21:07:2019

Its 3:00 o’clock in the morning and am craving.

I must admit, I am one lazy lass

I must admit, I am one lazy lass. Do not take me too serious though, this is just but an excuse I use to hide away the fact that am an over thinker with a really short attention span and therefore jotting down my feelings seems like a toddler handling crayons for the first time. There will always be a beautiful mesh of non-agreeing patterns that seem appealing to an innocent eye. But if the same marks were to be examined by an actual art critic the disdain on their faces would probably explain how the beauty of art was being butchered in that 4-edged white space. Thus- my absence despite promising to drop the shades that I wear and show more of my intellectual skin around here. but it being Sunday, I guess we can start life afresh..

I said no to church

Last year I made one of the best decisions in my life. I stopped going to church. Yes, I said it. I said no to church. I remember that day like it was yesterday. One of the most memorable days of my life, but I can’t say I did not see it coming. You know it’s funny how at times we break our own hearts and blame other people for our downfalls… well, it was something like that… I was coming back from school in my then depressed state, and something triggered me to re-evaluate the reason behind me going to church. I thought of my past year in church- not in salvation, but in church. I attended church service late, mainly because the nearer I got to church the more my steps slowed or faltered because I didn’t want to get into a cage where I needed to be someone strong when deep down I was weak from all the emotional confrontations that I had been undergoing at the time. I felt like I was being unfair to God, with him being all good to me. What shocked me was that I realized I was merely attending church as a formality because even though am 22, my mother would still whoop my bum bums if she found me lazying around on Sunday instead of going to church.

instead, it became my prison

I abandoned church because it stopped being a refuge for me, instead it became my prison. I was in shackles- caged because I needed to keep my appearances yet every Sunday was a thrash to my already battered back because I was forced to relive the horrors of my former life. I attended service even though I would go back home and cry myself to sleep. Well Sunday evenings are nap times, but for the better part of the end of last year, sleep was a luxury I could not afford. Let me not get started about the judgmental lot within our worship centers who always have something to say about your lifestyle. Mind you, the bible in itself warns against judging and condemning. But oh well, the society today has been known to interpret the bible in their own words to justify their deeds that may end up opening doors to hell for them. Okay, am getting a bit side-tracked- back to my story…

Anyone who knows me well enough knows just how impulsive I can get. A light bulb clicked inside of me. I was busy living a lie to please the masses who who expected a certain standard of life out of me that I forgot to take care of me. So in the midst of my realization, I reached out into my purse and texted my former pastor’s wife and let her know I was heading down a new path that the Spirit would lead me to, as long as it was far away from the church. It wasn’t a long conversation really. It probably didn’t come as a shock to anyone after all. Life happens.

I was busy living a lie to please the masses

And that, is a short story of how I began my life out of church. It felt nice for a while to stop living a lie. Pretending is never easy especially when you are doing it in front of people who probably have already seen your flaws in the spiritual realm and are waiting for you to confess and get an atonement for your sins yet to you nothing seems out of place. It felt good to be free. Felt good to make a few wrong decisions without having to explain myself to anyone, until I had to explain myself to myself. Its never that easy, especially when you are a believer in the existence of a higher deity to whom you are answerable. If the shame doesn’t consume you, then the guilt will lead you to your redemption. And thus, my cravings for church at 3:00 o’clock in the morning.

So earlier in the year my mama popped the big question- ‘Did you find a church to attend?’ Again. Church for who? (At this point I guess I am tempted to roll my eyes, but we don’t do that over here. Not in an African home. Not near my mother). I knew my answer wasn’t yes just yet. I went with the typical am working on it speech. I wasn’t ready for the big house with a stormy dark cloud hovering over it. I wasn’t ready to put myself back into a systematized life that would dictate my sleeping hours, praying hours or eating hours. I wasn’t ready for a life where I Would be shunned if I didn’t meet the demands and instructions jotted down for me. I felt like God was misrepresented and I simply needed to understand Him on a personal level in order to tame my rebellious and overthinking nature that simply questioned everything and thus always landed me in problems with spiritual authority.

I never ran out of reasons why I needed to step back but this topped them all. Life battles are hard to explain to ordained men of God who will never chase after you to worship Him in truth and in spirit through all the turmoils. The level of perfection expected from you can be emotionally damaging. I think majority of the millennials today run away from church because the church in itself is loosing empathy. We are not only fighting among ourselves within our religions and our churches, but we are fighting against the freedom of expression within the church. Well, I guess my mentality on this shifted a bit earlier this year when I had a sit down with my Bishop, not for the atonement of my sins but just a father daughter conversation on how far life had regressed. And those are the moments I wish to see more in church, where I can sit and talk and not have 13 verses thrown in my face as to why I made a grave error in my judgement. That is the church I long for. That was my turning point I guess; when I felt like I was more of a daughter than a sinner, I yearned to return home. Talk of the prodigal son. Only that this one didn’t squander any material inheritance.

I didn’t need 13 scriptures, I needed a listening ear

Do not get my words twisted, church is amazing. I love worship, I love it when am broken enough for God to minister through me. I only feel that, for me, it is paramount to actually establish a relationship with God within the church setting. If that chance for growth is not offered then pardon me, but I have to ask again, Church for who. There needs to be an actual ground for one to feel loved for the sanctuary to be worthy of attendance. Otherwise all it becomes is a Holy ground with self-righteous folks who do not realize that their actions wreck hearts and drive people from the physical structure. If it is not nurtured into a place of understanding, it becomes a ground for unjustified accusations and malicious acts among members of the church who will smile at your face and deliver sermons on the pulpit but plot your down fall the moment you turn your back to them.

Anyway, my endorsements aside…

Church is love

I think i’m ready for church now though… The above excuses just a tip of the ice berg of the millions of reasons I have given myself in the past year as to why I need to hold back .Do not get me started on the need to play hush hush in order not to offend communities that constantly seek for politically correct dialogues that suit their needs and infringe on the convenience of other parties, or how my perception on the so called saved relatives who saw no good coming out of me almost influenced my decision to run away from my destiny. That is all a past, am now emptying those bags of excuses and taking a step in making sure that the church I want is the same church I am offering to anyone who has an encounter with me. The church shouldn’t necessarily confine our good deeds to the sanctuary. It can extent to our individual relationships with people who look up to us as role models, friends and family. The sanctuary may still have cracks that need repairing, but this temple is ready to begin a journey on its own and be the church.

Sigh- Church is love. I am craving love

Some nights such as tonight I sit upright in my bed and hope for a miracle from heaven that will somehow shift the paradigm of our perception of the church or the roles we play in making the church look bad. but wishing is never enough. the first step is acting right being kind and loving without expecting anything in return. Living a life that can breflect our true selves and giving a listening ear to a brother. Church is never a lot to ask. Church is love. I am ready for church.

31 replies
  1. Josiah Adiema Adiema
    Josiah Adiema Adiema says:

    True perspectives. Quite reliable in the journey of self discovery…hope you find her and the right church for her in the ever rushing multitude of divergent thoughts and deductions.

    Great piece!

    Reply
  2. Hakiim Wampamba
    Hakiim Wampamba says:

    I am a Muslim who accepted my religion as is and never willing to change but I most oftenly not pray for the five times and I rarely go to the mosque on Friday.I will not mention the hullabaloo it raises as people deem me unprayerful.You know our sleeping habits Miriam and would not be surprised if I told you that our insomnia is underrated.I take off a few moments with my forlorn, wide, sleepless eyes to pray to Allah in a language I understand most.I didn’t study Arabic thus understanding it would be an extreme sport.
    Understanding your God and loving him the way you feel is right taking it down to a personal level is the best way.

    Reply
  3. Irene Widava
    Irene Widava says:

    Incredible article.
    I kinda feel like someone out there understands what I go through when it comes to church matters

    Reply
  4. Winnie Rotich
    Winnie Rotich says:

    This is just an amazing piece. I am amazed at how you have articulated this church issue that most of us if not all of us go through. I am glad that even after going through such episodes, God’s love for us never changes and further He holds out His arms ready to embrace us. Thank you.

    Reply
  5. John Msoffe
    John Msoffe says:

    Your body is your temple. It comes down to you and God at anytime and at any place. Stay true to yourself.

    Reply
  6. Patricia Humura
    Patricia Humura says:

    Lovely piece Miriam. I believe God understands you (Us) and the daughter father talk is all we like. Sometimes such moments are needed!

    Reply
  7. Patricia Humura
    Patricia Humura says:

    Hello Miriam,

    I truly loved reading this piece. Trust me, I would be a good mom at whooping my children’s bum bums if they behaved like you😂 in the past experience…(Kidding😎😎)

    Everyone has their *low* and *high* time Miriam which is understandable. A certain leader said, God sends us bad moments to enable us be humble, and confusing moments to discover ourselves better. And such moments are to help us be better….seriously did you crave for church at 3:00am😳, you are abnormally better. I learn that it is not right to judge or condemn people’s spiritual lives because of some reasons. Maybe if they seek for support like the daughter and fatherly conversation you had. Some guidance can be given

    Keep it up gal.

    Reply
  8. Vanessa Ngunjiri
    Vanessa Ngunjiri says:

    Am intrigued by the notable highlight of self-care and healing being such a personal process,cause it really is.Great stuff!

    Reply
  9. Isaac
    Isaac says:

    I enjoyed the piece it’s a touchy one. I remember me feeling the same way about church. One should first feel at home when in church not a place where sins are condemned.

    Reply
  10. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    This a real issue churches need to take into consideration and understand its value. Points well put love this piece and sure has changed my perception over some issues, can you open a YouTube channel, audio or video for this, this message needs to go far, will surely do share, glad you are back.
    Let’s press on as we work out our salvation as Apostle Paul says

    Reply
  11. Grace Bako
    Grace Bako says:

    “Talk of the prodigal son. Only that this one didn’t squander any material inheritance.” …I just love how you write Miriam.

    It’s fair to repeat what I’ve always said. You’re a great writer love, may your writing take you to greater heights.

    Reply
  12. Eunice Akinyi
    Eunice Akinyi says:

    All said and done.
    riosh! the church should have its doors opened, and love craved, but hefty injustices done by people, who corrode the whole spirituality, should be abhored!

    Reply

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