So, if you’ve read my last post then you know about my religious upbringing and where I came from. If you read my first post then you know I am married —and marriage comes with some uncomfortable changes and compromises.
Coming to Texas my family and I started attending Christ for the Nations Church in Oak Cliff, Texas. We detoxed there from our religious ways of thinking for about 5 years. God then called us to Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.
Gateway was my church. I learned so much there. Every Sunday I came in hungry for the Word and I left each Sunday completely filled. I heard the BEST of the best lead worship every Sunday. Songs that had me weeping, arms thrown in the air.
…then I met Jonathan.
Jon didn’t grow up going to church. It wasn’t until he found The Paradox Church while he was a student at TCU. The Paradox is part of the Acts29 Network. We are a reformed church which, if you google, it shows that we hold to Calvinistic doctrine of salvation.
Jon invited me to visit his church early on in our relationship. Worship was nothing like Gateway’s. It was like…rock music with like…yelling. The sermon felt like it was 72 hours long and way deep and lecture like. Felt like I was sitting in a college lecture class. Communion was an every Sunday thing. Also, like 1% of the church actually raised their hands in worship. Like, what?
After church Jon asked me if I liked the service. Now, I didn’t want to lie so I just nodded my head. Not trying to rock the boat in my first relationship, ya know?
Later on in our relationship when we had “that” talk about where we were going, Jon decided to casually drop this on me: “It’s a good thing you like my church because I’m not planning on leaving it.”
This meant he was taking me away from Gateway…God’s chosen church!!! The only church that is doing it right!!! Who did he think he was?!?
When I learned about the whole Calvinist crap I pitched a fit. I strongly dislike Calvinism and people who associate themselves with Calvinism. I knew too many of them in Bible College and they were easily the worst people there. All they do is argue theology and doctrine and tell you why they’re right and you’re wrong. Forgive me for never wanting to associate myself with them in a church setting.
You know how people would always do the #NotMyPresident during the election? I did #NotMyChurch anytime I was asked what church Jon and I attend.
I had the hardest time connecting with the ladies in our City Group (which is essentially a small group). It was mostly because I didn’t want to connect with them because in my heart I begged Jesus to not let us stay at this church for very long.
It took me well over a year for Jesus to do a work in my heart. I can’t give you one date as to when I fell in love with my church, my pastors and our worship. It was like I just realized I didn’t dread coming to church, I looked forward to our different kind of worship, I didn’t actually hate the ladies in our City Group. I actually consider those girls great friends. I loved that I didn’t have to agree with their doctrine of salvation (#JesusDiedForEveryone), I am free to talk those disagreements and misunderstandings out with those who believe differently than me without judgement or fighting (unheard of for Calvinists!).
My loving pastor does not shove Calvinism down the congregation’s throats, he preaches the Word and only the Word. Literally. We spent 2 whole years going through the book of Genesis chapter by chapter, verse by verse, line by line.
All this to say, I never thought that I’d leave Gateway. I didn’t think Jesus could change my heart so much. I didn’t think I could go from #NotMyChurch to #ILoveMyChurch.
He can work the impossible, my friends. He really can. I love being part of the Paradox Church.