REAL TALK | Why I feel like a fraud in church
One thing about me that most people probably know is I absolutely without a doubt love my church, Renaissance. It's the place I can reconnect with Jesus and just give all the glory for what I have to Him. But one thing you might not know about me? I feel like an absolute, total fraud.
I'm probably not in the minority by any means, but I did not grow up in church. I have a really vivid memory from when I was younger and it was summertime... the house I grew up in had a church behind it. It was a really pretty, small country church with a bright red cross that glowed so bright every night, and I could see it outside my window. I never really understood (at that time, at least) what a cross was or the significance it held. However, one day when I was outside playing in the backyard, I saw a lot of people and all of these bright colorful signs hanging up. I couldn't really tell what they were, so I ran to the edge of our property and saw it said VBS. I ran back home and asked my mom if I could go to church, and she was fine with it. So, the next day, I ran to the church and joined VBS on my own. I had SO MUCH FUN. We sang songs, we had snacks and we made these really cool crafts -- necklaces, bracelets, colored drawings, macaroni art. I was really sad when it was over. I never really made it back to church, other than the random times I would go with my friends.
To fast forward a bit, I did find myself a church home in my freshman year of high school where I stayed until I went to college. I lost myself for a bit, met my now husband and was active in our student ministry (shout to the Wesley Foundation at SIUC!) but not really in church. And after college, my husband and I spent a lot of years church hopping. We never found our home, and we spent more time out of church than in church. It wasn't until we moved back to Decatur and had an almost 2 year old that we found Renaissance, which has been the biggest blessing in our lives.
You might be thinking, "okay, great! Why do you feel like a fraud?"
It's simple: I don't know the Bible.
I try to join in conversations and sound halfway intelligent when it comes to Bible stories and scripture and all of it. Now don't get me wrong - there are some things I have remembered or latched on to over the years -- but all of those really cute Bible stories that my son learns about now? I have no idea. When one of my pastors mentions a story in the Bible, I will nod my head in agreeance like I know what he is saying... but I likely have no idea.
I do pray. At least once a day. We pray as a family at night as we are tucking Rory in to bed. I look to God in the hard times. In the bad days. When I need something. But I don't think I'm doing it right when those are the only times I pray. A lot of times, I feel like a misfit in a sea of God-fearing people who I admire. It not only makes me feel like a fraud, but I feel like a failure. Like I am doing my family a disservice by not having been raised in church to know all of the basics. I almost feel like some times I should join my kiddo in church so I can get Bible 101 done so I can understand conversations better. I have tried countless times to start reading the Bible with the help of different guides I manage to find my way to on Pinterest but I never stick to it... and that's 150% my fault.
This blog serves as a letter to myself to work on being a better servant, being a better in prayer and allowing myself grace just because I am not always in the same place as everyone I am surrounded by. I know that God loves me even though I can't recall all of the stories and recite all of the red letter verses. But one thing I can say without a shadow of a doubt is I am a Jesus loving crazy person who believes that He is with me every day, loving me even though I feel like a fraud. He's probably been telling me for a long time now that I'm not a fraud and I've not allowed myself to listen.
I should work on that...