About seven years ago, I got reintroduced to the Christian Faith. I slowly started going to a Christian church. Shortly after, I started a bible study class and I fell in love with it so much that I took a nose dive into it all. I immersed myself with all things in the Christian Faith. I read the bible more, started listening to christian music, stopped swearing and just did everything I thought what a good christian person would do. I even questioned my tattoo that I had gotten months before and trying to decide if I should get removed and feeling guilty for having it.
I loved the bible study classes that I went to. I loved the bible study pastor and the way she taught the class and how she would explain everything, that made me love the christian faith even more. I loved the people in the classes, they always made me feel welcome and made me feel like I was one of them. When one bible study ended, I’d jump right into another. I loved going home at night and reading more of what we discussed in the session. I was very much a beginner and I had a lot of questions and the pastor always had answers for me. I’d be sad when we took breaks in between classes for holidays or whatever.
The odd thing was, I was going to a different church than the pastor that was teaching the bible study classes. I went to Sunland Neighborhood Church and I loved it there. I loved how the pastor gave his sermons. Of course people were welcoming and I met the kids in the college group as well as the college pastor. At some point, the bible study classes with the other pastor ended and I didn’t have any bible study to go to. I desperately wanted to learn more, as much as I can. Luckily SNC was starting a new class, so I joined in on those.
About a year later, the person that introduced me into all of this (my boyfriend at the time) was being called to a different church. Now I already felt comfortable at SNC and loved going to that church and was serving as a sound tech on Sunday morning service. I think you know where this is going. If he were to leave, the question was, would I go with him and what exactly is my reason for going? Obviously it would be to be with him. It would mean a whole new church, getting to know new people, having to learn to fit in again, not to mention that it was also a Korean church (nothing wrong with that, just language barrier). He already made his decision and he was set on going. It was really hard for me because I had become part of a family with SNC. I became close with the pastor and some of the other members of the church including the pastor’s wife and my only reason for leaving was because of him. Now, I’m not putting any blame on him at all, this was all on me, but yes, he was my reason for leaving. So that was it, I left SNC to follow him to Van Nuys United Methodist Church.
Then came the first day at VNUMC. I never felt so out of place in my life. New people, they spoke a different language, of course they had their clicks, they were of course welcoming, but I still felt out of place. The only good thing was that the pastor that first taught the bible study classes before was at that church. The pastor and my boyfriend already knew each other beforehand and he was called over to VNUMC to be mentored by her.
Slowly I started to kind of fit in. I told them that I was a sound tech at my previous church so they asked me if I would do the same for their church and so I did. Then they asked me to be the sound tech to the 11 am service as well. So sound tech for 9am and 11am services. I liked it in the beginning. It gave me something to do and took my mind off of trying to spend time with my boyfriend or being around him all the time. After the services, in the Korean church, they always served lunch, every Sunday. After lunch there would be meetings for up coming events. Somehow I got included in them and organizing events and researching. So pretty much I would spend the entire Sunday at church whereas I used to only be at church for an hour and a half max.
In the beginning I really enjoyed it and soaked it all in. It felt good to be a part of something. I wasn’t so bored anymore. More events started popping up, retreats, outings, and so on. One year they started playing softball and so I joined. It was my workout for the summer and plus they needed a girl on the team. I liked it so much that I gave up time with my family to be at church. I remember telling my mom one time “I am at church all day on Sundays” because she kept asking me to come to family events on Sundays and I could never make it.
I did the church thing for a good few years. At some point, it became an obligation, I didn’t want to do it anymore, I only did it because no one else would do it. The church was heavily short staffed. I had no way out. I couldn’t just leave them hanging.
And then we broke up. That made things a bit difficult. In the beginning, we broke up but it didn’t seem like we did. We still stuck around each other and did that for about two years. Eventually we started drifting apart and he started dating someone else and that made it difficult for me to be around church.
I stopped going to church April 2017. Since then, I’ve been doing so much stuff that I felt like I missed out on life. I devoted so much time to church that I never had time to do the things that I wanted to do. Everything I did back then involved church or church kids and church events. Now I explore the city, go to museums, random days to random places and just be me. At the same time, I feel like I missed out on so much of my family stuff that I can never get back. So now i spend time with them every chance that I get. I got my life back! I got back to doing things that I loved to do and at the same time discovered another part of me. Don’t get me wrong, for a moment, I did enjoy that time in my life, but you have to decide where you want to be in life, what you want to devote your time to. I haven’t gone back to church since then and I don’t know if I will. That doesn’t mean I’ve turned my back on God, I’m just not going to church. I know, I know, I have some posts that question my faith, but that’s a whole other topic.
I guess that was just another chapter in my life that kinda ended badly but the next was off to a good start. You don’t know how anything will be unless you try.