And We Evolve

For my entire life, I have been evolving. We all have. In this evolution, we change and grow; we go through rhythms of two steps forward and one step back. We mold, we shape, we shatter the molds, and we start anew.

 

My evolution has taken me through multiple churches… and you know what? I used to feel guilty about that. I used to associate joining churches and leaving churches a few years later with instability and pickiness; the dreaded “church hopper” title. But I realized something this week that changed my perspective.

 

Evolution is natural.

 

When I was young, I grew up in a church plant. I was the girl whose life was church - almost to an unhealthy level. All my friends, interactions, and experiences were centered around this group of people and this ever-changing place. When that fell apart because of a church split, I consequently fell apart - it was only natural.

 

And so we grow.

 

Next was the more established church. This church taught extreme destiny and your best life now. I learned that I had value, that I had purpose, and that I had a destiny. And that was really important for me to hear. But then I kept growing, and I realized some things were wrong.

 

On to college and I joined up with a group of crazy charismatics. I thought, if I can just take what I have seen and heard about and actually do it, to have real faith and go all out, then I will understand God. But instead, I encountered a group of people that were willing to do crazy things, but had no foundation.

 

Enter church number four. Another small church plant, this time of the reformed theology. I learned that I actually needed a Savior, that I was not all that awesome, and most important, that I was not perfect. I really needed to hear that. I went from hearing that God desperately wanted me on his team to hearing that God would be fine without me.

 

And so we continue to grow.

 

But then, I began seeing that these people seemed to have all the answers, and for a while, that was exciting. All the answers to all my questions all neat and tidy and polished, if I only bothered to memorize the steps and ignore the questions gnawing at my soul. But then the questions became too much and my searching led me to freedom.

 

And so the growth continues.

 

I hope that the place where I am now is level - somewhere balanced - but I can see that it might just be part of the evolution as it continues. I am a little broken and bruised, but I still believe in the church. I believe that, at different points, we need to hear different things from the church. I see the value in all the places that I have been and all the perspectives I have learned. But right now, I want to struggle and ask hard questions and not be sure about things. It is rare to find a group of people who want to dwell in uncertainty with you; to live there, sit in the thick of it, and not be afraid. But, praise be to God, I have found a band of these people.

 

And so the evolution continues.