Recover Your Life
I remember the first time I stepped into a Christ City service. Something felt different. So, I kept coming back.
For three years of college I sat in the back together and left before services were completely over. Inside the doors but never invested in the community, I tried to make life work on my terms and attending church was more about doing the right thing than pursuing intimacy with God. It was easy to keep coming back to a place that felt so comfortable but never pushed on my preconceived ideals in ways that encouraged personal reflection and questioning.
At the time I was in an unhealthy relationship that deteriorated over time and eventually ended. I suddenly started struggling with anxiety, depression, extreme weight loss, and suicidal ideation. The crisis I found myself in pushed me to reevaluate my life by finally being honest about a story full of harm, a hardened heart, and running from the shame that story had produced.
It seemed Christ City went through a crisis that called for a shift in focus at around the same time. I distinctly remember a sermon Robbyn preached on Jacob wrestling with God in his fear and unmet expectations about life. For so long, I had felt it was wrong to question or wrestle with God over the pain in my story. I was taught to “forgive and forget.” In this instant though, I was given the freedom to cry out to God in pain and question what was happening in my life.
As the church grew healthier moving forward and gave people the space to dig into their stories and question faith, so did I. Things shifted in me as I became more intentional about my involvement and relational intimacy with God. And I stayed because of the truth and grace I experienced for myself and saw others experience also throughout the church’s shift.
Life has taken many things from me, as it has for all of us. Life is tragic. However, as I learned to share my story in this space and the pain became real, I also gained an even greater joy as my desire for God was magnified. This community pushes me towards knowing myself and knowing God more deeply, which means sitting in the grey of where life is painful and doesn’t always work in the ways we think we need.
Sitting in this tension is what helped me recover my life and sit with others as they attempt to recover theirs.