Picking up from my recent post, let's get back to my church story. Oh and before we go there, what do you think of the new King's Daughters lilac logo? We are trying to keep the 'K' across all three areas just have a slightly different feel.
Ok, let's go back to the church I was first saved at, The King's Lighthouse in Brits South Africa. It was a wonderful season where I was totally loved up by my church family despite all my 'stuff'. I loved being saved and forgiven, I felt clean despite the many things I still had to work out with God. I was baptised, filled with the Holy Spirit and passionately on fire for Jesus. I only listened to Christian music, burned anything that was even slightly unchristian (seriously!) and even wore Jesus t-shirts to make sure it was clear I was a Jesus girl! About a year or so later we had to move towns for my then husband's job and so we were transplanted into a church recommended by our pastors. It was amazing to experience how we were all one family even though we had changed houses. I felt at home in my new church and got busy with Bible studies and getting to know people. That season was a very short one and then we moved back to the town I grew up in and quickly settled into a new church there which was recommended by an old friend who had also recently got saved.
I don't know how deep and detailed God would have me go in this church story of mine, I hope a recap is fine. I guess the key part is to look at the times when church hurt and how I have processed it. As a baby Christian it was inconceivable that church could hurt. Everything else in life hurt but church was my safe place. In my eye my pastors were perfect and I could trust them with every fiber of my being. I also naively believed that all Christians were good and they too could be trusted. Just like Father Christmas was very real to me as a child, so was a perfect church. But then you grow up and stop believing in fairy stories and have to face the truth. I hope plan that one day I will come full circle and get back to believing in the good in everyone but not from nativity, purely by choice to seeing good knowing full well that the bad exists too.
Keeping private things private
My first and second church didn't hurt. I was oblivious to any church politics, leadership team issues, gossip or anything that may or may not have existed. This is good for a baby Christian and to this day I don't know if these two churches has any behind the scenes stuff. Knowing what I know now about the reality of church, I image that there was a lot of stuff but they did a brilliant job of keeping it from affecting a young Christian such as myself. If ever I am in a leadership position again I play to remember this and make sure that I deal with private things privately to protect the people.
"Love covers a multitude of sins" - 1 Peter 4:8
My third church was the church that helped shape and mould me, it uncovered the real me and all the beautiful gifts and talents that God had placed inside of me. Through the love, support and prayer of many I went from a terribly shy introverted teen into a glowing, confident young woman. I was lovingly trained in God's ways, taught the Bible, delivered from evil spirits and given many opportunities to grow in my faith and as a person. This church, which sadly no longer exists so I can't link to the webpage but we will get to that part later, was the making of me. It did what church should do. It (the people who are the church) cared lovingly and practically, it taught the Bible and flowed in the Holy Spirit. I never felt unloved or unimportant in my church. Opportunities to grow were plentiful and after many years I ended up becoming the leader of the children's ministries. I LOVED my role in church, you could not have found anymore more passionate and committed to serving the children and reaching out to the unsaved little ones and their parents. The years went by and I worked closely alongside my pastor's wife helping to build an international women's ministry and ended up being employed as her PA. Later I even took up the role of church secretary in addition to my PA role. I absolutely loved being in and around church most of my days and nights. Life did have it's challenges and I had a lot of growing up to do but church was a huge part of my growth and development as a Christian and as a person. Most of all I loved raising my daughters in church. They went where I went, they served alongside me and when I traveled they often came with too. I loved sharing as much as possible with them. This was my reality for about 7 years.
It all changed on 16th April 2000