I went to church today. I haven't been in a long time. I don't know why I don't attend as often. Yes, I'm tired in the morning and usually sleep through it, but I could easily set the alarm and take a nap when I get home. Of course, I did pray last night that God would wake me up if I were to go to church today, and He did. Again, I didn't set the alarm, and I tried to go back to sleep a couple times, but in the end, I decided I should go. I remember someone telling me about how some children have to sneak off to church because their parents won't let them go or the government won't, and whenever I think of that, I feel very lucky I can go and worship freely and openly.
Anyway, a brief history of my Christian life. My mom and her side of the family always go to church. They're very Christian, but not the kind that go around and yell at people for various sins. They like to help and they're all very nice. Of course, this is my family, so I'm a little biased. ^_~ My dad's side is Catholic, but my grandmother married a divorced man, so they were never allowed into church back then. My dad isn't religious. He will admit at times that God exists, but he thinks most people have the wrong idea about Him, which, I suppose, I agree with him to a certain extent. Anyway, my mom took me to church all through my childhood even though I griped and groaned about it. Then, on my (twelfth, I think?) birthday, I was baptized. I don't remember when exactly I asked for forgiveness, but I remember my birthday fell on a Sunday one year, so that's when I got baptized.
Somewhere in my mid-teens, my mom stopped waking me up for church. I just didn't go. Little by little I forgot all my teachings, not that I followed them too well to begin with. Then, August of last year, I went down to Florida to visit a friend for a week. Shawnie had to work a few days that week, so I'd be home in her house alone. I've been interested in what Muslims are supposed to wear, and, just wondering, I searched to see if there was anything in the Bible that said what Christians were supposed to wear. Well, I came across many sites that said there is no strict guidelines or really any guidelines for that. I found a couple that said you're supposed to cover your hair in church. Then I stumbled across a few sites that said the Bible says women shouldn't wear pants and should always cover their hair, and if you don't, you're not following God's word and you'll go to Hell. They referenced a few verses, but I had thoughtlessly left my Bible at home, so I couldn't look it up.
I talked to my mom over the phone, and she helped as best she could. When I got home, I read the Bible and talked to my mom yet again. My Bible, and most scholars it seems, say that that is only a reference to cross-dressing, and as women's pants are definitely not the same as men's pants, it's ok. I mean, would you say Scottish men who wear kilts are a blasphemy? Anyway, I ended up deciding it was okay to wear pants and to show my hair as long as I'm not doing any of it to purposely entice people. It did, however, show me that I needed to rededicate my life to Jesus.
I started reading the Bible every day. I went to church. Then, around November, I got behind in my readings and stopped going to church as often. I don't really know why, again. I just did. I got, and still am, scared to talk about my faith. I don't know why. I guess I'm always scared people will hate me or make fun of me or yell at me. Whichever way, I don't need to be. I need to talk more about it, and I need to show how He's helped my life. Here are just a few of the many, many ways Jesus has helped. I wish I could name them all, but I'm sure I'm not aware of some of them, and some may slip my mind:
• Studying. I
try to pray before each test. I pray that when I study, I'll soak in as much information as I can, and I pray for calmness so that I can remember everything I learned. This always works. However, sometimes I get cocky and don't pray.
• New Friends. At the beginning of this school year, I started to pray and to tell God everything I wanted, even if I thought it was too selfish. I asked for more friends, to RP more, and to get more reviews on my fics. He showed me faded_melody
which turned to not_unwounded
where I met evocates
, and many other good people. He showed me gw_ozzies
where I worked up the courage and befriended cozzybob
, who always comments. He showed me 1xr
where I got to meet alilamba
, and many others who comment on my fics in that community. He even brought me princess_zuko. He gave me you.
• Old Friends. In answer to my prayers above, He also gave me Cassi, Mere, and LA back. We've had a lot fun, and I'm very happy to have them.
I can't think of anything else. Those are the big, main things. You may think that this either coincidence or that I'm deluding myself into thinking God gave me these things when I just worked it up for myself. Well, I tried that before. I tried to rely on myself and to go and be confident, but it doesn't work unless I've asked God for it. He does help me, and I feel I should tell people that, no matter what they say. Thus, I start in my journals. Telling you these things and hoping it'll make some impact. God has blessed me in many ways; He's blessed me with you. I just hope I can do something in return. I pray for strength to be able to say these things aloud, to people. I pray God will show me who to tell specifically.