I don’t really talk much about religion on here. I don’t know why but a lot of times it just simply tends to not get posted. I write about it a whole lot in my journals. Spirituality flows int my dreams and lingers in my thoughts day after day but for some reason I haven’t made the opportunity to talk about it in a public way.
I think I have explained before that I feel hesitant on sharing my beliefs. I stand firm in them always but there are times where I don’t feel as confident sharing them out-loud with the fear of receiving backlash or disapproval. I’ve never been a very outspoken person in general. I’ll talk about things I believe in when I feel the comfort of being in company that will either agree with me or won’t be as judge-y or scornful. I don’t like conflict and never really have so bringing up touchy subjects make me less than comfortable.
I feel like religion is one of those subjects. Maybe not even religion per say but “the church”. The places that feel cult-y and unwelcoming. Places that make you feel judged and ridiculed.
I had a wonderful opportunity to talk in front of my church a couple weekends ago. The topic was pretty vague “Tell people why you love your church”. I was just going to say a few kind words about our facility and then it got deep and I started pulling tears from not only myself but the crowd as well.
I cried writing it. I cried rehearsing it. I thought for a moment that maybe it was too much to share. Too personal. But I shared it anyway.
You see, the church that I attend now is the same church that I have attended my whole life and it had impacted my spiritual journey in a way I never really thought of until I started this speech:
“When I think about Epiphany. A lot of words come to mind. Words such as home, family, love and acceptance. One of the strongest of these words is home, because to meI truly feel like it covers all four. Walking through those doors I feel the warmth and comfort I feel when I’m walking into my own home. I was raised here. A lot of you have witnessed me grow up here and assisted me in my spiritual journey in more ways than you can imagine. And even more of you get to witness my daughter do the same.
A lot of you know my daughter, she’s a little hard to miss sometimes. But what a lot of you may not know is the fear that I had once I had her. The fear of a lot of things really, being a young mom and all. Fear of the future and what it looks like. Fear of being capable to raise her the best I can. But on top of the typical new mom fears, I also had the fear of being ridiculed or shunned or treated less than; by society, my family, by people who I thought were my friends, my church family.
But you know what the church did when they found out I had a baby girl? They said “we have to have a baby shower!” … They hosted me a baby shower.. Like a real family does. Not once did I feel ridiculed or outcasted. In a moment where I felt most vulnerable to judgement. They showed me nothing but grace and unconditional love, to me, my daughter and anyone else who walks through those doors. So that’s why I love Epiphany because to me it is the physical embodiment of God’s true and unconditional love that he has for each of us, that he sent Jesus down to show us.“
Needless to say, my upbringing in the church was a positive one and I hate so much that it wasn’t alway positive for everyone. I was raised on the love of jesus. The unconditional love that I just want to explode into the world. This world where I see so much hate and negativity and bad. I understand that not everyone has the same belief system and I don’t ever want to change or intrude on that. I just want to express the wholeness of my expression of love. The importance of showing up with love and acceptance of others, those who need it the most.
I just want to spread this love through the world.