As a child I was sent to church. I say sent because this seemed to be a requirement only my sister and I had to fulfill.
No other members in the house, including my parents, attended.
Receiving instructions in church, but not having them reinforced at home, left me believing that church was just something you do. There wasn’t anything deeper and no real purpose behind it.
The minute I moved out of my parent’s home I stopped going. I simply didn’t see the point in it.
I went through life telling people I was “spiritual”. I believed in a higher power but I wasn’t sold on the idea of God. Maybe cosmic energy was responsible for the way things went in life. After all karma seemed to be an extension of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
I was happy with just being a good person.
A person with integrity. A person of good moral standing.
I didn’t see the need to label myself a Christian, especially when most of the self proclaimed Christians I knew acted more like Satan’s right hand man. I wanted to distance myself from a group of people who, in my experience, had time and time again proven to be hypocrites. I told myself I would never regularly attend church again.
Fast forward ten or so years later.
There was an unexplained feeling deep inside of me that something was missing. Life was happening all around me, but there seemed to be a disconnect. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but the constant void remained.
After much soul searching, I decided it was time to go back to church.
But who was I to return?
I sinned on a daily basis, didn’t pray because it felt foolish. I even questioned whether or not God loved me. But, as I have learned, those were the very reasons I belonged there.
It took me some time, but I learned there is no such thing as a perfect Christian. We are all sinners. While some have had life long relationships with God, others like myself, may have taken a less direct route.
Even though I chose to reject Him, I see now that He has always been there for me.
When I recall moments in my life where I’ve said, “I don’t know how this happened but…” or “I don’t know why I did that, but…” I now know that was God all along. He was guiding me and protecting me, even when I didn’t deserve it.
God is purposeful and I can only believe that my path back to Him was designed to help others who may struggle with feeling unworthy of His love.
You see, I was stuck on the notion that His love was for those who walked “the straight and narrow” path. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it always caused me to take a closer look at myself.
I knew all of the teachings, but I still departed from him… was I actually His child? Maybe I wasn’t the kind of person He wanted in His kingdom. One day someone explained the true meaning of the verse to me and opened my eyes to a different narrative.
It didn’t mean that I wouldn’t have bad days and go out into the world to test the waters. It means this – even after I strayed and tried to find my own way, I would be able to come back to God.
I feel like my life has come full circle.
I needed to see what was in the world and try to do things in my way, on my own terms. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have such a great appreciation for Him and His love now.
I also wouldn’t be able to honestly tell others that even when we don’t deserve it… He still loves us.
I am by no means perfect, yet He provides for me on a daily basis. No matter how far I stray He will always be there with open arms to welcome me home.
I am proof that God will never give up on us. I have gone against His will, I have mocked Him and I have rejected Him.
Although I deserved His wrath I received His love.
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