Thursday, December 3, 2009

Taking Out The Trash

The past couple of months I have had an itch to start going back to church more frequently. I have been trying to make more of an effort and I was even baptized this past summer. I guess I used the "I'm too busy" excuse and at one point, pretty much stopped going all together. I kept telling myself that I needed to change, but did not put forth much of an effort. So yesterday I thought that I should go to Free Chapel's Wednesday night service, which is a decision I'm very glad I made.

Yesterday, I was supposed to hang out with my neighbor Lori but she emailed me last minute and explained that she had to cancel our plans because something came up. Usually on Wednesday nights I have softball but the season just ended and my night had an unexpected opening. I remembered that my favorite church, Free Chapel in Gainesville, has a Wednesday night service. Although there are many other things that I could have gotten done around the house... vacuuming, laundry, cleaning, finishing the book I've been wanting to finish... I decided that I may as well put it all off one more day so I could make it to church. I had an inner battle with myself regarding the near hour drive to and from church but I knew I wouldn't be able to go to church much in the next couple of weeks (due to the holidays, parties, etc.) so I really felt I needed to go. So there I was, driving at 6pm trying to make it to church by 7pm.

To be honest, when I first arrived to church I was very nervous. The first thing I thought was that Justin's parents go to church at Free Chapel for the Wednesday night service and I did not want to run into them. I haven't seen them since we broke up and I knew that it would be very awkward. Lord only knows what he told them- not that I care, but still. Anyway, I found a seat in the front center and plopped my bottom down. A feeling of relief came over me and I was glad that I decided to come.

The first 20 or 30 minutes we spent worshiping. This is my favorite part of the church service because even though I'm in a room that is crowded with people I still feel like I'm in my own place, just me and God. Worship last night was beautiful and I got into it more than ever. Closing my eyes and praising Him.

After worship, Jentezen Franklin took the stage and began speaking. The sermon was about Taking Out The Trash. In other words, cleansing our spirits. He read from 2 Corinthians 6 & 7 and from 2 Chronicles 29.

I think this sermon affected me so much because I have had a lot of emotions and stuff build up this past year. A lot has happened and instead of working through it, I just shut my feelings out, figuring that they would dissapate on their own. I am one of those people that always sees the glass half full and figured that I should not waste my time being upset over the past and moved on. I never realized how good it would feel to "take out the trash" and let those feelings go. Last night, as I was sitting in church, I decided that it was time to forgive all of those who have done me wrong. I will not be bitter, upset, or waste any more time thinking about those who have hurt me in my past for it is them who have made me who I am today, and for that I am thankful.

I think it is ironic that the sermon was titled "Taking Out the Trash" because that's what Justin's upcoming business is all about. He is starting a trash pick-up service for apartment complexes. That business caused such a strain in our relationship and his relationship with my family. I feel like it is another one of God's ways to tell me to let it go- to trash it. Not to say that I am not over him, because trust me I am, but boy does God have a sense of humor.

Afer the service was over, I walked out of church with an overwhelming sense of relief. I was no longer nervous to run into his parents- and glad that I didn't. It felt so good to let go of everything that was bubbling over inside and to trash all my negative feelings that have been holding me down. It was as if a burden was removed from my soul. I can't even tell you how good it felt.

So now I ask, have you taken out your trash lately?

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