It seems like many blogs I’ve been starting to follow within the last couple of weeks have a lot of Christian values. Even if they are struggling to find their place in God’s eyes, they seem to take matters seriously. They know the bible and various bible verses. They know the songs. They participate in church. At first, I feel a little envious. And then I realize that God does not want me to be envious, especially in matters that come down to Him. He wants me to be myself and to do His will.
I am in the process of trying to find my identity within the Christian realm, and I’ll have to admit that it’s very overwhelming. I try to go to church. I try to read the bible. I pray, although I have a very bizarre way of praying. I try to look at all the different denominations and viewpoints and try to sort through which fits me the best. But I’m still very unsteady and unsure.
One of my biggest hurdles at the current time is I do not live in a college town. I am 22 years old, and the population of individuals in the 19-26 age range in my town is very slim. The church I attended throughout childhood all of a sudden started to feel very hostile because it felt like I didn’t exist. Not that I want to be the center of attention, but I want friends and I want to develop relationships with the other members. While I am an extravert, reaching out to specific individuals in such a large church was very scary.
So I decided to tag along with my boyfriend to his church. Immediately I felt much more comfortable because I was no longer alone, and the congregation was a lot younger compared to my other church. The goals of the church were clear: Accept Jesus, helping people to Become like Jesus, and helping people Contribute the love of Jesus to their world (the ABC method). The motto of the church is ‘Come As You Are’, which is extremely refreshing because I do not feel the need to fit into some type of mold to be accepted. I still wonder how my fit is though. While they have a great worship team, other individuals within the congregation don’t appear to get into the music. Sure, it might not seem like a big deal, but I best express my love and worship to God through music. I know I shouldn’t care what other people think if I choose to get involved with the music more than others, but I still feel extremely self conscious.
I have yet to participate in many of the church activities, though they do seem to be dying down for the summer. It’s very difficult to participate in a lot due to the fact the church is nearly 25 minutes away from where I live. My boyfriend participates in an activity called Celebrate Recovery, which is an event in where individuals with addictive, compulsive, and dysfunctional behaviors can come together with one another to experience God’s healing power and learn principles that help keep us from such unhealthy things. I think it sounds like a terrific program, though I would have to go to one much closer to my home and the thought of going alone is TERRIFYING! At a different church in town, one I actually attended my senior year of high school, they have a program for individuals age 18-35 to meet with similar aged individuals while celebrating God’s love with one another. Once again, it sounds terrific. But I feel so afraid to go on my own.
I read the bible occasionally, though even that I find is a struggle. Sure, I have my favorite books, verses, chapters, but I have yet to hammer through the whole thing. I don’t know all the stories, and I can’t spout verses to follow or inspire others. When I see other blogs taking multiple verses and writing thoughts about those verses, I feel like I know absolutely nothing. I just don’t find sitting down at reading the bible for hours at a time very fun. I also stink at creating and following study guides that help me sort through the bible more effectively. I’m hoping to join a bible study class when one is offered at my church.
I do pray, and quite frequently, but it’s a very strange way of praying. There are no words involved- God knows my thoughts and my heart. For me, it’s a quiet introspection time as I allow all the jumbled thoughts instead my mind calm down, so I can meditate and let God search my innermost being. The unique thing about this is that I have the ability to pray virtually anywhere I am. Ever since I started to do this, I find that I am finding answers for questions that I have been struggling with for years. My depression has diminished, I’m making fewer stupid choices, and I’m feeling better overall. It still doesn’t answer all my concerns, like the ones I’ve already posted, but I’m sure it will come in time.
At the very least, I try to go out of my way to show what Jesus wants us to show our fellow mankind: love. I am very accepting. I pray for other bloggers, friends, people I don’t enjoy, and family. I go out of my way to help others. I try to show people that I am there for them and that I care for them. Matthew 7 is probably one of my favorite chapters for it gives me extremely clear direction for what I need to do to be accepted into God’s Kingdom.
It’s just difficult. I want to understand my place in God’s eyes, and I want to do His will. I have no idea how to go about doing this in ways that I feel comfortable, though I know that’s an unrealistic expectation. Seeking God is not easy and likely will feel uncomfortable. I just have to push past my fears and anxiety and just do it. Go to the events. Read the bible. Continue to pray for guidance for myself and others. Spread God’s love to other individuals.
Hopefully things get better. I know if I try, they will. It will just take some time to get established. It’s like losing weight in a way. You establish healthy behaviors and habits to get the weight to come off. It’s a slow process, but eventually you reach the goal you desire. And you have to continue to work to maintain that goal. Same with doing God’s will. We have to do those things that are healthy to get to the goal we work towards, and we don’t quit when we get there. It’s a never ending process.
9 months ago