all, it ain’t dignified. I wish I could say that I weathered the storm with strong faith, but I made it through by His grace alone, with not a lick of gracefulness on my part. Not a lick. He led me through kicking, screaming, and clawing at folks eyes. I’m so hard headed my journey took the scenic route. This testimony is telling of just how difficult I can be, and just how good God is. He taught me so, so much when I gave up on church. Hold on tight.
I have been a christian since I was a child. I grew up in the ministry so I was a “church kid” but the thing about ministry is you go to a church a time or two, minister, and move on to the next, so you are not directly involved in the intricate inner workings of the body of Christ. I grew up, and begin to work in church, passionately singing and teaching. Years of spiritual fruit filled my basket, with the greatest of ease. I was a happy camper because everything was going my way.
Over time, what started as a small grain of sand in my bikini started agitating my hind end so bad I wound up with a big sore on my rear… And a chip on my shoulder. I got mad. Y’all know how the devil works. The anger and resentment built up and I got on a mission to find a different kind of church. I was sick of the “politics” and I found me a new phrase I loved to use while rolling my eyes….”organized religion.” I told my Grandparents “I will never join another church again, that ain’t even in the bible!” Truth was, I didn’t want to be held accountable. I started trying to pick verses out of the bible that I could squeeze the Devils lie out of. “I don’t even have to go to church.”
People that loved me told me they were praying for me. It would make me so mad I could spit nails. How could they not see that I wasn’t the problem?!?! ……Folks, that’s a bad place to be.
At one point I started looking into home Churching. (Snort) As I did my research, I quickly found most home church groups didn’t last to long. They couldn’t get along with anybody else… thus the “home” Churching. I wasn’t gonna give in though. I was sure I was going to get it figured out, because I can be a real piece of work like that. All the while my life was falling apart. Depression, hopelessness, and anxiety filled my heart. My Dad was on to me. I couldn’t hide from him. When he tried to talk to me, I remember saying “Dad, why does it always have to be about church!?” This one *little* thing is jacking up every area in my life!!!
The lesson I had to learn was hard. The reason my life was falling apart is because I was *created* to worship. I was *chosen* to sing and to teach. I was *commanded* to serve and like it or not, fellowship with other believers. The first 3 reasons are pretty cut and dry. That last one is a doozy. See, we are to fellowship with other believers not only to love and have fun, but to grind off our own rough edges in conflict. Getting along with passionate people ain’t easy, but if you stick it out and learn, grow, forgive, and love than you’ll become more refined…and shiny. Y’all know I love shiny. Fellowship is about getting over yourself. Ouch. That was a hard truth for me. I was my biggest fan.
I’m not going to lie, even though I knew the truth getting back in the swing of things wasn’t easy. My heart had hardened and I was paranoid, overly sensitive…. And kind of a jerk. Ok I was a big jerk. But ain’t it just like our sweet Jesus to not give up on me???? He was so patient and persistent. I can just see Him rolling His eyes at his tattooed girl who thinks she knows it all. Oh how He loves you, and ridiculous me.
Oh, and P.S. My hunky husband is a treasure. That man can ride out my storms like a bearded cowboy on a bucking bull.