Reflection: Part I
As I approach the 1-year mark of when I started my blog…I realize I have so much to reflect upon! Not just over what has taken place throughout this past year, but the journey that became my motivation for FINALLY sharing my thoughts with the world (after my big sis Marjorie encouraged me to do SEVERAL years ago). MY spiritual journey slowly began in 2010-2011. I emphasized MY because up to that point although I was baptized at the age of 12, I was still living based on my parent’s faith and had yet to begin working out my own salvation. We read an example of the importance of New Testament Christians being diligent in their spiritual walk in Philippians 2:12-13:
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” (NIV)
This is an essential part of Christian living.
Allow me to rewind for a moment. During the first half of undergrad, I attended a fairly large church of Christ in Huntsville, TX. However, I never really felt like that was where I needed to be. There were a lot of reasons for this that I won’t go into right now…but I was simply going through the motions. A lot of it was so I wouldn’t have to tell a lie when my parents asked, “did you go to church today?” But, I continued going. Little did I know that I was literally STARVING spiritually. I was starving because you know how the saying goes…good in, good out. Bad in, bad out. How bad was it? Mind you, sometimes I was out until some ungodly hour up to NO GOOD. It got so bad that I would arrive to service juuuust in time for communion. And leave immediately after. I mean, I couldn’t NOT take the Lord’s Supper! Even if I missed the sermon. This wasn’t just a one-time or rare occurrence. This was EVERY Lord’s Day.
Back to 2010-2011…I remembered meeting a sister in Christ in a biology lab who told me where she attended worship 2-3-years prior. So, I reached out to her for the address. While the Holy Spirit was nudging me in this direction…I was still reluctant but obedient. Little did I know, this would be a place where I would NOT be able to fall through the cracks. It was a much smaller congregation…and this ended up being exactly what I needed for my soul to be restored. For my thirst to be quenched. And for me to find my way FULLY back into the loving arms of God. He never left me, but I had drifted away from him. There were many consequences because of this (I’ll share that in a future post), but He welcomed me back with loving arms!! Because NOTHING can separate us from His love. (Romans 8:31-39)
Side note: There is a song that we sing in church called “Restore My Soul” that matches perfectly to what I am about to share with you. The words are simple yet beautiful. Take a listen to a version on YouTube! 😊 (Restore My Soul).
Now what was this journey like at my new church home away from home? First, the name of the congregation is Fish Hatchery Rd. church of Christ. If you are ever in Huntsville, TX and need somewhere to worship…THIS is the place. God’s people, God’s love, and spiritual food will be waiting for you!
Fish Hatchery Rd. has a tradition of accountability where at the beginning of service (or the end I can’t remember) they ask everyone who read their Bible daily the week before, to raise their hand. Every Sunday…I was not in that number. I was annoyed initially because I thought to myself, ‘WHOSE BUSINESS IS IT ANYWAY?! THAT’S BETWEEN ME AND GOD!’ True. But this was just satan’s way of trying to get me to deflect from the fact that my soul was yearning for more than what I was feeding it! For more than this world could give. He thought he was successful. But GOD began working on my HEART. It wasn’t about being able to raise my hand every Sunday, so everyone can see how good a Christian I am just because I read my Bible every day. It was about the importance of spending time with my Creator (2 Timothy 2:15; Psalm 1:2). He was calling out to my Spirit. My heart. Eventually I answered. I challenged myself to start reading at least once scripture per week (outside of Sunday). Then I gradually increased it until I was in the habit of reading daily. Then, I began STUDYING. Because there is a difference. Don’t get the wrong idea though…this did NOT happen overnight. There wasn’t this quick turnaround time. It was a struggle. I had to be intentional, consistent, and confident that God had the answers to what I was missing. Now, I’m accustomed to making reading and studying God’s word part of my daily life. Some days I spend more time with Him than others; but I am committed.
This is when I began to mature. When I tell you, God was working in me I mean it. He was working so much, that I had to get rid of my little boyfriend at the time (this is no offense to him at all there’s no bad blood. I’m just illustrating how insignificant that relationship was in comparison to my relationship with God) because it was A HUGE DISTRACTION and the relationship was NOT glorifying him. At. All. It’s interesting how God works because I wasn’t even strong enough to let the relationship go on my own…all I know is I made one comment about breaking up and next thing I knew…in that same conversation…it was over. I was SHOOK!😱 Devastated! All I could think of was, ‘How could this be? Where did I go wrong? I’m ready to get married I don’t care if I’m failing 2 classes and have no idea if I’ll make rent this month! 🗣Don’t you love me, God?! Don’t you want me to be happy?!’ Well…no more thoughts and conversations like ‘I’ll go to your church, but I’ll never be a member.’ Or my personal favorite… ‘if you just get saved then we can get married because I won’t marry you until then!’ HA! That is NOT how it works! Remember I shared my journey of waiting to have sex until marriage and how I had to learn the difference between just ‘not having sex’ versus ‘purity?’ Well, that conviction and journey began here. And boy did it wreck ME! To. The. Core.
Here I was, on this emotional, spiritual roller-coaster…trying to stay afloat with school. Trying to figure out what it is that God wanted from me and why I felt so alone.
He kept me.
While I was trying to figure out why I have fallen completely in love with Fish Hatchery Rd. church of Christ despite satan’s attempts to cause me to completely backslide once again.
He kept me.
And God STILL keeps me!
Because he loves me.
He is keeping you too.
He loves you too.
God’s love never fails.