People on the Fringe

Restoring Hope to Your Faith

About Me April 23, 2010

This is my introduction and my disclaimer. I decided to start this blog based on my own convictions and the simple fact that this topic has had such an impact on my life. I am not affiliated with any particular organization nor do I claim any specific denomination.  That being said, it is my hope that people from all denominations/backgrounds will be open to a real discussion about the state of the “Church” and its impact on all people.

Who am I? I am the person with the experience. I started following Christ at 18 years old. I am 33 years old now. Over the years, I have been apart of a few different churches full of loving people who have significantly impacted my life.  I have seen plenty of heartbreak in those same churches. I believe that I am like many other people out there. We truly love God and we want to do what’s right but somehow we end up getting distracted, discouraged and tripped up by the very institution that is supposed to be assisting us on our journey to a deeper relationship with God-the Church. 

It is not my intention to encourage rebellion, instigate bitterness or turn this into a forum of complaints. On the contrary, I want to bring hope to those who have been down the same road. I have been to the point where my faith hung only by a thread. Not just once, but many times. I know what it’s like to be living out on the fringe, hopeless and alone, wondering how everyone can be reading the same Bible yet can’t seem to do what it says. Somehow, by the grace of God, I have held on and become stronger for it. God has shown me that it is all about His grace, His mercy and His forgiveness. That’s the only thing that makes this life work. It also makes it worth living. I don’t mean just surviving through life but really living it.

My passion is for truth. My heart is for others like me who have been through the wringer of ministry, abused by Christ’s followers, neglected and even shunned by the ones who proclaim to embody Christ’s love. I have a lot of hard questions. I bet you’ve asked a lot of the same ones. I’m still in the middle of the search for answers.

I once told someone, “I don’t have a problem with God, I just have a problem with his kids sometimes.” I am the person you see running around behind the scenes during church services. I am the person who has designed and filled your bulletins with endless blurbs. I am the plotter and the schemer at the staff meetings. I am the one who comes every single week and leaves my time, my money and my effort on the altar. I read my Bible, I say my prayers, I worship God with all my heart and still I have been the one sitting in a church FULL of people and felt completely abandoned. I have been the one who walks through the door of the church for the 25th time and no one can remember my name.

Do you know why I still have hope? Because I’ve seen the power of God at work in the lives of others including myself. You see I am also the person who forgot your name. I am the person who neglected and offended you. I am just as guilty as all the others. I am part of the Church. I cannot turn my back on God’s people without turning my back on God. I need the same loving grace from the One that I hope and pray is changing the hearts of those who have wronged me. We all fail. We all make mistakes. Take my hand, step back from the fringe and we’ll figure it out together.

 

14 Responses to “About Me”

  1. snowgood Says:

    Good stuff again, with an excellent last paragraph. I too can’t get too excited about man made denominations, although I have been persuaded to “join” one recently after plodding along each week for a few years.

    I like the fact that Jesus had the Last Supper with just a bunch of close friends, and when he fed the 5000 he got them to sit down in smaller groups of 50 (Luke 9:14)

  2. peaches50 Says:

    I commend you for taking a stand, crying out if you will, for the church. I have often felt overwhelmed and looked around at the mass of people who just decide to sit. At times I liked to say…get up, get involved… so that I’m not the only one doing the work of multiple people. It really takes a village to reach the unloved. And it would be a little easier if my brother or sister would raise or lend their hand. Thanks for making us all aware that “we are the church.”

    • Peaches50,

      I understand the frustration of feeling like only a few are carrying the load in a church FULL of people. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common. I’m not sure we can change it anytime soon except to watch out for each other so that we don’t become burned-out and pray for the rest that Jesus does a work in their hearts. I appreciate your support, thank you for the great comment.

      Amy

  3. Patti Davis Says:

    Just got a glimpse of this today. What a joy to read. I’ve got a few projects on the burner with a deadline right now…but I can hardly wait to find some time to read more.

    Love you, Sister!

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog today and for your encouragement! I love your testimony and the authentic voice with which you have shared it. I look forward to coming back to visit again. Godspeed, Elizabeth

  5. sgrusendorf Says:

    Hi Amy,

    Thanks for the comments on my blog. I had a chance to read over some of your posts…good stuff. Have a great day.

    Steve @ http://www.martyrpriest.com

  6. Tamra Partain Says:

    I too went through a period of being disappointed in the church, though it’s been almost 20 yrs. now. I decided that I would pray for the one’s that obviously could care less about me and show up to spend time with God. It changed my life! It saved me from being offended and eventually I loved the people that didn’t love me, and even better… as I trusted God, those same people became friendly and smiled. To this day I go to church seeking God, but today I have the best church family I could ever ask for. God put me in a place that I fit. My church family is truly my family.

  7. Ksue Says:

    : ) good stuff….thank you.

  8. uncomplicatedspirituality Says:

    Thank you for stopping at my blog, trying to find that uncomplicated spirituality has been a long 4 year journey who has taken me to a lot of new places. Your blog seems very interesting i will start reading about it…

    Thank you again

    Miguel

  9. zambydmcd Says:

    Thanks for visiting my site. It appears we have a lot in common and I look forward to checking more on your journey as time goes by. All the best on your journey in Christ.

    Shalom
    dmcd

  10. Hi Amy.

    I can relate to much of what you say here. Unfortunately many Churches – especially larger congregations – can be just like a social club where people gather in cliques and ignore others, and one easily feels lonely and abandoned in the middle of a crowd.

    I am thankful that for most of my Christian life I have been an active part of a smaller Church where everyone is like a family. New people are greeted by most of those present and are never left feeling alone.

    Sad to say that even in a “family-type” Church, human nature sometimes overrides and troubles flare. This shouldn’t happen, but does, and people get hurt. I have been there, but my loving heavenly Father has always removed the effect of the hurt, encouraged me and guided my steps.

    I look forward to getting to know more about you.


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