Archive for February, 2012

Run From Church Or Restore To The Church?

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This is a very personal blog post, but something I am so excited to share with others. It seems as though my fingers can’t type as fast as my excitement is carrying me, but nonetheless, I will try to relay my thoughts about this journey of restoration I have been on in the church. It has been AMAZING! And God has done such incredible things!

I feel so blessed, and I hope that this will help bless others as well. I never want any blessing to stop with me. I hope I’m broken in such a way that whatever God pours into me spills out of my imperfect cracks and into the lives of others. I believe blessings are best when given the trickle effect and touch many lives.

I have been in a class at our church, our Deaconate program, and after class I witnessed God healing another area of my broken church life from my past. I grew up Catholic. Roman Catholic. So, it meant that I ran so far from the church when I reached adult hood and completely avoided anything remotely “catholic” or “churchy” as to avoid being hurt again in my life.

“Run, Forrest, Run” was not even close to how I felt about church or getting near anything “religious” in nature.

But, thankfully God didn’t let me run forever. He called me back in my late 30’s. And in the process of returning to church and trying to find everything unchurchy, He began a new process of healing me. But, I realize now, that the healing is taking place, because He’s gotten me to a place of:

  • Stop
  • Listen
  • Learn
  • Heal
  • Restore (through the very things I once ran from)

I have learned not to run from the church and all things “churchy” or anything remotely “religious” and have instead learned to EMBRACE them. Learn about them. Understand the history behind it. Understand the culture. The heritage. How the traditions fit into our worship and churches today. Jesus is relevant. The cross is relevant. And we can’t have church without those things in it! We’ve got to have the body of Christ be the Body of Christ. It won’t work any other way, and if we carve too much of the church, it’s elements, the history, culture, etc. out, soon we are left only with hollow carcasses and soon the tradition and relevance is gone and a thing of the past. (Just my thoughts—some of my questions/answers and prayer time with God that I wrangle and ponder now and again.)

Now that I understand and have begun to learn about the relevance of history, it’s place in our culture and traditions,  I find I am being healed and restored TO the church, TO Christ, TO fellowship with the Body, and am no longer running from it. “Come to ME all who are weary…..”. It was time for me to stop running and truly be restored to His peace.

Religion CAN hurt. BUT through Christ and His body we can be restored. The amputated parts that have been hurt and we’ve hidden as a result can finally be reunited with the whole, and the body CAN be restored in mind, body, and spirit. No longer is it necessary to keep carving, changing, rearranging ourselves and our churches to meet needs as sprinting individuals, because our needs are not individualistic but more-so universal and as one body.

Last night I was given a hand-made set of prayer beads after class, and it brought back so many memories of the Rosary and my youth. It reminded me of the time in my life that I wanted to become a Nun. I hadn’t held anything close to this type of “religious” material other than my Bible for years. And as I held it and received instruction on how to use it in my prayer life, I found my heart glowing inside. I could sense how God was continuing to restore me to what I had run from and cut myself off from in my quest to church in something that didn’t resemble church to avoid dealing with the hurt of the past and possible future hurts.

I no longer find myself running from the past performance based hang-ups and running to the restoration He is offering. What I ran from, I now embrace and hold dear. My relationship has been and IS being restored through this healing process. God has healed. God has restored. God is piecing the pieces of the church and my experiences together and bonding them.

No longer do I run FROM the church but instead run TO it to be a part of it  (not apart from it), participate in the Body, and stay connected to The Head, Christ.

My prayer is for anyone reading this who has or IS running FROM church or religion….DON’T. Pray and ask God to heal you, restore you, and to help you EMBRACE it. Let Him work all things for GOOD in your life. Give your hurts to him and allow Him to restore you. It is a journey well worth it. 🙂

(BTW, I’m not debating religion, denomination, or anything that could separate. These are merely my thoughts and personal experiences with restoration vs. the running that I personally experienced. And I feel blessed and grateful. I merely wanted to share how God is working in this restoration process.)

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