I used to sit in the back pew at church distracted and defiant.
I believed in God but had a hard time connecting with Him.
Nothing there resonated with me.
The rules. The outdated stories. The lengthy verses. The songs that made we want to doze off.
Sitting in that back pew, I didn’t feel alive with the Holy Spirit. I didn’t even feel connected to God.
And I felt like a bad Christian.
Have you ever felt this way?
Where the relationship feels one sided?
Where the Bible doesn’t make sense?
When you feel completely disconnected from His promises and vision for your life?
For me, I went on like this for a long time… a lukewarm Christian. Doing my part in showing up but struggling to really connect with God. To really know Him.
And then my world began unraveling. Stress from my job, tension in my marriage, sickness in my children, death of my loved ones… bit by bit the chaos consumed me.
I wanted nothing more than to connect with my Maker, to truly feel like I could lean on Him to get me through. To feel that peace and presence that they preached about. Yet, every time I looked for it in that back pew, it was nowhere to be found.
Slowly God started answering my unspoken prayers, drawing me closer through my own unique language - storytelling and paint.
When I was struggling, I’d find myself in my workshop, pouring out the pain on canvas. It was later I would discover why I finally felt heard here. I was praying through art.
When I needed direction, He would send me real people that would look me in the eyes and share their story of how He got them through their battles. Their testimony was relatable and tangible and provided the proof I needed of the ways He was working today – in their life and in mine.
He planted bold women and men of faith into my life who prayed over me, and gave me tools, and lead me out of the trenches one step at a time.
Every story led me one step closer to Him. Every interaction and quick “praying about you” text showed me evidence of the ways He was moving on my behalf, even when I was too tired to do the work.
Turns out, He didn’t save me a timeslot each Sunday morning to connect over the shhh’ing of my children and the crunching of goldfish in the back pew. He had been trying to connect with me through the people, the conversations, the music, and the quiet He weaved into my life every single day. Church was a piece of that puzzle but not the place where we really got to know each other.
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Hi! I'm Jessy, one of the co-owners of The Norway Center Store and co-authors of the book Faith Over Fear: Walking Angie Home. My husband Kyle and I live in an old general store, converted to residence, with our three kids, Ally, Charley and Rad and our German Shephard, Roxy. You will usually find me with paint on my clothes creating my next artwork piece.