I love God! At the age of eight, I established a relationship with God and at the age of twelve, I was spiritually baptized. I grew up in a Haitian Baptist Church and eventually with age I decided to go my own way and experience God/spirituality on my own terms. During this transaction, I stopped going to church. If you grew up in a culturally based church you’ll understand this topic; Services, religious teaching and my spiritual walk with God became more cultural than spiritual. It was more of a “holy” appearance than a true connection or relationship with God.
For about three years I stopped going to church except for major holidays ie. Christmas, New Years, and Easter (you know everyone goes to church on Easter lol). I felt lost for awhile, I questioned God for things that were occurring in my life and at some point being out of the church and not praying became the norm. Let me explain how deep this disconnect became, anyone who grew up in the church knows the number one sin preached about at least one Sunday a month is fornication lol and whenever you had sex you would feel an instant guilt, once it was over of course. I got to a point where I would have sex and not feel an ounce of guilt and I knew then my spiritual life was in great danger. At some point during my spiritual battle, I knew I needed to go back to church but more importantly I really needed to pray, and I needed to rebuild my relationship with God. A few months later my best friend invited me to a non-denominational church that was just opening in Medford, MA. From the parking lot, through the entire services I felt a connection, an awakening, I felt at home. I literally cried the entire service. Since that day I began working on my relationship with God. My life has transformed for the better. I try to attend church every Sunday and if I cant make it, I no longer feel guilty. I say my prayers, I read my bible, and I meditate daily. I currently still have sex, but the guilt I once felt is not the same guilt I feel now. In the beginning, when I would have sex I felt that I was disobeying the church and my elders by fornicating which was wrong. My elders and fellow church members are sinners just like me, and I owe them nothing. The guilt I now feel is me disobeying God. I now know to pray for strength to resist temptation and to make a conscious effort to avoid fornicating. The truth is it took me awhile to understand that I needed a relationship with God and not a relationship with religion.
I am a sinner, not ashamed or afraid to say it. God is working on me daily and I am trusting the process. I finally learned to surrender.