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  • Writer's pictureMyranda

My Journey To Church Part 2

We left off with me being hangry and super pissed that what was supposed to be going out to dinner turned into church before hand. You can check out that post here. Let's continue on though. I've shared some of this on social media in the past but I want to have the whole story here.

I'm not going to dwell on the fact that 2020 sucked because we all know that it did. I went into the pandemic with a fairly positive attitude. It became a struggle after my two weeks of furlough. Long story short, my hours and days at work got cut, I was cheated out of a paycheck because the company went back on the ability to use vacation days instead of filing with unemployment as a furloughed employee, and after being back for 2 weeks, I was told I was home until further notice. We didn't expect it to be long so I started counting my furlough days.

I'm not sure when my mindset shifted but as I got deeper into the double digits of being home, I realized that I was being super negative. Not just to myself but to my husband and our daughter. I was struggling in every area of my life. I did a 3 week diet reset and reversed it per the instructions (so it's actually 5 weeks). I did a food sensitivity test. I went to my doctor and had been given prescriptions for Vitamin D3 and B12. I saw an allergist who said that my results of my food sensitivity test are pretty normal but since I've never had any reactions to food they weren't concerned. I saw a sleep specialist, had a sleep study done, was diagnosed with a very mild case of sleep apnea. I was able to get in to see a therapist by the end of the year.

You might be asking yourself what any of that has to do with my journey with God and to church. I'm getting there. I didn't know why I was struggling. I was doing all the things I was supposed to be doing. I was drinking water, exercising 5-7 days a week for 20-30 minutes with various workouts (weights, cardio, yoga, stretching...you know...a good variety), getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night, yet I was still struggling. I was struggling with energy, weight loss and just this overall feeling of being lost. Sometime in November/December of 2020 I just had this reoccurring thought and feeling that something was missing...something was missing in my life and I just couldn't put my finger on it.

In mid- or late-December, a woman I had been following for years named Alli Upham (here's her IG). She said that she was choosing joy for 2021. She wanted 2021 to be filled with joy and she was doing something that she had never done before and any woman who wanted to do it with her was welcome. I'm sure I listened to her stories multiple times because she said EVERYONE was welcome to join, not just her clients and coaches on her team but EVERYONE! I signed up. I had no idea what I was signing up for but I felt this pull that I was being given the opportunity to do something with a woman I admire so much and no matter what I was going to do it.

I filled out her form, I got the email, I bought the book, I requested to join the Facebook group, and I was excited. I still didn't know what I was signing up for but I felt like I was doing something right for the first time in almost a year. A few days later, my book arrived and my stomach dropped. It says "Choose Joy Women's Devotional". The word DEVOTIONAL jumped out at me and I started to panic. Devotional means religious and that is not something I was expecting or ready for. How did I miss that part of the title when I was buying the book! Every part of me wanted to request to return the book and remove myself from the group.

I was so far outside of my comfort zone BUT I told myself that I said yes for a reason. I knew that something was missing in my life...and maybe this is what was missing. I put my trust in Alli. I have been following her since 2014. Before she became a mom...and then a mom of two...before her DR journey. I watched her share her faith, her love of Jesus and God regularly. I didn't share with anyone what I had signed up for because...again...I feared being judged...and again...totally unfounded!

In January 2021, I read my first devotional ever. I cried so many times because things just hit me so hard. In February, we read the devo again. This time I invited a few friends to join me. I also bought a Bible (CSB version) and did my first Bible study plan from the Bible app along with the devotion. Alli was (and still is) my Joy Mentor and I will continue to love her and support all her hard work that she is doing in her business and our ongoing group. I will also love that she introduced me to the church that I feel is home for me.

During that first week in the group, leading up to the start of our devo, she shared a few sermons from Elevation Church. The first one I listened to is called Shut Up and Shine and Holly Furtick, Pastor Steven's wife, was preaching. I wish I knew what exactly it was that spoke to me but I went on a deep dive on Spotify and I found every sermon that Holly preached and I listened. I wanted to be her friend. Then I started listening to Pastor Steven's sermons. It took until March or April before I actually started watching the sermons on YouTube every Sunday morning. Since I started watching, I have only missed one sermon and that's because I was out of the house and had spotty service and kept losing the video feed.

What I haven't done yet is reached out to the church to become part of the eFam. I feel like I have imposter syndrome. Like I'm too early into my journey to feel like I belong there yet. Is that crazy or what? Who knows...maybe by the time this is posted I'll have to share an update that I have talked with them and joined an eGroup...I don't know...but here's what I do know. I'm going to keep working on my morning routine and spending my first hour with His Word, journaling and checking in with all the wonderful women in our ongoing group. One thing I hope I can overcome this year is my imposter syndrome and that I finally feel confident to share my journey openly on my social media. This is a good start!

*None of the links provided are affiliate links. I am not being paid by sharing these links. **If you use the YouVersion Bible App and want to connect, you can search for Myranda Nowak and I have a picture of me in sunglasses with my daughter wearing a burgundy sweatshirt.

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