No Church Denomination For Me: I Stand Spiritually Free From That Type of Decree
The Book of Missy; Introduction
I don’t want to go to church. I feel no solace there. It’s as simple as that. However, to some it may be quite shocking to hear me come out and say it just like that. I could almost hear the gasps from prospective readers as I typed it.
Right from the first line, I’m sure accusations will fly off in some very devout Christians heads as they read it. I don’t mind that. I can even understand it. As I know some do really enjoy the feeling of unity with others and what a church family brings to their lives. I, however, do not feel that way, so I guess this is a good time as any to explain why.
The Book of Missy; Chapter 1- Explanations
At this point, without going into the sad way I grew up, I will just state my introverted personality type has made me a victim to some cruel and unloving environments. In spite of that, even knowing how I suffered from some treatment that no one should ever have to endure; I now know I can forgive the ones who put me through a living hell.
In a weird way, I can understand their frustration with me. I was different, and even though I fought through being unusual and learned later in life to interact with others a little more, the stigma of knowing who I was and the hate I had when I was made to feel ashamed of who I was, eventually brought me to this person I am today. I finally could not fight me anymore, and so I closed all the doors to others' expectations.
Now, you may be wondering how do I relate this to my initial reason for starting this hub? Well, some of those doors that shut behind me were of the churches I had attended through the years up until my spiritual awakening - if you will. Why did I single out my dislike of church? It is easy for myself to understand now, and I would imagine some others who will read this and relate to my reasons will comprehend also. However, like many things I write through personal experience, I’m sure some will be unable to get it. I will give it my best shot, and whoever cares to judge me for it after, go ahead, but be warned scornful negativity will not change my mind. That shy person who let others dictate what’s right and wrong for her, has been gone for years now. I’m totally set within my thoughts and attitude of life and how I thrive in this world today. And I have to say, it was long overdue.
Goodbye, I've Lost Hope Here...
The Book of Missy; Chapter 2- Judgements
God is not there under that steeple in my experience. Gasps again!! He isn’t in a place where people tell you that you have to do this and that and be this way or that way, or you will be damned to hell’s fury. I cannot fathom how our God could say these things, and feel such ways. Even so, this is what I have witnessed many faithful church goers to say.
After all, he sent his only son to die for our sins in such a harsh way. So, to forbid others for being a certain way never made much sense to me. But hey, I’m sure it’s just me, right? Some of these lovely Christians who judge on race, and opposite religion, are surely going to be at those pearly gates first, don't you think? (rolling my eyes)
The church and the people in it, is supposed to bring peace and acceptance to the ones who come to worship, and don’t get me wrong, that is wonderful if that has happened for you. I think it does just that for some. It does that for my mother and father who have regularly gone to the same church for probably thirty years now. However, it does not do the alike thing for me. Instead, I feel a bit claustrophobic in the walls of these churches I have tried so hard to fit into in our small town. I not once figured out how to fit in anywhere to be honest, and as I did carry hopes for many years that the church would make me feel a part of something special, as I too love God and wanted a relationship with him, it rather seemed to push me further away from him.
In fact, I was never one that was welcomed with open arms, so how could anyone expect me to come to any other conclusion than to thrive spiritually on my own. At first, I could not understand how I could feel this way, until one day, I just came to understand ME. In saying that, I believe it should be plainly seen that I do not judge or hold faults with anyone, I simply state my reasons for my own way of thinking and my personal life through the way it has played out for me. Some will relate, and others will not. I get that, so no judgments upon me for the way I feel or think will be necessary. Thank you!
The Book of Missy; Chapter 3- Acceptance
And here is where I will admit; I do not want to be a Christian! I’m not supposed to be a Christian, but don’t have a heart attack! I know God does not want me to be a Christian either. He did not mean for me to go to church and search him out with others. No, he wanted me to search for him on my own, and in my private way. I understood now that he silenced me for so long in order for me to do this. I lived in my own world for a prolonged time in order to realize that. He even allowed me to suffer through some very hurtful times in my life, just so I would search out and realize his intentions for me. This is what I believe!
In explaining all that; it did take years. I will not lie. For a long time, I kept trying on and off through the years, to go to church and be a part of a church family. After all, I did feel I wanted that. I was taught to want that. So, I wanted to feel a part of something like everyone else. I wanted to feel it was a safe haven for me where God would lift me up and make me feel special too.
However, by the time I was in my early thirties and had gone through several bad relationships and came to visit once more for the hopes of guidance; actually, finally making my way up to the front to pray and get saved then baptized, I continued to pretend that it was all good, and again hating myself for lying. So, I decided to stop! I haven’t looked back since, and I certainly do not feel guilty. I have accepted who I am. I know what was not meant to be for me. That is that!
A Few Images of What I Consider Church
The Book of Missy; Chapter 4- Defiance
At this point, I'll just say, if you need reassurance; I did not give up on God or myself outside of those doors. I defied those who told me I was going to be punished for staying away. The ones that even told me God would be the one to punish me. I actually got strong enough to even laugh to myself as they spoke those silly words. See, I made my relationship with God through all of this trying. I would still pray and ask him into my heart. Not in the church, but as I lay in bed at night looking out the windows and up at the stars. I would talk to him as I sat on the beach watching the ocean waves crash and feel the freedom of the wind in my hair. I heard him talk back to me loud and clear when I asked questions. It took me a while to hear him clearly, because so many other voices were blocking it, but I never gave up that I would.
I found myself. I found my own voice of truth, and I found the God that loved me for me. He is with me as I write this out. He still guides me through on those days that I feel almost ready to give up from the fight of life. He tells me I’m what he made me to be; a visionary with a heart that can see through the prejudices and hate that others carry. He did not make me Christian, Catholic, or Episcopalian. He instead made me to understand that everyone is different, but in a beautiful way. He made me curious in a world that would rather blame than take the time to understand those differences, and be smart enough to love others for individuality.
The Book of Missy; Conclusion
I believe we are all here to learn about one another. If you truly believe in a God, no matter if he is called God, Allah, or even praised through his Mother Mary, it is for us alone to understand our personal relationship with him. There are too many people in this world to think God made us to worship in an identical way. We are all part of this great big world full of many cultures. Therefore, how can we worship him in the same way? It’s a question we all must ponder and make a peace with.
For instance, like in my situation, an outcast of my own culture, I know I’m like this for a purpose. I am an explorer of hope, a believer of faith and fate. That is who I am. I am open-minded and diverse with how I think and believe, and I want to stay that way. I am honest to a fault, and I will fight with words and opinions of the wrongs I see take place here, and I will not feel apologetic for that! I feel driven by my relationship with my God to do so. I believe he has very clearly painted the picture of my path. I AM FREE!!!
This Was Awesome! the Best Explanation I Have Ever Heard. Please Watch!
An Interesting Article That Spoke About This Similar Topic
Religion or Spirituality...
Which One Are You Comfortable With?
Speak To Freedom
A quietness burns in me,
keeping secrets of long
my silent concentration,
feeding my thoughts
How do I speak it that
which floats in limbo
in my hat?
I don’t want to mostly,
yet I need to do this,
Too long have I lived with
innuendos stacked against
You may not know me;
therefore, I will beg this
release to free me.
It’s not that I feel
compelled to tell
whispers of judgements
are driving nails.
I desire my words
to speak for
And in doing so,
freedom Will finally
feel a freedom felt.
All of Us Have Our Own Lifesong and The Way We Sing It
© 2016 Missy Smith