Make your own Countdown Clocks

Monday, September 20, 2010

DAY 19: Go to church

 I honestly can’t remember the last time I have been to church.  I was somewhat involved in a Baptist youth group throughout high school, but since then I have only been to church on holidays scattered throughout the years.  I think I have avoided going to church in the past because I just wasn’t sure which one to go to or where I would fit in.  Growing up I went to Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches so as an adult I just didn’t know what direction to go in.  I was also very turned off by the judgmental nature of some of the churches I had been to in the past.  I could never understand how people that claim to be good Christians could be so critical.  I consider myself to be a spiritual person, but going to church just hasn’t been a priority for me. 

With my dad and Nani after church on Sunday
I was in Texas this weekend visiting family and I was so happy to get to go to church with my grandmother and my dad, step-mom and little brothers Chase and Tanner in San Antonio.   My gandmother, “Nani” goes to a non-denominational church called Community Bible Church and I was pleasantly surprised by my experience there.  I loved it!  I guess the idea you get about church being stuffy and boring sticks in your head from when you are forced to go as a child.  This church was full of life and music!  The first half hour consisted of contemporary music with a band and a choir on stage.  The last half hour or so was the message from the pastor, and he used his own real life and very personal experiences to help you really relate to the message he was talking about.  The sermon I heard was based around “crisis pregnancies”, meaning an unplanned pregnancy or a pregnancy that has many medical complications.  At first I didn’t relate to what he was talking about because I do not have children yet.  But the more I thought about it and listened I realized this issue has touched my life very deeply.

My mommy and me :)
The pastor went on to talk about single mothers and how admirable they are.  I am a result of a crisis pregnancy (I was a surprise!) and some of the people I love most in my life have also been a result of one, or experienced one.  The message was:  If you find yourself with an unplanned pregnancy…pray about it, get support and have the baby.  I am not making any personal statements for pro-life or pro-choice here, but I will say how happy I am that my mother chose to have me, that my little sister Erika chose to have my nephew and that my best friend Rachael chose to have her daughter Jordyn.  My nephew Landon and Jordyn have been such joys in everyones life...and a life without them is unimaginable!  This can be a sensitive subject for some…but I couldn’t be more proud to say my mom was an amazing single mother for many years, and my sister and friend Rachael are doing a wonderful job as well.  I know being a mother is hard work even if you have your partner in the picture, but I have a special appreciation for the single parents out there.

Erika and my nephew Landon
Rachael and Jordyn

I realize that every experience I went through as a child has made me the person I am today, I am thankful for the people who have loved me and I am thankful that things worked out the way they did.  I am happy both of my parents got re-married and as a result of that I have my brothers and sisters!  I am thankful I am able to see my mom and step-dad and dad and step-mom all in the same weekend.  And I am happy I had a chance to go to church and give thanks for all of those things and that I am lucky enough to celebrate my 30 years of life very soon.  I hope to find a church similar to my Nani’s church here in Chicago… I will definitely be going back with her next time I am in San Antonio!


carissajade said...

Seriously Andi, your posts have been such an inspiration the last couple weeks. Not only that but you're mom, Rachel and Erika... all are so wonderful! I love that you are branching out and doing new things, or even things that you haven't done in a while. I made it a goal of mine a while back to go to church and I havent yet, but this made me really want to. I miss you so much and can't wait to see you next time you're here!

Joe said...

What an incredibly insightful analysis of the fundamental dilemma with going to church. As someone who has gone to church a bunch I totally identify with what you said about the critical nature of it and i think it's important for people to think for themselves. It's great you understood this from an early age.