I grew up in a church going home where the focus was on fulfilling the obligation or going through the routine of going to church. Going to church was something you were supposed to do and there was no focus on having a relationship with God. I was baptized early on in a small Southern Baptist Church but had no relationship with God. My family church hopped throughout the years and by the time I was 16, I made the choice not to go to church because it was a waste of my time and I did not believe in God, I had no reason to. At that time I would rather be at work making money.
Around the age of 17, I became Wiccan and would argue with anyone about Christianity. I followed that path until the age of 31 when I was going through my second divorce. As wallowed in my loathing for my soon to be ex wife, self loathing, and anger, I felt a calm come over me and it was if I was being told that not all things are meant to be especially if we do it in defiance of God. So I decided to try to negotiate with God, “I will believe that He exists but refuse to go to church, believe in Jesus, and sure as heck wasn’t going to believe in Satan. A couple of years after that I met someone that was in the baby steps of Christianity (much like I was when I came to Northshore) and I was smitten with her. I started going to church but I felt nothing. We had a rocky relationship and eventually went our separate ways.
I went to church on rare occasion (once a month or every couple of months) but I was still not much more than Agnostic. When I ran out of money going to nursing school and could not find decent work here in Jackson, I moved to Atlanta. While in Atlanta I went to Charles Stanley’s church. I enjoyed the message but rarely went. I always found an excuse, was out of town, or was working. I lived there for over two years and only went to church maybe seven times despite an occurrence that lead to me by a book that helped me through a hard time.
I moved back to Jackson and for about a month I felt an overwhelming desire to find a church home. I put it off and finally a friend mentioned a small church not far from where I live. It was the Church of Northshore. When I walked in I was very nervous and did not know what to expect. I knew I wanted to know God and Jesus and change my life. My adult life was spent in arrogance, conceit, and utter pride with a I do not need God attitude. From the moment I met Linda and Shannon I felt welcomed. I did not feel like I expected which was to be looked down upon or to feel steely stares. I felt a calm and at home. I think it was the third or fourth time I came I wanted to devote myself to God. The last four years have been the roughest and I must admit I held on to a lot of animosity but once I opened my heart to God, things changed. I was able to forgive. I saw my hardships as a much needed humbling experience and feel the need to serve and do more for my brothers and sisters. I want to be everything God wants me to be and it all started with a little spark called “The Church of Northshore”.