I'm gonna need more coffee for this...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I started to title this post "Where Religion Meets Relationship". I immediately deleted it.

All I could think was there isn't enough coffee in the world to help me write this post.

This week I sat with my young life girls and we talked about prayer. We talked about it being an act of obedience, how it has many different forms, and how it defines our relationship with our creator. We decided to get our booties in the habit of prayer before the start of each day by just texting each other to say we are praying. I am helping this week by prompting them with the YouVersion Bible app verse-of-the-day. and a short prayer related to it. They are sharing requests for prayer and beginning to see what a prayer community looks like...

...just a group of people who love Jesus and want to be in relationship with Him, together.

This morning, a post was shared in one of my ministry groups that brought up all my feelings about what it means to be in that kind of relationship, that kind of community. That post brought up the reasons I walked away from church a few months ago.

Yep, the Christian blogger/Young Life leader, hasn't been to a church service in months. I have listened to sermons, and read my bible, I've worshiped my heart out, and prayed like my life depended on it (because there were moments that it felt like it did). But I haven't stepped foot into an organized church service.

Here is the kicker: I love the Church.

I love worshiping our heavenly Father together.

I love praying prayers that have been spoken through generations.

I love hearing God's word spoken aloud and taught.

I love meeting people and being in community with them.

but I really dislike religion. I dislike the boxes that I feel like I have to check. The things I must do in order to be considered a Christian. Its like the ten commandments on steroids in my brain. The do's and dont's kill me every time. I feel like I'm pulled away from the Jesus that I know and am in a relationship with. I dislike feeling like I have to think before I can love.

See, I know I am a hot mess. Jesus knows I am a hot mess. He loves me in ways that no human ever could. He asks me to do things that no one can do the way that I do them. Because He created me. He said that He has a plan and a purpose for me. He says that he will never leave me or forsake me. He also said that I need to follow Him. To lay everything at His feet. That He will carry that burden and I am not supposed to.

So why do I? Why do we carry those burdens? 

The ones that say you are too messed up or too different to be loved.

The ones that say you cant be forgiven.

The ones that say your sin is greater than mine.

It hurts to carry those burdens. 

It hurts more to see those spewed onto others.

I do not have this whole loving and following Jesus thing down yet, and honestly, I hope I never do. I hope that I am always learning more about Him and who He wants me to be. I hope that I never lose my desire to give Him away to others. Today religion met relationship for me and it hurt deeply. I know others have felt this exact same hurt. Please know that I am praying for you, for all of us who just want to love like Jesus.

yep, definitely gonna need more coffee...

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