My Journey In Faith

faith

I grew up in a very devout faith based home. My father was a minister in a Baptist church for many years during my childhood. I spent a lot of time serving and learning ministries. My husband and I met through church and spent our first 14 years together serving in church…A LOT! We raised our kids in church for 13 of those years. However, much has changed in the last three years.

“Be a good witness by the way you live. The way we live is often more convincing than the words we say.”~Billy Graham

After marrying and moving we found a little church in a quaint Vermont suburb. As a newly married and very young couple we found it to be perfect, with many other young couples as members. Their beliefs were the same as ours and we made quick friends of the core group of families, as well as the Pastor. A friendly bunch, we were always serving together and outside of church we were getting together at each other’s houses. We had pregnancies together, spent holidays together, did birthday parties and babysat for one another. It was as though we were extensions of one another’s families.

For over 14 years life was blissfully happy, in fact we had all but ostracized ourselves from our actual family. Church and church “family” was our life. My husband and I held over six positions within the church by this time- deacon, accountant, computer and sound system laymen, adult Sunday school teacher, head usher, choir and more. We were in church all of Sunday, every Wednesday night and any extra days in between that we were needed.church 

Then, in an instant this life that we thought we were sure of and knew was gone. Families that we held close bonds with, we thought unbreakable, turned on us. The deceit, the bitterness, the hypocrisy, the lack of forgiveness and more all came to light. We were shunned for one family’s, one person’s words. The people we considered to be our closest friends…NO, family, had turned on us, ostracized us. The devastation was nearly insurmountable. People took sides, the Pastor was of no help and in the end we were left with only the option of leaving. Quietly, as if thieves in the night, we left. We did not get to tell our story, in fact we had not told anyone what happened, only “the others” were sharing their lies. But, we needed to leave with our dignity and our testimony, we would not be pulled down to throwing stones at glass houses.

“The lukewarm Christian can accomplish nothing with a whole life in which to do it. If you have lived for sin and self . . . your witness will have [a] telling effect on all who have known you.” ~Billy Graham

So, why do I share all of this? Well, I tell you my story after living through the hypocrisy and seeing the lowest of Christian behavior, because I have learned so much! About myself, about my faith and about what people will believe. I was pulled in, I was brought down to a level that was not okay- my witness was blemished. People could believe the lies because like these that we chose to be close to, I had become a haughty Christian! I spoke about people behind their backs with these “friends”, believed I was better than others and bought in to all that I was being served. Yet, when things went sideways, no one was there for us- even the Pastor did not practice what he preached. 

Here I am over three years later. Not in contact with one person from that past life. Fourteen years wiped away as if it never happened. My children lost all friends and perhaps for a while faith in having friendships. I have worked through many of my own demons, as has my husband. Learning to rebuild trust and faith, learning to forgive even though no forgiveness was ever asked for. Believing that this is not what God and faith are about, man is flawed not God. I’ve really come to a place where I know what I believe outside of church. I have not ever lost my faith in God, only my faith in people- because they will let you down! And most of all, coming to the realization that I can be a witness anywhere, even here on this blog. God is not to be put in a box (or a church for that matter) like so many would like to do. His love and who He is can be witnessed anywhere as long as I am willing to be a testimony for Him. “The greatest way to witness is through the life you live. Let the radiance of your Christian life be such that it will make [others] ask questions about your [faith].”~Billy Graham

inspirational-quotes-beautiful-people

Other offerings by this Author:To Be or Not To Be, SorryThe Spirit of Love

via Daily Prompt: Witness

Featured Posts 119 – Share your post links

DailyPost Discover Challenge: Open Minded

27 Comments

Filed under Life Lessons

27 responses to “My Journey In Faith

  1. God is good. I am sorry for the pain of your loss, you have gained much love in Christ.
    Laurie

  2. Moving story! Sorry for the agony of your loss. That quote about beautiful people is so true and so beautiful!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. What a wonderful reminder that our witness is ALWAYS in play….even around those who are supposed to love us the most no matter what. Thank God He is always faithful even when we as Christ followers are not.

  4. Sorry to hear of the difficult time you have been through.
    So glad that you can bear witness to God’s faithfulness, despite the pain.
    Jane
    https://anunexpectedjourneytoadoption.wordpress.com/

  5. likethelamp

    What a growth experience! I believe that God always lights our way in or out of situations. I love that last quote. You are one of those beautiful people.

  6. I believe that everything happens for a reason and maybe you were to discover what you discovered and to change your way of approaching God? I was brought up as a religious person but as a adult I changed my mind – for me God has nothing to do with religion.

  7. jsant1214

    Beautifully written! You explained it best, people are flawed not God. Unfortunately many times when people face similar situations, pain at the hands of people practicing the faith, they’ll completely write off God and blame Him for the fallout forgetting the sinful nature of humans.🙏🏻Satan wants the fallout and worst He wants us to associate the fallout with God in a negative way. I’m glad you’re family stayed strong 😀great example for your children. 👍🏻🙏🏻

  8. Melissa

    Good post sis! Love you!

  9. What a sad thing to endure especially in a church community. I am happy for you and your family that you have moved forward in your lives.

  10. Thank you for sharing your life journey. Sorry to hear what had happened to you and your family. I had my moments in my walks. I am still in the middle of something. I was reminded just last week, that I am a pilgrim in this progress of journey. May you experience refreshness of life. You’re welcome to visit my blog:
    https://theshowersofblessing.wordpress.com/2016/09/02/mirror-pierce/

  11. It is hard when friends turn on you. My dad says, you need to cultivate your circle, be a gardener, pluck the weeds out and keep the flowers!
    I’m glad your faith got you through the pain.

  12. Pingback: Authentically Me | Southern By Design

  13. Pingback: When The Holidays Hurt | Southern By Design

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