A few weeks ago, I sent my sista tribe an email saying, “I don’t want to do this ish.”
1️⃣ I received the MOST replies EVER to that email…maybe it was the title 🤔
2️⃣ I realized, I’m not alone..which confirms that if you’re feeling a certain way, I guarantee you, someone else is feeling it too.
Let me set the stage for you:
If you follow me, you know I’m a proponent of therapy. I love it and I credit it for saving my life. One thing we talk intensively about, is my faith. I’ve always felt like I’ve struggled with what the church calls, straddling the fence. Maybe you can relate to that feeling….that feeling of not being Christian enough. That feeling of not living up to the Christian expectations. The feeling that the human side of me is feeling all of these things and somehow, I’ve got to shut that part of me down because it makes me a dirty Christian.
A few months ago, I had dinner with someone and they pretty much said, yea, you act like you love God but you still enjoy going out, knocking the boots, and you slang a few cuss words around. Talk about shots fired!!! Bang, bang!!!
Here I go in my head: shit! I’m a trash Christian. I love God. I’ve encountered him in ways that I can’t even describe. I spend time with him. He’s guiding me but yet, that conversation had me feeling like trash.
The next day, I told my mama, I’m stepping down from the board of my church. She asked, why boo?!? And I replied with the most honest answer ever.. I’m tired of this shit. (That must be my favorite word) I’m tired of the judgement, I’m tired of the shame, I’m tired of not feeling enough and that God doesn’t love me. I am a freaking human being. I ain’t perfect!
I told her, I’m over it. I’m done.
Honestly, if I didn’t love the people in my church, I probably would’ve quit going. You see that…I wasn’t even going to church for GOD! I was going for the people, so I wouldn’t get a side eye from my mama and piss off my daddy.
All while this is going on, my spirit was RESTLESS! God was not letting ya girl have any peace. I thought, see, I am a trash Christian. Everything that was implied in that conversation was true.
I go back to therapy.
We talk about it. I tell her, religion has its place but religion over relationship in the black church is suffocating me. She looks at me. I know that look. It’s like the look when you KNOW you’ve got to do something but you don’t want to do it. (Insert a damn here). I’m like, nah bruh. I can’t take that outside of these walls. This is for me, you and the irritating lady bugs in your window. They ain’t talking and neither am I.
She tilts her head. “I think you should read about Moses.”
I say, well…I mean, I know he was in the river, lake, you know…water…was picked up and SAVED…saw a burning bush, led some people. Ques bible story with pictures from my childhood. But, I say ok….
Now, I listen to podcast. I have a podcast. Shoutout to Sista Talk. Ok, so Sarah Jakes Roberts had one that I’d been avoiding for whatever reason. The next day, I listened. Sis told the story of Moses!!! The next, freaking day. Like, she was preaching to my subconscious because I literally felt like I had been slain in the spirit at work and was about to embark on a full blown shout and scare the crap out of my non-melaninated coworkers. I shot to the bathroom. I don’t even remember what SJR said!
What is going on!
Fast forward to the email.
My email was about me not wanting to speak out about how we’ve gotten some of this Christian living twisted. I’m not condoning sin. This ain’t a go out here and live ruthlessly blog. But, we all do it and if we didn’t feel so guilty, shameful, and alone in it…we might actually figure out how to heal some of our brokenness and figure out the root of our habitual sins. Instead of spending so much time condemning and one upping our struggles just so we can feel like God favors us more than the person sitting on the pew with us…we could truly show the love of God to people and most importantly, ourselves. The unrealistic standards of trying to be a saint has kept me (and I can bet, you) further from God than anything else.
Ashley doesn’t want to do (this new work he’s pushing me towards) or say any of this. Why?!? Because y’all are mean. Yes, mean Christians. If you don’t agree with someone, your words and actions cut deep. The most hateful comments on social media comes from Christians spewing scriptures at folks. I know some of y’all reading this are sending me to hell right now! Ain’t no love. Ain’t no truth. Ain’t no understanding. Ain’t no honesty. And I’m talking as a whole. Not towards specific people so if you don’t fall in the whole category, I ain’t talking about you. And, yes, I’m intentionally using incorrect grammar. Because I’m over being perfect.
If I’m less than a Christian in your eyes after reading this, cool. But, my journey now is about a relationship with him. Understanding him. Being free in him, not bound up by society’s or the church’s expectations. Not running from him when I should be running towards him.
I can no longer let the fear of what others will say silence my voice. Even if I’m not sure if I want to speak. Even if I’m called a radical or someone calls my pastor to pray the demons out of me 😏. Even if I feel like I’m having an identity crisis (which I most feel at the moment). Even if I find myself on a road alone…I’ve got to dive deeper into what being in relationship with God means.
I started an accountability group. We’re going to get on the relationship train with our faith in addition to getting clear on our goals around personal development and our money mindset. It all ties into who God has called us to be. If we want to live in his image, we first have to start being honest. Honest that we may have skewed beliefs and warped views. We have to be open to new revelations. We have to trust that he will not lead us down the wrong path. And trust me when I tell you, what I feel him calling me to do, calling you to do… I have NO DESIRE to do (and if you have been feeling a push, we’re in the same boat) …so, I’m simply being I obedient.
If you are interested in learning more about the accountability program, email me at Ashley@misssistanomics.com.