You read that right. Jesus Freak. Bible Lover. Christian Gal. Gospel Guru. Of course, I’ve only been called a Jesus Freak and not the others, but I like to give people options.
Let me be clear in saying that photograph is pretty much what every sunday looked like for my brother and me back in the day. Frilly socks, pink bows, and my confused “why is he doing that” look. Let me also be clear in saying this post is about God. Yahweh. The Almighty. Jehovah Jireh (options, see?)
At that age we went to church every sunday like clockwork. Did I like going? Never. My brother and I would sit in the pew and fight until my mom yelled at us, or we got bored and looked at the hymns. I didn’t understand what the pastor was saying, and I most certainly hated getting up for communion. Once I got older, I hit up the church’s youth group, and in high school dabbled in some Young Life. It wasn’t until college that I started to figure out that I wanted my faith to play an integral role in my life. I realized in college that I could be Christian and not be boring (aka a cool Christian, aka CrazySexyCool shoutout to TLC, R.I.P. Left Eye).
But here I am, out of college, being a timid Christian. Afraid that I will lose my friends if I talk about Jesus too much, or mention how God is working in my life, or want to celebrate answered prayers all the time. I fear too much what other people think of me. I always have, and most likely always will. I believe a lot of people know that I am a Christian, but rarely do I ever talk to them about it. Rarely do I ever talk about my faith as much as I should, or in the way I should. Church on Sunday is great, but my relationship with God is more than that. It is daily. When I look at my life from the outside, I see that I’ve been holding back. Apprehensive about being a light to the people in my life.
I just want to love people. ALL people. One time someone came to me and said there is no way they could be welcomed into a church. That broke my heart. It broke my heart because we, as Christians, need to be better at loving others out of the love that’s been given to us. NO MATTER WHO IT IS. Let me repeat that: no matter who it is. Everyone is welcomed. Everyone has baggage, everyone is hurting. We need to learn how to love people in the way they need to be loved. You hate ice skating, but your bff opens up the most in the rink? LACE EM UP and get out there! You suck at board games, but your co-worker always has a killer setup by the end of Monopoly? Take the risk. I’m not saying put yourself in situations where you are miserable. (And if you suck at Monopoly I feel sorry for you). Just think about the people around you and how you can better serve them. Listen to people, make them happy, do things for them because you know Thursday is their favorite day, and it might be your least favorite. Don’t RUSH people. Take it easy. Love is patient.
I feel as though God’s message of love is being pushed further and further away by Christians. Well lemme tell you something honeysistagirl, I’m here to love you. I’m here to let you know that God loves you. That’s right, all of you. The parts of yourself that you hate? HE LOVES THOSE PARTS. The mistakes you’ve made? Forgiven. The hurt you’ve been feeling from other people? He understands. I cannot tell you enough times how loved you are. You have purpose, you have value. You have love to give.
If I have to apologize every day for the way Christians are treating others I will. It is not okay, and it will never be okay. I love you regardless of your situation. If you want me to tell you something I love about you I will. If you need me to pray for you I will. If you need me to tell you every day that you are loved despite what other Christians say, I will. God has changed my life, and although it has been hard, I am still loved.
and THAT’S the Gospel truth.