Monday, February 10, 2014

Why I no longer attend church

So, I know a lot of people wonder why I don't go to church anymore. I know I don't have to explain myself, but I'd like to be able to let my friends know, so they can understand me better.

When I go to church I feel like god is in a box there. I feel like it's all closed up, and that I am expected to follow a set of rules, and behave a certain way. I don't like that. I don't like identifying with just christians. Since stepping away from church I am realizing that I can find god in unexpected places. Did you know he's sometimes in the movie theater? I met him there yesterday. I also found him at panera yesterday morning. He met me there for coffee. I heard him talking when a teenage boy spoke fondly of his younger brother. I felt his arms around me when my son ran up and hugged me. I saw him smile when the sun came out. I heard him laugh when a little girl told her grandfather a joke.

I don't believe that the bible is 100 percent true. I don't take it all literally, but churches and churchgoers do. I don't like sitting for 30 minutes listening to one man's opinion on a passage in the bible. I don't like singing songs praising america, and I don't like singing lame songs that have wimpy lyrics and melodies. I'm a musician, so I know quality music when I hear it. I'm also a poet so I know the beauty found in words, and I can see the lifelessness in cheap songs that are cranked out one after another. I have heard songs I like in church, but that is the exception, not the rule.

The reality of it is, I don't like who I was when I was a churchgoer. I think because that wasn't really me. That was someone who was squashed into a chevron patterned box, with a hot pink ribbon tied to keep it closed. Perfectly dreadful. I cut up that ribbon and burned the box. I couldn't breathe inside of it, and even though I still felt god there, it kind of hurt, because I'm not square-shaped, and I thought he wanted me to be.

Turns out he doesn't! I happen to have an hourglass shape, and god, my love, thinks I am beautiful. I'm able to meet him everywhere because I'm not folded up and in pain inside that box anymore. I can think and see more clearly, and I can also question everything under the sun! I don't have to have answers all the time, but I love asking questions. Kind of like a child.

It's funny, because I know that some people who read this will be somewhat pissed that I didn't capitalize god. They might think I'm going to hell because I think I'm all that. Seriously, that is funny.  I'm not afraid of god, and I never will be. I adore him, because he adores me. I respect him too, but that's because he respected me first, and to me respect=love. I know I'm where I'm supposed to be right now. I may not ever return to traditional church, and that's not wrong. It's just right. For me. Because god? He's all I need.

3 comments:

Juliet said...

I wanted to rad this because I've enjoyed lots of your writing and comments in Story sisters and because I wanted to know someone else's reasons for not going to church. Someone who does believe in God and love God but doesn't go to church. Because that's where I am now. A lot of what you said resonated with me. I too felt like I was being made to be someone else when I was at church though I'm still not sure why. It was good for me to read your story. Good to know there are others! Thank you.

Juliet

Grace said...

Thank you for reading and commenting! It's always good to know there are other people going through similar things.

Abby Scott said...

I wanted to read this because I have missed seeing you! I know you are on your own journey and I don't want you to feel like I am begging you to come back if that is not what you want. But, I do want you to know that you being you at church and really embracing not just who you are but allowing it to shine helps others start to feel comfortable to feel like they can truly be themselves. We are all so diverse, but sometimes it can seem as if there is some type we have to embody to be a "good Christian", that is just not the case. If you do decide to come back, please be just you, you are wonderful the way you are! And I believe that you can be the change you want to see although I know it will take courage to go against the flow in a place you don't feel understood. Praying for you and I am happy to read that God is revealing Himself to you in other ways! :)