My Journey into the Body of Christ
As a young child, every Sunday our family would get together with my grandparents and go to church. After the death of my grandfather when I was six, my father’s interest in the church came to a halt and in turn my mother quit going as well. I stayed at my grandmother’s house a lot when I was a child, especially after my Grandfather’s passing and like clockwork every Sunday, we would get into her Pontiac Grand Prix and head off to hear the gospel.
Then we didn’t. As a child I didn’t know what changed in my grandmother, but something was different. We never went to church again. Every Sunday became a routine of watching cartoons and eating toaster strudels for me and her sitting in her chair smoking cigarettes. Things pretty much stayed that way for me until I was in 7th Grade.
My grandmother had gotten remarried to a man that was good for her. Her new step-son was a pastor at their local church and helped bring her back to God. I, on the other hand, had no one to really talk to about church, or Jesus, except my other grandmother whom I rarely saw. My grandmother that I spent my weekends with had moved on into a new family and I was left behind.
My Bitter Years
Things changed for me that 7th grade year that my grandmother married; I had to change schools and I had to get new friends. It was the beginning of a bad cycle for me. I was lonely, I didn’t really fit in, and I was desperate. I was angry at everything. I was angry that my grandmother had left me – angry that we had to move and angry at myself because I wasn’t happy.
I had a group of friends by the middle of the school year, more like acquaintances (some that really didn’t like me and picked on me) that I spent my time with but not much during the summer. There was one girl in general that invited me to her church. I was shy and scared, but I had a tug on me that maybe I should check this out.
It took me two visits to that church before I found myself at the alter crying out to be saved, to help heal me, and to forgive me for my sins. I remember feeling so much sorrow but also so much joy. I was redeemed.
The next week had come and I was excited about church. My friend pulled me to side and told me that she was sent to relay the message that I couldn’t come back to the church if I didn’t wear something that fit into their dress code.
As a 12-year-old girl – this crushed me. I had felt good for the first time in a long time, that I belonged, but just like that, I had been rejected. My parents didn’t have the luxuries of taking me to get “appropriate” clothing nor did they care that I went to church at all. I didn’t fit into the church’s idea of a fellow worshiper of Christ and upon taking a vote, I was asked not to come back by the congregation.
That was the last time that I stepped foot in a church until I was 22 years old. During those 10 years, my high school and young adult years, I was lost and I always found my way into situations where I was being undervalued, abused, and disrespected. I desperately needed to find my self worth however I didn’t know how.
There was something pulling on me throughout those years that told me my life wasn’t right and I needed to make a change. I lacked guidance, strength, and most importantly faith to take action and ownership of my life. Despite my inner calling no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t shake this feeling of hopelessness and that I was destined for misery.
I found myself married at a young age to someone that didn’t respect me, abused me in many ways, and treated me as if I were worthless. The marriage only lasted 2 months, but I could write 100 pages about what I endured without a single pause. I finally hit rock bottom and God was ready to deal with me.
A Turn of Events
When I was 21 years old I was at the lowest point of my life and I never dreamed that I would meet my soulmate and husband to be. I had accepted that I had been dealt a bad hand and just like that I was playing a new game and I was winning.
The man I met had his own troubles in his life and although he had more exposure to people that walked with Jesus, he didn’t really implement it into his life. I remember talking with him about our aspirations and sharing what we wanted in our future – We both wanted a better connection with God.
When he asked me to marry him later on in our relationship we began the task of finding a church that would do the ceremony. We walked into a big church on the outskirts of the city and sat down with the pastor in his over-embellished study. To make a miserably upsetting long story short – I left in tears and because of my divorce I was rejected from church yet again.
We left the church that evening feeling discouraged. On our way home we saw a church with its lights on and my husband wanted to give it one more chance. We wandered through the double doors and into the sanctuary. No one was to be seen. We traveled down the stairs into the fellowship hall and came across the Sunday night board meeting. I thought to myself, I can’t do this again. It will be too much.
Instead we were welcomed with open arms and the pastor began working with us for our premarital counseling within the week. We emptied out all of our sins and transgressions against God and the pastor didn’t shun us. He didn’t shun me. We were reminded that in John 3:16, we all belong to Jesus if we come to him. We came as we were and we were accepted as we were. We were accepted into the church not based on conditions that we met, but for our eagerness to please the Lord.
It wasn’t too much longer ’til we were married. It was the happiest day of both of our lives and we are both still happily married. I wish I could tell you that the last seven years of marriage was easy, but it was far from it.
If you would like to continue reading my story of my walk with Christ, please come back and visit soon. I look forward to sharing my story with you.
Comment below and let me know your journey or your thoughts on mine.