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Beginnings Are Always Messy

Early Years

"Let's start at the beginning. A very good place to start." Well, folks, my childhood is not as idyllic as "The Sound of Music," but I can't complain too much. So, to start down this rabbit hole, it seems best to begin at, well, the beginning.

I grew up in the southeast as one of three children. My siblings and I were a few years apart, and I was a middle child. I grew up in a Christian home and some of my earliest memories are of going to church with my parents. And, to be honest, they're not particularly happy memories. Sundays, we would wake up early and go to an hour-long Sunday School lesson only to sit through an hour and a half of a worship service, most of which was over my head. Then, that evening, we would return to church once again for another hour and a half service. At three, five, and even eight years of age, it was a little much.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with parents bringing their children to church. But, I grew to dread Sundays. Having to sit on an uncomfortable wooden pew for hours on end learning about epistomology was not the ideal way to encourage a child to develop a relationship with her Savior. Nor was it the way to encourage a love of being in community with other believers.

Church Community

shame

On grow

Do you remember the movie Mean Girls?

Cady's a little out of place at her new high school, and naturally becomes friends with a guy and a girl who are a little fringe themselves. Eventually, she starts hanging out with the Plastics, who are basically a bunch of judgey and superficial b-words. And Cady feels caught between two worlds, being two completely different people. You catch glimpses of her shame.

Enter me.

Enter my shame.

That story where Peter denies knowing Jesus used to tick me off. I would think, "C'mon, Pete. Get a hold of yourself, you traitor. Judas is better off!" Before today, I don't think I would have ever compared myself to him. Maybe Mary, sitting at Jesus' feet, or the beloved disciple reclining on Christ's chest at the dinner table. Not today. Today, I finally came to grips with the fact that I am straight up embarrassed to say stuff like, "I'm a Christian." Why? Because way too often the word Christian is synonymous with stupid.

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