For the past 7 years I've been internally fighting the lifestyle that I was living. I wasn't forced or pressured to live like this - but when I tried to go back to what seemed right, it never felt right for some reason. Home no longer felt like home. It was such a weird time for me. I felt nostalgic when I was away but then I felt misaligned when I tried to return. I thought to myself, "I just have to get used to it again." It was so weird because I didn't really know who I was anymore. I was getting scared because I felt guilty for the change that occurred within me.
In my early twenties I fell in love with being the typical church girl. I was in church bright and early every Sunday, and at every Bible study on Wednesdays. I was a goody two shoes and I embraced that characteristic with pride. I used to say "If you want to find me on a Sunday morning 5, 10, 20 years from now, I'll be in church." That's how much I loved going to church, volunteering and interacting with my church family. I loved the purpose of it all. I loved talking about God and being surrounded by others who loved God as well. But that changed 7 years ago.
I know the reason why I stopped attending the specific church I was a member of at the time. It wasn't typical church hurt and I wasn't kicked out or anything like that. My regular attendance became sporadic and then next thing you know I never returned. It was weird at first, but I figured my family and I would soon find another church to join and just start over. That never happened. We visited several churches throughout the years but nothing ever clicked. And we spent more Sundays outside of church than inside. In my mind I thought I was failing God, but in my heart I didn't truly feel convicted. I was still very close to God and He dealt with me about a lot of things but it was never "get back involved with a church." But that couldn't be right because Christians are supposed to be in church every single Sunday, rain or snow, no matter what ... right?
A couple of years ago my husband and I split up and I thought to myself, "Well now I'm definitely going to throw myself back into the church and be just like I was in my young and single years." So I tried to get back in the ministry grind, thinking that the loss of my marriage created a void in my life that would be filled with ministering in church like I used to do. To my surprise however, I still felt the same while I sat in different churches that I visited. I felt like I was trying to hold on to something that was no longer there. Now at this point some would understandably say I just didn't find the right church yet. But if I'm being perfectly honest, my motive for wanting to be a church girl again wasn't actually a good one.
The reason I wanted to get back into the church grind so badly was because I was afraid of the version of myself that no longer wanted to be under the leadership of another person. Back in my 20s, I desperately yearned for mentors that understood me and could guide me. I wanted a spiritual parent or a big sister who would regularly hear God on my behalf. But when I reached out I'd get the standard "just pray about it." I constantly felt overlooked and dismissed, but not in a way that made me feel unloved. You know how the child that behaves seems to get less attention than the child that was always getting into trouble? That's how it felt coming up in church. No one felt the need to worry