Around eight months ago, as the week before Easter approached, I found myself going to as many church services as possible to prepare my heart for the coming celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. As a result, I began to ask myself why I enjoyed going to church so much. I was not questioning my faith in God, but instead I wanted to take the time to think of my own honest answer.
Since I am at an age where I can decide whether or not I want to go to church on Sundays, I can no longer say that my parents are the main reason I attend. (Basically, I always choose to go to church but I am also able to choose a different option if I really wanted to.)
After much thought, here is the answer I came up with:
I go to church because it fills me with God’s peace, and I feel more connected to Him.
Many people try to find that peace in worldly things, but only God can completely satisfy our hearts. For example, some people watch movies to escape reality. It can be a distraction from the stressful things that they may be experiencing.
Of course, I am not saying that watching movies is a bad thing! I enjoy watching them myself, but I always have this empty feeling when the movie is over—as if my heart is torn between fantasy and reality.
After watching the 2017 version of “Beauty and the Beast” in theaters a while ago, I remember feeling disappointed to go back to my normal, non-extravagant and stressful life after leaving the theater. I was not looking forward to going to school the next day, and thoughts about true love and happy endings swirled around in my mind.
On the contrary, when I go to church, God renews His strength and peace within my heart and it lasts longer than just a few hours. When I leave my church after the service is over, I do not feel unsatisfied or disappointed. Instead, I have a refreshed feeling of confidence and strength within my heart. I leave knowing that whatever I may face in the upcoming week, I will have God by my side to help me through it. And honestly, that is one of the best feelings a person could ever experience.
Psalm 107:8-9 says, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”
1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”
Jeremiah 31:25 says, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Lately, I have been wearing my glasses to church. Although that may not sound like a big deal, it is a personally huge step for me. Ever since I got glasses as a fifth grader, I have been too embarrassed to wear them around the people at my church. (That was mostly because I did not know many people at the time.)
Here was my reasoning: Since I am nearsighted, I only need glasses to see things that are far away. I use my glasses at school to read what my teachers write on the board, but I do not need to read off a board (in a classroom) at church.
The statements above are true, but times have changed and my eyesight has become worse over the years. Although I did not need to wear my glasses to church back then, it would be helpful to wear them now.
This struggle has been an internal battle between me and my comfort zone. Recently, though, I have gained enough courage to stop trying to please people and to go beyond the borders of my comfort zone.
It all started back in April. Around Easter time, I was going to a church service during the week. I brought my glasses with me and I decided to put them on out of curiosity, since not many people had arrived yet. It was fascinating! With my glasses on, I could actually see the beautiful details of my church and everything was crystal clear.
After seeing a glimpse of a whole new world, I decided to put my glasses away. Later, I pulled them out once again and I was brave enough to wear them during most of the service! Although I felt uncomfortable at first, I continually pushed and encouraged myself to keep them on. In a way, I decided to stop letting my insecure thoughts stop me from living my life to the fullest.
I chose to wear my glasses that day because I realized that I was missing out. By not seeing clearly, I could not enjoy the church services as much as unless I had my glasses. In the same way, insecurity can stop us from doing certain things that we enjoy.
As I look back at the situation now, I am glad that I tried my glasses on back in April, because I currently wear my glasses to church! (I don't usually wear them all the time, but that's better than not wearing them at all.) That one little step that I took a while back has encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone more often and continually fight against overcoming my insecurity.
Although I have not completely overcome my insecurity, I have greatly improved compared to last year. After all, overcoming an insecurity is a journey, and a journey is a process that takes time.
Now I understand it is difficult to overcome insecurity. (I just hope to encourage others by sharing my story.) I mean, it took me five years to finally wear my glasses to church! So start out by taking little steps if you can. Over time, each little improvement can add up to make a big difference!
In addition, don't be afraid to ask God for guidance and strength. His arms are wide open and He is eager to help you! Lastly, don't forget this truth: you are loved by God and you are precious in His sight, just the way you are.
Psalm 139:14 says, "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Galatians 1:10 says, "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."
In Matthew 19:26, "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"
(Note: Yes I do realize that I could wear contacts, but I am not a huge fan of them. It’s just a personal preference. 😉)
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