May 5, 2014

A Joyful Monday.

Happy Monday to you beautiful ladies!
I hope you are having a wonderful May so far. I have got to get on my May goals but first,  a little something a tad bit important :)

Today, I am feeling refreshed and I am having a tug at my heart to tell you why.
So, here we go. 
My whole life, I grew up in a very traditional Church of Christ church. I had attended that church for well over 15 years. Because of the church being VERY traditional, old, and me being the only young adult there, I finally made a decision to change to a more modern Church of Christ church before I was married. I really liked my new church. The preacher was beyond incredible and most of the people were great. But something was missing. I didn't leave church feeling 100% wonderful. I didn't leave church feeling as close to Christ as much as I know I should have and it was truly frustrating the mess out of me. I was getting very frustrated because I thought this church would be the one. I thought I would feel so much connection and it just didn't happen. 

In the past few months, I had many friends of mine tell me about another church in our hometown. I heard nothing but great comments and it is actually a modern, non-denominational church...which is a big change for me. I told Sean how badly I wanted to go because I have many, many previous Church of Christ friends and family members who now go to this church. I felt drawn to it. Sean, being as supportive as always, decided to try it out with me. Well, can I just say how INCREDIBLE this church is. 

Now, I am someone who wants to fully dive in with my church. I want to feel more than moved. I want Sundays to hit me like a ton of bricks. I want to be pushed, feel challenged and be uncomfortable. I don't want that church service that is only about the good things and tied into a little bow at the end. 
If that makes sense? 
I am someone who gets very emotional when it comes to church services. Like seriously y'all, when I feel nothing but His presence, I will cry like a baby. I cant explain the amount of a connection that I feel with Christ in a good church service. I realized this back in my high school days. Sometimes we would have these incredible speakers come to my high school and at the end, I would be on the ground praying with friends and crying my eyes out. Those are the services I am talking about. I love to feel moved. 

I have never in my life felt more moved than I felt yesterday. My hand was hurting from writing so many notes and my scarf was my gross tissue. Seriously, it moved me more than I have ever moved before. 

I will admit, when we decided to try this new church out, I was a little worried about what I was walking into. I was afraid there would be ten million differences than what I had been used to in church. I had never ventured out of my typical Church of Christ home except for going to Baptist churches with my friends. Well, it turns out the only difference is that this church plays with musical instruments. I know a lot of churches do use instruments and I know a lot do not. Honestly, I think it depends on the person of how you want to praise. Either way, I think they are okay. It is all about praising Him, with or without instruments.
I am someone who loves instruments. I feel so connected when singing to Him with instruments to emphasize the praise. Its beautiful. Again, learned this back in my high school years. Rather than singing only traditional hymns, there is a huge mix of traditional, Christian music.
Ya'll, when we started singing a Kari Jobe song on Easter Sunday, I had too much joy hah! 

Plus there are elderly people, older couples, young couples, singles, teens, kids...just a huge mix. Nobody is focused on what who is wearing. There are dresses, skinny jeans, blouses, t-shirts. Everyone just comes together to worship and you can see it. Everyone is there to welcome you with a cup of coffee and a hug. 
If you  have ever come from a traditional church, you know what I am talking about. 

This church just gets it. They focus on a relationship with Christ. A relationship. Not a religion. I can't tell you how long I have been searching for that. Honestly, a lot of people misinterpret what Christ is all about. I feel funny to say it, but I finally learned this when I talked to my new Church of Christ preacher. He always emphasized the relationship which I loved. But like I said, I wasn't feeling moved like I wanted to. 

We are diving into a 30 day series of "Saying yes to God for 30 days" and yesterday was day two. The message was so on point. The preacher was so deep and honest in his message. Baptisms happened. Hands were raised just praising Him. Lets just say by the invitation song, I was a mess. I couldn't help but close my eyes and bite my lip to hold back as many tears as I could. I loved having my husband's arm to hold onto and experience an incredible moment in Christ's presence together.

I left feeling like bricks had hit me.
I left feeling the strongest connection to Christ.
I left feeling nothing but His presence.
I left feeling moved. 

This may be a jumbled post but my heart is still so full from yesterday that I feel like telling the world. He is always so, so good. I love when He leads me to things I would have never tried unless I trusted Him. I tried something new and so against my traditional ways. But I am so grateful for His continual pushing to get me right where I need to be. 

Do you have a time you have stepped out and trusted Him with your church home? I would love to hear about it!

xoxo
Lauren 



6 comments:

  1. I can relate a lot to this! While I didn't really grow up in the Church, I was more accustomed to a traditional style of service. Our church now is pretty modern, the worship is AMAZING and most importantly, everything is about Jesus, no legalism, rules, or judging- the age groups are all mixed in and it doesn't matter if you come in pajamas or your Sunday best, you're always welcomed with a smile and a cup of coffee : ) So happy that you've found a place you enjoy that also brings you closer to The Lord!!

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    1. Oh girl tell me about it! Growing up in the traditional views was not good for me. I constantly felt like I wasn't good enough and it took me a really really long time to realize that I was. Luckily we are truly blessed with modern churches who are all about Christ and love. I love that you also have a church where you can show up in your pajamas :) Is that not the best feeling or what?? Sounds like my kind of place! Thank you so so much my dear :)

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  2. Full hearts are beautiful! Thanks for sharing yours you passionate lady!

    I love that you want more than just a "nice service" ....but that you want to feel the Lord's presence and connect deeply with brothers and sisters! I badly wish we could go to church together- but encouraged because one day, we CAN!
    Love you girl!

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    1. Thank you for reading my dear :)

      I really really wish we could go to church together! I just want to come fly to Alaska right now so we can have walks with those gorgeous views, Jesus talks and a picnic. One day, it WILL happen! I just know it :)

      Love you so so much girl!!

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  3. Lauren!!! I am SO glad I came across your post tonight! We are seriously living the SAME thing right now. We go to church together and I didn't even know it!!! Sebastian and I have been there not quite a year, so we are still plugging in and finding our place, but everything you wrote about here has been what I have experienced (we totally come from the same background too). We should totally get together soon and have coffee or something! Maybe we can even meet up one Sunday after worship. I can't tell you how excited I am to know you guys are there too :)

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    1. Ahh I had NO idea that y'all went there too! We have been going for only a few weeks but we love love love it! Seriously, I can't tell you how happy it makes me that you read my post and found out we go together!! Yes, lets please get coffee and meet up after Sunday! So so so excited :D

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