I stopped going to church a little over a year ago. But I felt like it followed me.
It followed in the bad taste I got seeing mission-goers singing in front of Korean markets to raise funds. It followed in the rolling of my eyes when people I had known through church told me to check out their church when I told them I’d left mine. It followed in the judgment I felt anytime I even passed by a Christian or even Catholic church. It followed in my shaking of my head and unfollowing of people on social media I could no longer relate with nor tolerate.
It followed me in my mind although my Sundays no longer involved sermons, praise, and fellowship, and my weekdays no longer involved church events and small groups.
I didn’t realize until a little recently that these seemingly harmless notions and emotions were hurting me and others more than I thought. It wasn’t like I was explicitly going after people, calling them out, and openly disagreeing with them. I wasn’t engaging in negative conversation or activity with others because of it either.
It was simply within me and honestly, looking back, it feels like poison. All the little thoughts and emotions I direct toward them out of my judgment hurt me more than anyone else. And I no longer wanted to be part of it. There was no need to.
I was creating a little prison for myself, closing myself off to a part of humanity because of my own interpretation and experience. They are not wrong. I am not wrong. We just are what we are.
We are humans seeking to live better lives. And we choose every day how that will look like for us. I decided a year ago I wanted to explore and that’s totally fine.
I think in the end, letting go had more to do with accepting myself and my journey than it did with church. Perhaps I saw myself through the eyes of churchgoers, and judged myself hard. It wasn’t difficult to, after all, I had been a pretty devout one in the past. I’m pretty sure others aren’t judging me as hard as I did (though some did come close haha).
Yeah, I see now that all the judgment I was directing to church was really the residue of my own disapproval of myself through the eyes of Grace who used to go to church.
Does that make sense?
So now that I’m aware of this, I permit myself to let go. To finally walk away – mind, body, soul. This doesn’t mean I can never go back to church. It just means that in this journey, right where I am, I can do life free and clear of judgment and negativity. And if anything, it allows me to be open to coming back if ever my journey takes me.
It feels good. I feel lighter. I feel happier. I find that surrender always ends in this sense of freedom. And it always opens up to hope and clarity.
Is there anything you feel negativity and judgment toward even when you think about it? Maybe it’s something your heart and soul want to let go of, if you would allow.