As a child I went to church with my grandparents. My grandmother went to Church of Christ and my granddaddy was a deacon at the local Assembly of God. Each of them taught Sunday school, but they were two totally different types of churches.
I was baptized in a Calvary Baptist church when I was a teenager, then my daddy passed away and I haven’t been back since. That is nearly 20 years.
I’ve always known that God existed, but I wouldn’t have called myself a Christian. In fact, I still don’t. To me, I haven’t earned that right yet, but I’m working on it. For now, I’m a believer/lover in Christ, but not yet educated enough to be a Christian. I’m not sure if that makes sense to you, but for now it’s where I’m at.
Since I’ve gotten older I’ve felt a craving or a yearning to know God more. I’m just starting my journey to the Almighty, but I’m thirsty to know more.
I think losing my daddy was the biggest reason for me leaving the church. I was a teenager when he passed and I was just so angry. I’m not sure if I was ever angry at God, but definitely confused, hurt, and afraid.
I spent a whole lot of years just angry at the world. Roaming around. I felt like I couldn’t breathe if I sat still too long and so I just kept running. I ran from the people that loved me the most, friends and family. I ran away from every responsibility I had. I ran away from what I knew was right.
I ran from God and hid.
I hid in drugs. I hid in alcohol. I hid in fake friends. I hid in partying, but most of all, I hid in anger and frustration and denial. Self-loathing. Misery. Destruction.
It took me YEARS to fight my way back to myself. When I finally did get clean, I was full of guilt and shame for what I had put my friends and family through for so long.
I thought, ”
How can anyone ever forgive me when I can’t forgive myself?
I thought I wasn’t deserving of forgiveness. I felt that I would never be able to hold my head up and look anyone in the eyes again. I felt beat down. I felt broken. I felt alone.
Through scripture I learned that you cannot do anything to earn God’s love. It’s given freely, unconditionally, and without us being deserving of it in the first place! That one realization changed everything! A everlasting spark lit me up on the inside! I remember the first time I read that…I was blown away! I cried! I smiled! I sighed a great sigh of relief!
I remember the prayer right after thanking Him for loving me although I was a simple flawed human that made mistake after mistake for YEARS!
I still make mistakes. I still struggle. I still fall short and disappoint my Father, but I know with all my heart that I will never be beaten down, broken, or alone again. I know God’s love.
My God is fierce.
My God is Almighty.
My God loves me, unconditionally.