Growing up, I can remember going to Catholic church every single Sunday with my mom and sister. I didn’t “mind” going, but I also didn’t feel like it was my “place” if that makes any sense. I felt as though I was going through the motions, checking off the Sunday to-do item that “Yes, God, I made it another week,” but I never felt whole inside after attending. More like it was an obligation to make my mom happy who is a devout Catholic. I was baptized Catholic. Not that I can remember it much. I was six months old.
After having my son Caleb in 2008, I hadn’t been back to church in several months. I attempted to check out some Catholic churches in my area and as it was before, I still didn’t feel like I was in the right place. I baptized Caleb Catholic because, well, Mom encouraged me and after I took a time out from church for a long while.
In 2010, a friend encouraged me to check out her Christian church. Whoa was it like night and day. No wooden pews only comfy chairs, big screens everywhere, rock n’ roll worship music, lights flashing and listening to a pastor who actually “got it.” He wasn’t just reading from scripture, he wove his personal, yet vulnerable, stories into the sermon which I truly admired.
The more I went to this church, the more I felt like I belonged, and the less I felt like I was just going through the motions. As the years went by, I got more involved enrolling in Bible studies each semester, ditched my top 40’s music (so long, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and Pink) and switched the dial over to Christian music because I was searching for every ounce of inspiration I could. Each quarter, the opportunity presented itself to get baptized. And every single time, I dismissed it and watched others get baptized with the idea that one day, I would do this, even though it was against my mom’s wishes. To her point, I had already gotten baptized. Why do it again?
After one of the most challenging years in my life (2017) where I experienced a whole lot of hurt that knocked me down and stole all of my confidence, I found myself sitting in my car in the church parking lot after several services staring out at nothing with tears flowing down my face.
I was extremely lost.
I didn’t know where I was going, what my purpose was anymore, how I was going to get back up to fight and find me again. As the days continued, I found myself asking and praying for God to help me and leaning on the community of women at my Bible study who continuously showed me grace when I was completely broken. The message I kept hearing was, “Tisha, stop trying to control every aspect of your life. Move over to the passenger seat and let Him take the wheel. He’s got you.”
I stopped trying so hard to make my life what I thought it should be and started trusting that God already had a plan especially for me. Even now as I look back, He’s never steered me wrong, even through the hardships and heartaches. He’s been carrying me and showing me the way whilst teaching me some very valuable lessons.
Finding and following my faith is what truthfully pulled me from the darkest moments of my life. It’s just as my pastor kept instilling in our community all these years – “Put your faith in motion and God in action.”
On May 19, 2019, I stopped sitting on the sidelines and decided it was now the right time to strengthen my faith and I got baptized, almost ten years after I first stepped foot in a Christian church surrounded by my close friend Karen and my two kiddos. And at the ripe age of 39.
After feeling lost for so many years and wondering when or if I’d ever find “my” place of belonging, I finally did and all it took was following my faith to get there. ❤✝
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love. –
1 Corinthians, 16:13
Rule of Life Lesson #114: