i want you to be in church.

Dear kids,

I spent a lot of Sundays trying to get out of going to church. There were years I thought it was uncool, I was tired of being the "good church girl" and there were years that I felt like I didn't want yet another person telling me what to do.

Churches are flawed, there is absolutely no doubt about that, but I still want you there.

I don't want you in church because I think it'll make you a good kid or because it'll keep you out of trouble. I don't want you in church because I want you to make "good" friends. I don't want you in church so you'll feel pressured to meet standards you can't keep. I don't want you in church because I want to make your life miserable. 

I want you in church because God loves you and I hope you'll grow to love Him. He loves you right where you are. If you're in a troublesome place right now, God doesn't wish you were still an innocent elementary school kid. If you're in a troublesome place right now, God isn't watching the clock waiting for you to grow up and get your stuff together. He loves you exactly the way you are at this moment. And if you're never perfect or "good enough" in regards to the world's standards or the church's standards, He's perfectly okay with that. In fact, the Lord has a knack for picking obscure, "not good enough" people to do great things. I want that for you.

So, while church isn't the only place you'll find God; in fact, sometimes you'll find the opposite of what God desires there and that's a very sad thing, I want you to at least try going and learning and growing.

I'm so glad I went all of those Sundays, even when I was shuffling my feet and complaining under my breath, because the love of God soaked through that tough exterior and made me feel loved, cherished, accepted, wanted, redeemed. And He can absolutely do the same for you.