Finding Your Way
Shared by Lindsey Cox
My life is messy. Really, really messy. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say you can relate.
I’m sure we all have different road maps sketched out for our lives. We all come from different backgrounds with different stories. BUT, one thing we can all agree on is that life hasn’t always gone how we had once hoped. There are times and events in life that can push us into the mud, and others that just flat out derail us.
In my life, those are the times I realized I needed Jesus’ love, guidance, and often forgiveness, but my path seemed too dim. I wasn’t always sure how to seek it out. They were times I felt that I surely wasn’t worthy of His time, His worry, His love, His guidance, and ultimately His forgiveness. But every path I have taken has shed light on just how merciful my God truly is.
I grew up in church. I grew up memorizing Bible verses to recite to my teacher at the sound of the bell every morning. It wasn’t uncommon to beat the Pastor to his next word during the service. (Do you ever find yourself doing that?)
But I STILL made mistakes. I still NEEDED Christ just as much as the next person.
God didn’t make the mistakes in my life. I did. But He turned every one of my mistakes into blessings (of course, I had to find the blessing in it – and often weeks to years later).
I was that single mom at the age of 19. I paved the road that my parents always prayed that I would avoid. That was me. I wasn’t sure what kind of forgiveness I could muster out of my God. Hiding from church, from my Christian friends, and from God was my easy answer.
For a while.
I knew the love that God had for me, regardless of my less than ideal actions. I knew the love He had for my newborn son. And I knew WE needed Him.
I ran back to a church of comfort. A church I grew up in.
A few short years later my church announced the incredible work God was doing within and the need for more space for our church family. That’s great, right? Everyone but me thought so. My place of comfort was no longer. I’m okay being a wallflower, and the thought of all those new walls that I could sink myself into and lose the purpose of why I was there was overwhelming. My church was turning into a “mega church” – what comfort could I possibly get from that? That’s what I told myself. And again, I ran from the church.
I still lived. I woke up everyday and went to work. My son grew like any ordinary kid. We didn’t realize we were missing anything. I became a nurse, mended relationships and married the father of my son. I birthed two more children. I knew God was working in my life, but I most certainly didn’t give Him the credit He deserved. My naive eyes saw that I was finally living the life I always wanted.
And then I discovered that there was so much my family was missing. Church.
My son was starting kindergarten and I was so excited for him to start at the school I grew up in and graduated from. And ironically so, the same life choice that lead my mom to the church I grew up in lead my family back to the same church. Being a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church had great benefits to my mother as she put three children through the Lutheran School Association, and little did I know the emotional, mental, physical, and financial benefits it would have for my family.
(Ensue fear of a new unknown)
My husband didn’t grow up in a church, and getting up every Sunday to sing songs and listen to a guy preach was very unfamiliar grounds for him. But he didn’t hesitate, not once. (Remember when I said that some blessings I realized years later – the blessing that my husband continues to be for my family and his support of our ever growing relationship with Christ).
If you read last week’s blog then you would know that I’m not a morning person – except for Sundays. Sundays are rejuvenating in my house. We wake up and enjoy breakfast as a family while listening to WBGL and guessing what songs the praise band might be playing this week. We enjoy getting ready to go celebrate another week of blessings. We have found our family within our church home and it’s the best feeling ever. Our Sundays give us the energy for another week in our messy world – and we have finally been able to rely on, cry to, praise, and dig deeper into our God. That scary experience was the best scary leap we have ever taken as a family.
I know there will be someone who reads this who is in dire need of God’s light. Someone who is yearning for a loving church family – the one that gives them the warm fuzzy. There are many churches for a reason and what works for me may not work for you. BUT, if you are any bit of what I’ve described, PLEASE reach out. Reach out to your Christian friends, to your family, or to ME! I would LOVE for you to join me and my family at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Decatur, IL. The amount of love, rejuvenation and hope that is poured out of those doors daily is indescribable.
So, what are you waiting for? Find YOUR way – find your path to Christ today!