I've been to all different kinds of churches and more denominations than I care to remember. I've met people who are completely sold out to Jesus and have very little traces of any worldliness in their lives. I've met people who are Christians by word only, yet have no basic understanding of salvation.
When I gave my life to Christ at 20 years old, I was living with the father of my child and had another baby already on the way. I left the relationship to pursue God and though I hated being a single mother, God surely blessed my life and gave me all that I needed and then some.
Through the years, I've wandered around to different places desperately hoping to find others with an earnest desire to experience real power and joy and love that is only obtained through relationship with the Lord. I've been let down and hurt more as a Christian than I ever was out in the world. Yet something in me just cannot return to the world, it holds nothing at all that interests me.
After a horrific experience with a church that was more of a cult than a haven of worship, I decided to become unchurched. A week after this decision, an old friend offered me alcohol. I put it in my fridge for a few weeks, forgetting all about it. One day I saw it and decided to see what it would do for the anguish I was in.. block it out fo a while, I hoped. I took a sip and spat it into the sink, then tipped the rest down, too. I just knew that it was definantly not a part of my life anymore and hadn't been for such a long time. I just didn't have any desire for the things I used in the world to give me that lift I needed to feel better, or stop feeling so much. I knew that whatever I faced was going to be sober-minded, painful, and necessary to keep walking with God.
I've seen and heard so much as a Christian. I've watched people walk away from God over what other people did to harm their lives. I've seen people lose their testimony over wrong choices trying to be popular with the in-crowd. I've been lied to, lied about. I've been told I intimidate men, that's why I am alone, because I'm actually living what I believe and not bending God's rules to suit myself or spreading my legs or accompanying "friends" to bars and other filthy places Satan is lurking and waiting to attack our weakened defences in. I worship God because I LOVE Him and I am told I am "too holy" to be approached by those who believe they are less. That one really hurts me a lot, how can I relinquish my thirst for a deeper relationship with my creator in exchange for the love of another. I am an imperfect person myself and don't judge others, yet am seen as untouchable. How can I apologise for that? I won't.
Apart from that, I'm often told I'm someone people can tell anything. I've heard some stories that would make people's toes curl, maybe even their blood boil. I see everyone as being someone with the potential to be a resident of Heaven, and give of myself as much as I am able to love them into that place. It often works against me and I end up used and hurt. But it's always worth getting up and trying again. You never know when you will find that 100th person that will accept Christ and allow Him to turn their life around.
Watching people find Jesus and go through that first love experience is so exciting. We are always reminded of our own, and their joy is so radiant and contagious. But after seeing so many go through that and then just walking away or not making any life changes, it can become more of a habit and the awe of a new babe in Christ doesn't spark our fire like it used to. That's one thing I never want to lose, the love for new Christians. I hate seeing them hurt or offended or wounded by people who have been warming pews much longer. I wish I could have some friends who are determined to make it with God, no matter what the cost. So many give up so easy, and push you away when you're standing on the edge of the cliff yourself pulling them up with all your might. We can't give up, and we can't use the name of Jesus to declare our faith in Him if it isn't real!
People who call themselves Christian but don't live it annoy me senseless. They want to argue over doctrine, yet don't apply any of it to their life. They judge everybody else and claim everybody else is wrong - if they had all the answers, wouldn't their life be fulfilled and they be out spreading the good news?? lol They don't glorify God, in fact, they turn people off with their argumentative ways. They annoy me but they also cause me to somehow want to love them too, because under every whiner lays a hurting person who needs the touch of the Master's hand to penetrate their lives.
I wouldn't trade being a Christian for anything in the world. I don't really fit into any particular "denomination" or group any more. I just love people and want to see as many of them darken the doorway to Heaven as possible, my life is not about ME, it's for Gods glory.