These past weeks I have been learning about the next step in understanding my relationship and faith in Christ. I have been very reflective in my journey as a Christian. Learning about who Jesus wants to be in my everyday life has brought me so much inner peace. I became a Christian at the age of 6 or 7. I always felt like I was on the inside of understanding who God is and wants to be in my life. Seeing adults struggle often had my young heart wondering why they did not get it. I surely got it, and got Him.
But something has changed me these past few months. Changed me in ways of realizing that I get to get Him even more through the teaching and passion of others as they live out their lives in ministry. For the past several months I have been struggling to decide which church to call home. My husband and I agreed on one church, but still felt unsettled. The last church we attended produced some very huge eye opening issues. We agreed that being unsettled was not God giving us direction; it was more God saying nope not here, not yet. So we have hung back praying and continuing to find what would take us deeper into our journey of knowing Christ.
I have realized that true passion for Christ is not excusing our human behaviors. Accepting this is the way things are because, you know, we are human. For the past several years I have been surrounded with that kind of mentality among Christians. It does not challenge, it lacks true accountability and it certainly does not bring me into a greater understanding of knowing Christ. It clouded what and where God has wanted me to go. And worse it clouded what the scripture teaches.
For several weeks now I have had this passion that has been deeper than I have ever known to live Christ, breath Christ, sing Christ and just take that human part of me and no longer excuse it, but to challenge me into obedience to Christ’s calling as the Bible unfolds. I have been around the most uplifting and real people in the past few months than what I have experienced in these past years. My husband and I are older, more mature, and more aware of people, patterns, and pretenses. We have experienced so much oppression from Christians that we find we do better in non Christian circles because on so many levels they are so real. I can express my faith in Christ and there is this acceptance, because there are no judgements for my choice in how I choose to believe and live my life. How sad to have to look high and low to find the same among Christian circles.
We have been attending this church that is growing in leaps and bounds. I have sat back and watched, not getting involved, but just observing. I have asked myself why this church is so solid. There are pastors who have been there from the beginning. No coming and goings, no in and out of pastoral staff, but the growing of this staff, the elders listed each week in the bulletin and the worship team using the gifts of many. It has been the openness of the staff. When I ask questions I get answers. I don’t have a person waffling in their own skin to figure out how to answer, but a real ness to what God is doing. I see teenagers, college students, and young adults gripping to the solid Biblical words being taught and coming back for more and bringing their friends along. The senior pastor is not afraid to be direct and speak the Bible firmly. I come away each week wanting to be in the word every single day, read the teaching of others and bask in the delight of getting to come further in my walk. The maturity in Christ, in people, those that are younger than I am is truly amazing.
When we sit around at the meals this church hosts, it’s an open forum. Each week we meet many different people of various ages. I had a group of young woman sit by me. There was no division because of age. They openly shared where their hearts are as young Christian women. A couple that has been married for 68 years blessed me so much as they share the joys of being who they are in Christ.
What has me blogging this evening?
Emily came and sat on my bed and shared that she would be singing for all three services during the worship time. She has been slowly becoming a part of different ministries. We work together in a ministry, and each week come home and say we love it so much. In addition she is using her gift of music. She shared how she is finding that she yearns to be more like Christ, in his word, and the building up of one another in this church in unlike she has ever experienced. I got tears in my eyes, because she voiced what has been singing in my heart all week. She’s 18 and I am 42 and the strength of the ministry in this church is reaching all walks of life. It’s no wonder it is growing, continues to grow and is ministering at so many levels.
I realize that there are many great churches out there, and we each must find what suits us the best, what is going to bring us along in our walk with Christ. I have met more people in the past six months that “get” God in their life. I am even more blessed to realize that my daughter who is venturing out on her own to find a church culture has been deeply moved by the power of the Holy Spirit in this church. It’s just cool!!