Y’all! I went to church yesterday night and it was amazing. As you may or may not know, I haven’t been going since the New Years Eve service in South Carolina because a lot has transpired in my life since then, but I am so glad that I just ‘went for it’ and showed up at youth group last night. If you’re confused, go read the Truth About Feeling Lost. That entry has more details on where I’ve been and how I’ve been shying away from God, excuses I’ve made in relation to my journey in Christ and relationship with God, and just all things in the name of truth and authenticity. I’m going to be honest, I was anxious, nervous, afraid, and just every emotion you can think of, I was feeling. The entire day Wednesday, I was texting and calling Aika and Garrett…I had all these what-ifs going through my head and just needed a prayer. I was SOOOOOOO nervous! What if people stared at me like, Who is this NEW GIRL?!? I had no clue how I would react…What if I show up and there’s no service? UGHHH! Doubt was taking over. I had to slow down and breathe. After I took a minute to talk to God, I remembered what Garrett and I read and prayed about the night before. We read the book of Matthew, and I vividly remembered highlighting ‘Fear only God’. What was I really afraid of? Acceptance from imperfect human beings? All we discussed the night before was how you shouldn’t be ashamed of God and you shouldn’t be afraid to glorify Him. I mean, honestly…we are all imperfect people seeking God’s love and this was the thing I was afraid of…that was the nine-year-old in me talking. The Kayla today was the saved one, the one that had endured adversity, and the one who’d chosen to follow God. I had to remember God’s promises and everything God has done in my life to muster enough courage to attend the service. I don’t know, honestly it was so much more than fear of what people were going to think of me, it was the truth of feeling ashamed. I was ashamed that I had turned away God because of ONE bad experience when God was with me through EVERY bad ‘experience’. After praying, and realizing all of this…I noticed that this is what I’d been missing since 2019 started: God. I was so caught up in my circumstances and trying to resolve so much mess that I’d pushed God aside and the dreams, the nightmares, and the predicament I was in right then was God telling me that he was still there. He was still waiting. I was the sheep that the Shepard left his flock of 99 to find in the Parable of the Lost Sheep. God wasn’t leaving me behind and I shouldn’t be ashamed because that was going to keep me from seeking His love. I had to come to Him unashamed and honest. I had to worship Him. I had to be present for Him.
Okay..so…it’s 5:36PM and I’m freaking out, I have my 6:15 alarm set to start heading out and I thought, let me nap before service…but nothing! My eyes were WIDE OPEN and I was still a little anxious, but I was NOT going to let that get in the way of my opportunity to get closer to God, so I decided…let’s just start getting ready, it wouldn’t hurt to be early ya know? I was feeling okay, feeling excited mostly…I mean why the heck not? It will be okay! It will be awesome I told myself, so I shuffled through my closet and grabbed the first jacket I could, then proceeded by running to the kitchen to grab my keys…LO AND BEHOLD I cannot find my keys anywhere! I’m freaking out because what if I’m late? Maybe I shouldn’t be going?! UGHH!! Worry and doubt filled my thoughts immediately, but I was determined not to feed worry and doubt, I was determined to work on my relationship with God and that’s all that mattered. I took a few breaths and traced my last steps to remember where my keys were and…I FOUND IT!!! I found it and it was just 6:32, so I would still be early or at least on time. As soon as I get in the car, I open Spotify and turn on my playlist titled Jesus, then I turn on the GPS and start driving. The sun was setting and so were my nerves. My nerves were kicking in, I just start feeling all these butterflies in my stomach and I started singing to calm myself down…[Siri] “In half a mile, turn right and arrive at [Church]”. This is when nerves start rushing through my body…I’m really nervous…but I’m here! There were so many cars in the parking lot, but I turned in…found my spot and I just sat in the car. I sat in the car and prayed. God, I hope I found my new church home, I hope that I get closer to you from this experience. I hope this is what you want. I proceeded by turning off the car and walking in…it’s super dark and there are these signs with arrows and multiple buildings…I’m just like “Ohh gosh!!” I don’t know where I’m headed, so I just follow the arrows and finally made it to a building and it was noisy, filled with high school kids…I’m shaking at this point. I’m at the sign up table and this sweet girl introduces herself and starts talking to me, I talk to her and we’re just having a blast. I knew someone who used to work there and one of the girls run up to me and took me on a tour of the building and to meet some of the kids and yep. I was here and it was pretty darn great lol. I was so happy to be there and this was pretty awesome. I ran into people from my school who knew who I was and they were extremely inviting. Everyone was so sweet and soon I didn’t feel any nerves, I felt at home. It was time to go worship and listen to the sermon titled In my Feelings about relationships. Worship was great. This is what I’d been missing since I was in search of a new church home. I missed the people, the worship, and just being One. I was so happy to be in a place where we, as one, were glorifying God. I thought to myself, this is my new home. God thank you. Thank you for calming the storm. (*refer to Matthew 8:23-27) Thank you for bringing me to your house. Thank you for these wonderful people. Thank you for this moment.
Jesus Calms the Storm
“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” — Matthew 8:23-27