Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Misfit Story, Part I

Dear Fellow Misfits, 

Yes, this picture exemplifies how I feel most of the time. Upside down and hysterical. :))

Some of you have been kind enough to tell your story, things that happened to you in church, or in your life, and so I thought I'd share some of my experience on this journey through Misfitness and Faith. 

Today most churches have "contemporary services", but when I was a young Christian, that movement was just barely beginning. I remember when I got saved (for the third time--long story) at a revival led by Richard Hogue (what a great guy he was -- talk about meeting you where you live, but more on that in another blog) I left that revival feeling so psyched to win people to Christ. To bring people to church. To serve God.  I was fortunate enough at that time to be attending a little church out in the country, where the pastor was young, in his mid-20s. He had ideas, he welcomed the young people with open arms, and we flocked into the small chapel-like building, bringing in the lost. 

Unfortunately for the older, staunch church body that had been there for umpteen years, the lost that came in were often long-haired, dirty hippies. Barefoot. Tee-shirts. Jeans. But it all worked out. Eventually we got the message, through the dirty looks and the cold shoulders. Even the pastor got the message. He left. We left. Suddenly, I was a new Christian who had lost her church. 

It made me sad, but I was 16 and life was a new adventure every day, though not always in a good way. I started attending a Bible study sponsored by anotherchurch and for awhile, it was awesome. Very casual, very open to questions and thoughts and well, hippies.  But the damage had been done. I was wary, and not as willing to risk my feelings again. But I did still want to "get the word out". And as an aspiring singer/songwriter, I decided I wanted to do it through music. With the help of friends, and our Bible study, I helped organize the first Christian Rock Concert in our town. And the last, I imagine.

I sang a couple of my own songs, and then "You've Got a Friend" by James Taylor, after which I told the packed gymnasium that Jesus wanted to be their friend. I followed that song with "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" by Carole Kind and then assured everyone that Jesus would still love them tomorrow--and always. It was an awesome time and an amazing experience. We could push the envelope, and some people would accept us! It was exhilarating!

After that, I rushed into evangelical Christianity, the whole Roman Road, Confront-People-About-Jesus mode of spreading the gospel.  Funny thing, that never really worked for me. In fact, every time I tried to tell people about Jesus in the way I had been taught, they ran as fast as they could in the other direction. Was a seed planted in their hearts? I don't know. All I knew was intense, terrible guilt for not "leading them to Christ". Obviously there was something wrong with me. I was a failure, and not only was I a failure, my failure meant that person was going to hell!

You see, some churches teach that whether or not a person is touched by the Holy Spirit is up to every Christian. We have to save people, and if we fail, it's on our heads.  It took me a long time to learn that the Holy Spirit does not need my efforts in order to touch someone's heart. God can touch a heart through a sunset, a song, a smile, a verse, or even something strange like a television show. He is everywhere and everything. Yeah, Jesus said for us to go and tell people about him, about what he had done. That he died for us. Then came alive again. That he healed people. That he forgave people. That he spread the word of love wherever he went, along with repentance. 

We're supposed to tell people about Christ, that much is true.  But I don't think he ever said, "Go ring doorbells and accost people. Tell them if they don't 'accept Jesus into their hearts' right that minute, that they are going to burn in hell."  Just can't find that in my Bible. 

But when I was 16 - 23, I believed it was all up to me. And when I bombed out, it made me question my faith, my abilities and most of all, my salvation. Eventually, I got tired of failing. And I quit going to church. And I quit being a "good girl". But that's another story . . . and another blog. 

What's your story? What was your "come to Jesus" experience like? Gee, I'm using a lot of quotes in this blog, aren't I?  

Till next time, I'm a Misfit. 

Misfit Tess


  1. Just a thought: Jesus hung with the misfits. In fact, it's pretty clear that he preferred them.

  2. What a great thought, millyonair!! I need to write an entire blog just about that!! In fact, I will! Thanks so much for the comment!