What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)
Mark and I are idealists, especially when it comes to church.
He comes from a background that takes the Bible very seriously. So when he reads, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:11-12) he expects God’s people, His church, to love. Unfortunately, that is much easier for most churches to preach than to practice.
My experience with church was filled with family, we-share-DNA family. I’ve grown to expect church to feel like “going home”. No one should walk in feeling unloved, unwanted or ignored. For me, church should be a place where you belong, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing” (Psalm 68:6). Again, not something that is found very often.
In the time that Mark and I have been together we’ve had a very difficult time finding a place to call a church home. So difficult, in fact, that I had given up hope. I didn’t think we would ever find a place that took God’s word seriously and showed you a radical kind of love.
Then we ended up at Franklin Tabernacle. God introduced us to our church family and began changing what I had started to believe about His people (that they were hypocrites more interested in acting like His followers than actually being His followers). Through these people God has shown me how to love, pray, seek, serve and worship in ways I have never known.
This year I let go of my church homelessness status.