Walk A Mile In My Shoes


One of my goals for 2012 is to get to church every week.  So far it is one big FAIL.  I really want to go, and go back to my home church.  It is where I felt at home before I went cruising down a road on which I did not belong.  It was where the prodigal daughter that I am, went back too.  But I cannot bring myself to go again.  I do not WANT to go else where, I really loved my church and church family.  It’s just harder than I thought.

I know that others judging me is not a valid reason to stay away, but if you had been walking beside me the 6 years I was away from the right  path, maybe you would understand.  Better yet if  you had walked that mile in MY shoes, you’d maybe have a clue and not be so quick to judge.  It always amazes me how easy it is for others  to pass judgement on someone else when they aren’t in that situation, and they have few details.

In life I am one of those that is very much a “oh yeah? watch me!” type when someone tells me I cannot or should not do something.  And I am a woman that if I’m going to do something, REALLY do something, right or wrong, I will give it all I have, I don’t do it half assed.  Especially when it comes to making mistakes.  Bad choices, bad ideas, big mistakes, out right sinful behavior.  If I am going to do something I see no reason not to DO something.

The road I went down had a lot of turn offs, rest areas and ‘entertainment’ spots.  I hit everyone of those with gusto.  That road is a dark one, through the sinful pit.  I’ve done things I’d never admit on this blog, and in a counseling situation I’d have a hard time coming clean.  It is stuff, suffice to say, that would curl your hair.  I didn’t like where I was, and it made me an unhappy and very angry person.  You’re a sinner too? Yes I know.  One of those that cast a stone my way was pregnant in high school and got married.  I was pregnant in high school and gave the baby up for adoption.  Let a few curse words fly? Big deal, me too, I can make a trucker blush in 8 vibrant shades of red.  Believe me, the sins I’ve committed would make your halo look damn shiny next to mine.  Believe me, I look at the story of the prodigal son in scripture and think “really? dude I can top that..all of it” and I wonder, would there be rejoicing if I came clean to those standing in judgement, now that I turned away from all of it?  Party hard and kill the fatted calf because the prodigal daughter has returned? You’d be too busy picking your jaw up off the floor at what I confessed to think about a party.

It took a heck of a lot for me to pull myself to church and walk through those doors.  So many were unaware that I knew what they had said to others about me.  The same people that couldn’t wait for their kids to get into the elementary kid’s group under me and the ex’s teaching were the same one’s bad mouthing us when we left about “lacked evidence of fruit in their lives”.   God’s people, passing judgement and GOSSIPING about someone not there, never imagining I’d hear it or return ‘home’.  But I did, and with everything in me I went back.  Then struggles began again.  I managed to not stroll down that road again, but let me tell you it was hard not too.  The people on that road embrace you, support you and do all they can to make you feel welcome there.  I knew that at least I’d have acceptance.  But still, I stayed off that path.

During many struggles to try to keep going, I had posted the lyrics to a few songs by P!nk.  I LOVE the songs because they speak to me.  Heck no, I don’t believe she is a christian.  Then again, I cannot judge her by her music.  It speaks to me because it tells of where she has been herself, which in SOME areas seems to be similar.  I know the songs have foul language in them, but when you are trying to convey how bad something is/was sometimes that language makes the point, impacts the reader or listener like it can’t without it.

In my head I know that I’m forgiven, I know that I’m not seen by God on my own, but through my Savior’s blood which delivers me white as snow.  But I also know what I did, it makes it hard to believe I could be forgiven, loved or that I am at all loveable.  I am not discounting what was done for me on the cross, but it is at times very hard for me to accept.  Then when sisters and brothers in the Lord start heaving stones my way, accusing me of promoting a singer or songs that are not “christian”, it only furthers my belief that I am not loveable, that I’ve crossed too many lines.  That doesn’t make me want to go to church, it makes me want to run from the judging souls there.  They get all hung up on the language and the artist rather than LISTEN to the words, FEEL what is being sung, understand that I’ve been there, done that and the song carries meaning for me because of my life experiences.  I wasn’t promoting the artist, just sharing that I related to the songs.

The song F*cking Perfect….yep that is ME.  Many a wrong turns in my life, and I had to fight my way out of the mistakes.  Bad decisions, yep did those.  The song Sober, I just know what it is like to want to vanish behind alcohol to hide from the pain.  Alcoholic? No, have never needed it, craved it etc.  But I wasn’t stupid, life just felt better tanked than not so much.  And in the video, when P!nk is making out and wrestling with herself, I didn’t see that as a sexual thing.  It is just that, she is wrestling with HERSELF, between self love and doing what is right etc.  Again, I get it, I relate to that struggle.

To those that have never made the crappy choices and wrong turns in life, more power to you.  Be thankful, you do not know what it is like to go there and try to come back from it all.  But when someone is clawing their way back onto the path, please, don’t throw stones, judge or otherwise question their actions etc.  Instead of stomping on their fingers, reach down and give them a hand up.   You haven’t walked a mile or even a block in my shoes, you really have NO idea what you are talking about.

And now, here are those videos.  Maybe put your shock and judgmental attitude away and watch and listen, you might gain some insight into who I am, where I have been, and understand after that how hard it is for someone like me to walk back in among those who haven’t been there.

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12 thoughts on “Walk A Mile In My Shoes

  1. I’m a couple of days behind, but I read your post and it really struck me. I grew up as a pastor’s kid and spent several ‘dark’ years following my own path. It’s an insanely difficult thing to come back from, but just think about what kind of testimony you have now. I think it’s always incredibly inspiring when someone has experienced both sides of the coin. You have experiences that allow you to relate to people who have never been to church- but you also know the redeeming blood of our savior. Despite what anyone thinks, God doesn’t view sins as categories- and that is so hard for us to understand. To God, all sins are the same. God loves us despite the fact that we fail. He loves us even KNOWING that we WILL fail. It’s hard to grasp. We will never be worthy of what he did for us. None of us will be. Not even the ‘churchy’ ‘friends’ that talk behind our backs. Ephesians 2:8-10 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ” We can not out receive God’s grace. It will always be there for us, no matter what. No matter how long it takes you to go back to church. Trust God. Lean on Him when you don’t have the strength. Everything else will fall into place in HIS time. God bless!

  2. you have always been one of the most honest and straight forward people i have ever had the pleasure to meet , you will speak your honest opion, good or bed and stick to it ..unless something does change your mind ,which anyone should be allowed to do,and mistakes we have all made,its a learning process, under any circumstance..and no one should judge someone else…..ever.

  3. My heart aches when I hear your pain. I am so sorry you felt judged. The log/beam in my own eye is too big for me to see over it to your sin. I trip over my idols daily and am constantly trying to tear them down. Come Home! If it’s not your old church, then find a new one. Believers who understand that they are sinners need fellowship and encouragement and instruction from God’s Word. We need to grow together. That was God’s plan for us. My daughter and her husband have been visiting a new church that you might like if it’s too hard to go back to the old one. The church is called New City and it has sound doctrine. Of course those of us who have gotten to know you through your writing on FB would love for you to come back to your old church. As I wrote a while back, if you come, sit with me. I am a sinner who is fully aware that it is only by the blood of Christ that I can be seen as His child. I can do nothing to save myself from my sin!

    • Thanks Becky. I love my old one because of the doctrine being sound and because it is SO close to my house that even in bad weather I can get there and on warm spring/summer days I could walk!

  4. I wish I had an original comment, but what I am thinking has pretty much already been said. The only one who can judge you is God. I have made some bad decisions in the past which I regret and while I don’t attend church, I still believe in God and Christ and that any and all sins are forgiven. The fact that these songs speak to you has nothing to do with being a good Christian or not, they are powerful and emotional songs.

  5. Ahhhhh….I could write a book in response. I was by your side those years. Not following your footsteps, but walking a parallel path. My heart hurts for yours, but you know that I know EXACTLY how you feel. My children continue in that church and not only hear words spoken about their mother, but are judged by association.
    God is outside of time and space. You are forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice…..as you were yesterday, as you were 3 years ago in the deepest pit, as you were 10 years ago in joyful community with believers, as you were the day you were born, as you will be tomorrow and the day after from now until forever! Narrowmindedness is a human condition. “Lack of fruits” is a place in time but does not define you. “Lack of fruits” is helpful to believers, for protection, for insight when making choices, for understanding what is good and what is not. We dont always know and we certainly dont usually choose what is good…that is by God’s grace. For we have nothing of value in the sight of God, but the blood of Christ that covers us.
    I speak from understanding….and remind you that your home church had changed quite a bit since those early days. It had become a place with little joy, little peace and only doctrine.
    I agree that you need to wipe the slate clean….stay in touch with those who truly love you and would help your spirit heal….leave behind those who only seek to raise themselves by comparing their sins to yours. Remeber with fondness all the wonderful times and grieve the loss of what was….but start fresh . A new church, new friends, and new hopes and desires for your future! God knows the plans he has for you…..a future, a hope! Your sin is between you and God.
    As for those who judge….most have never lived what we have lived. But how much more gracious is forgiveness when you look in your soul and see how horrid it truely is.

    I love you girl! I am always here for you and you are in my thoughts more than you know. 🙂

  6. Gutsy post. From the heart and so well written. As a Christian I am constantly reminded that I am a sinner. The “magnitude” of the sin matters not. We are forgiven –just for the asking. Amazing. Hope you can see my hand reaching out across the internet…..

  7. I say this with care in my heart and the hope that your life continues to grow more and more wonderful, so please give me a little latitude. Let it go. Let those other people go. If they don’t understand you, well – they don’t have to. They haven’t been given that gift of understanding and compassion towards you yet, but it’s not on you to help them – to be on their team by not going to that church if that’s what you want to do . You not going only confirms that they’re right – that you aren’t back on the path – at least in their minds. Only you know that truth.

    Next, you’re still wearing who you were as a badge. People can’t focus on who you are now if you’re always reminding them of who you were and what you did. If you feel what you did was wrong, and you’ve forgiven yourself for it, let it go. You are a better person, you’ll continue to grow as a better person – be PROUD of that as it is, not in terms of the contrast against who you were. You’re trying to build up the good person now by standing on the fires of years ago when the only real question that matters is, are you trying to be a better person today than the good person you were yesterday? I don’t know if that makes any sense or not.

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