The head knowledge is amazing + necessary + something you should be proud of investing your time in. I'm proud of you, truly. <3 I see the growth you've experienced these past few months and am inspired by it. It's a never-ending journey of growth that is something I've come to embrace. I know that I will be growing, messing up, + trying again until the day that I die + I'm at total peace with that.
I try really hard to extend that grace He's given me to anyone + everyone... ESPECIALLY those I care about. This is not something that comes to us humans naturally...we are prideful, self-absorbed, boastful, angry. by nature, the list could go on and on. I've tired to "cure" these weaknesses on my own + ALWAYS come up missing the mark + feeling defeated. It wasn't until I surrendered to the idea that maybe, just maybe, there was something to this man they call Jesus. I didn't trust anyone to tell me how to live my life with God... + still don't fully trust people with that since we're ALL sinful + have our own baggage we bring to every situation whether we recognize it or not. I've heard both Aaron + Ryan at Traders say something to the effect of "the Church will fail you every single time, because it is run by sinful, humans. But God, he will NEVER fail you...EVER."
One thing I KNOW for sure:
You can get all the head knowledge, accomplish all the worldly things you want, work hard for that "perfect" body. Those are all GREAT things to be proud of, BUT they'll never be enough. I've tried it all + it is NOTHING compared to the love, peace, hope + JOY I've experienced since I surrendered my HEART to God. That's ALL he wants. He wants a RELATIONSHIP with you. A personal, intimate relationship with his son.
I constantly wrestle with this...how could he want that with me? I've fucked way too many things up, including my behavior last night. It still doesn't make sense to me that He loves me JUST the same at my highest, lowest, + everything in between.
He is kind, patient, encouraging, loving + ALWAYS there to help us back up to try again. The fear, insecurity, guilt, shame, etc is NOT from Him. I've made it a habit to stop myself mid-thought + ask "Who is talking to me right now?"
Turning down the noise so you can hear Him takes time + training + commitment...as well as lots of messing up + listening to the loud...because that's what us humans do.
And you know what? HE KNOWS THAT + expects it + lovingly keeps calling us back to His truth + love... EVERY SINGLE TIME.
I hope you will tell your anxiety around church/God to FUCK OFF because it's "just" fear...it's not the truth.
Sure, the majority of things society talks about in regard to God is negative, fearful + divisive... but that's how they are with literally everything. It's a never-ending hamster wheel of bullshit negativity. Is there bad in the world? ABSOLUTELY! But there is SO much good... it's just not as loud + takes more intention to see.
Ok, enough of my preaching! lol
I encourage you to talk to God... HOWEVER you want
It will be uncomfortable at first... LEAN INTO that discomfort. Just SIT in that discomfort. Just like going to the gym causes you to be uncomfortable and sore, your spiritual muscles take time intention, + training through prayer, His Word, sermons, + COMMUNITY.
You are ALWAYS welcome to come to Traders...sincerely. You can come sit with me ANYTIME (or sit by yourself). TPCC is not "my" church, so please do not let that keep you from experiencing His love and community.
Have I steered ya wrong on your personal development journey so far? ;)