Today I worshipped with homeless people and loved it.
Today I shared my love of Christ with strangers and loved it.
If you had asked me yesterday where I was in my faith, I would quickly answer with an empty “Good!” but think to myself about how lost and exhausted I am.
I have been carrying this abundant weight on my shoulders. I need to be the good Christian sorority girl who inspires others. I need to be the perfect daughter and make my family proud. I need to be able to help others and act like I have everything together. The perfect student. The perfect friend. The perfect everything.
Along the way of this impossible journey, I gave up on church. Until today.
Today I realized that I do not need to be perfect and neither does church.
It wasn’t until I allowed myself to lower my expectations of myself and stand alongside strangers that I realized this.
This morning I arrived at a new church about fifteen minutes early. I saw people setting up a table with orange slices, bagels, coffee, and free bibles. Sitting in the back, I watched the most diverse group of people walk in.
A few homeless people arrived. I thought to myself that they were just here for the free breakfast but I watched them grab coffee and sit near the stage. Ashamed I even allowed myself to think like that, I looked back towards the door. In came a few couples of all races. A few single people. People with piercings. People with kids. Elderly people. College students. You name it, they were there.
I felt a little out of place and uncomfortable to be honest. I had never been to a church with such a variety of people. I watched as everyone sat down. Each person was so friendly towards one other, sharing smiles and conversation. A couple of people came up to me and introduced themselves.
As worship began, I was amazed. No one cared who was homeless, who had style of a different taste, who was dressed in jeans, or who was dressed in a suit. What mattered to everyone in that room was that they were together worshipping God.
No one in that room cared if I was the perfect student or the perfect sorority member. All they wanted was for me to worship with them.
I couldn’t help but smile as I started to sing, I no longer felt anything but at home.
Church isn’t about how nice you dress or how often you go. This is the first church that has captured the true meaning of what it is all about: loving people and loving God.
Today I realized that I am perfect in all of my flaws. The weight on my shoulders has been lifted. It feels freeing to be able to worship with all of God’s people, to pray with strangers that I originally would never have given a second look to but now I pray to get to know them.
I challenge everyone to place yourself in an uncomfortable situation and allow yourself to lower your expectations of yourself. God has placed so many amazing, perfect people near you who would love to be invited to worship Him with you.
And if you’re in Knoxville, I invite you to worship alongside me and an amazing group of people at Knoxlife church every Sunday at 10.