Today I had an experience that I have longed for most of my life. A beyond a shadow of a doubt God exists. I got that today.
A little background . I grew up in a pentacostal church that was filled with rules and regulations. Me being me , I like to push those rules to the limit . I was a kid . Who didn't push the rules . For some reason or another my brother and I were treated in the worst possible way any"Christian" should treat children. He got the worst of it in the private elementary school while my punishments came in highschool and early adult hood. The rumors , the lies, the accusations . All because I was being sociable me and it didn't fit into their squares they had appointed all of their soldiers. Girls were to socialize with girls and boys with boys. Period. Well if you've known me for any period of time , I'm quite the social butterfly . Or Jezebel as some would say.
Fast forward a few years I became fond of one of the fellas at church who was on the "in" crowd, but was different than them. We actually dated in secret for 2 years so a shit storm wouldn't start . After that I'd had it . It was let's go public or we are done. His mom was the main source of out secrecy . She would probably shove bamboo shoots up her finger nails than have her baby boy date "Jezebel". Well she asked what he wanted for his birthday one year and he said for me to be welcome to their Sunday family dinners. She begrudgingly obliged and that's when the rumors and ugliness reached their full potential . It was a hard year and called it quits.
Ever since dealing with that woman and every other person who followed her , I've hated that church and all the people in it. All hypocrites with the exception of a few who ended up leaving anyway.
It has made me second guess myself for years , made me self conscious and felt not good enough for any church since . I've always known God loved me but he was there but not . Until today.
I have been wavering in my faith with people tellin me how the timeline of the bible isn't right and this that and the next thing , coupled with a looming divorce and single parent life . I finally said enough is enough and after not going to church for illnesses ,and other things , I made it a point to go to church today.
My church has 4 service times . I chose the first . 8:30
MB has about 1,000 churches in the MB alone. I chose new spring since I moved to SC cause I love my church .
Made it not only on time BUT early with both toddlers in tow.
I drop my kids off at kids spring and walk down the hall and my heart sinks to the pit of my stomach.
There stands the woman who made my life a living hell for years . The mother of my ex boyfriend .
My brain goes into crazy banchie mode...
"What the fu; is she doing here!???)"(yes I'm a Christian yes I curse in my head sue me)
" My safe haven has been infiltrated by evil that can never be undone "
By the time wrap my brain around the fact she is standing in MY church MY SAFEZONE I'm at the distance where I can slink away and she would be non the wiser, or put my big girl panties on and give her a big southern hello "
•1 I've hidden from these "people" for far too long. Hoping when I go out to the mall in NY I see none of them
•2 I've been in the south too long for me to be rude. Point blank southerners are nicer.
So with all the strength I could muster I walk up and get her attention. You would have thought she'd seen a ghost . It was great! 😝 She asked if I lived there , I happily told her I did and that was my church. She asked about my kids and introduced me to her daughter in law and grand kids . I hugged them all with a genuine smile on my face. (You're in my territory now !!) lol. She said they were visiting someone on vacation and decided to go there for church. ( of ALL THE PLACES.. Right!!! )
So I wished them well on their vacation and told them to enjoy the service..
As I walked down the hall to the auditorium this is what took place in my head.
" very funny God. What the hell was that?! Some kind of sick joke !!? I'm not laughing . I'm actually very upset . Not cool . Not cool.. there better be a purpose behind this nonsense " ( ya I talk to God for real. Not oh father who art in heaven. No. WTF God!! Call it what you will. He still loves me and I'm about to tell you why.
I sit in the front so I don't have to see them and try and get into worship , but all I can think is that they are judging my every move , every hand raise every hand Clap ever bow of the head ,"
I said , " God this is why I won't go back to NY. I can't take the judgement ".
Pastor Perry gets on the screen and talks about 3 areas in out lives we may be having a hard time with.
The last one peeked my interest , so I focused in hard on that one.
The verse he referred to was Hebrews 12:1-3.
".... Run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
Well I can't run it weighed down by my past and until I let it go I will be weighed down and unable to continue to the path God has set out before me.
What I did or did not do in my past what or how I was judged has been weighing on me no matter where I go or what I do. Pastor P said ," it may be a situation that keeps reminding you of your past or a PERSON YOU SEE".
By this point I'm like ok God! I get it!
What was said about me , what lies were spread about me is not who Iam . God isn't obsessed with my past so why should I ! He's obsessed with my future !
Pastor P called for people to visit the care team for prayer if any of these point hit home and my heart was beating out of my chest. I jet out of that auditorium had a care member pray for me and I just felt 10 lbs lighter ! Like I was finally free from all the weight that had been placed on me in my past. And for me to have the woman (all the way from NY)who was at the root of most of it there , in that exact service is nothing but a divine appointment . I don't care if she heard any bit of it. It was all for me! I called my childhood friend , sister and mom to rave about this because they saw it all and went through it all with me. I'm just so happy and so free. Not to say there aren't many other things in my life I need to overcome and let go, but this was a big one.
God is turning my accusations into affirmations!
Today was the day my past stopped beating me up!