It’s NOT All In The Going… Finding My Freedom


I am a child of the church.

I was raised going to church every Sunday and my Sundays didn’t consist of only one service. Oh no. We went to early morning prayer at 9am, Sunday School at 9:30am, Morning Service at 11am – there would be a sort break between services for an early dinner and then we would return by 6pm for Evening Service. Add to this our weekly Bible Study and prayer services I was in church no less than 4 times a week, sometimes more. This was my childhood, this was my life. Yet, I had to take a journey that finally helped me realize it’s not all in the going

It's Not All In The Going - Finding My Freedom | MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter.com

As a teenager, I rebelled.

I wanted less church and more of what I thought to be life. I stopped attending services, I started hanging out and I started exploring. Still every Sunday morning I would wake up feeling like I needed to be there. The fight to ignore that nudge was harder than simply going. Yet I would fight. I wanted my independence and for whatever reason skipping a service felt like the first step towards it. 

My rebellion caught up with me.

The decisions I made had consequences and I became a Teen Mom at 17. There was no more fighting, no more resistance and no more of ME in the scenario. I needed my foundation. I needed HIS strength because mine was failing. So back to the church I went. It was there I found more of Him. Yes, I knew I could be in His presence outside of those 4 walls still there was something about those four walls. They embraced me, they comforted me and they encouraged me.

In my adulthood I still struggled with the laziness that would sometimes creep up. Maybe I won’t go today. I prayed this week, I had my study time, I was in relationship with God. I can stay home today and simply relax. Simple choice right? I can’t say if it is because of how ingrained Sunday Services were in my life or simply because I always felt like I was choosing myself over God. Every day I decided to ‘relax’ I would spend most of it feeling guilty for not going. Waste of a day, right?

Then came my married life.

My husband was not raised attending services every week. To him his relationship with God was a more personal one without need for congregation or a building to maintain it. He could truly take or leave a church presence in his life because for him being with God had nothing to do with 4 walls or even the people within them.

It seemed so easy for him to hang around the house on a Sunday without a care or thought to whether he should be somewhere else that day. While I paced back and forth debating on whether to enjoy the family time that of that day or take a few hours and attend a service. For me, Sunday was never ‘my day’ so when I took it I always felt a sense of wrong but should I?

I envied him.

I wanted to shed the guilt that was holding me so tightly. Was he right? Was I placing more pressure on myself than even God required? Did my fellowship with other Christians define my own Christianity? I began to pray. ‘God let me know if this was something YOU require or something I require of myself.

In our lives as a military family, I didn’t have the security of a church home and I was lost. The church that was always there for me was gone. We would literally have a month of Sundays without even the hope of a church service. I began to feel like a ship with no anchor. I was uneasy, unsettled and ungrounded. It was as if having what I’d been longing for – no where to be on a Sunday – showed me how much I actually needed it.

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. I Thessalonians 5:11

I needed that. The comfort of others in the same walk and journey as myself. I began to search, to pray for guidance and to actively seek out those 4 walls. The same ones I felt were so confining I realized now that they were my support not a fence. Without them I was becoming stagnant in my growth. I was simply treading water without any forward progress.

We finally settle in,

I prayed to be lead to a church where I could be taught, encouraged and find the fellowship I had been missing for so long. I needed my wilderness wandering to end. I needed to find somewhere I could be grounded and know I belong. I found that place nearly 5 years ago now. Even when we had to move away again and it was to this place that I felt the strongest pull to return. 

I have learned that my attendance is not something that should be a weight to me but instead taken for what it is – a call for fellowship. It is not my duty but my privilege. To engage with and have a community of people that I can share my story with and learn from their own is a blessing. This is why I attend church now. I had to learn that Sunday was not all in the going to church but more about finding a freedom in my commitment to God to be who I am as a person as well as remain strong in my relationship with Him.

No longer do I attend church simply because I should. I attend now because I desire to. I find encouragement, fellowship, teaching and support within it’s walls and whether I make it every Sunday or not I know that when I need to be there I will be. In finding my freedom I have finally realized and become ok with the fact that it’s not all in the going.

 

Do you attend church regularly?

Do you feel bad if you miss a service?

What do you feel about church attendance versus home relationship?

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Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee.com - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging and Vlogging Communities. Tiffany has extended her presence beyond her URL to Television as a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons and to the stage as a Cast Member of the Finale Season of The Listen To Your Mother Show. A 2016 VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with iBlog Magazine and BlogHer.com growing herself as a Brand and Influencer are always at the center of Tiffany’s passion.
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About TheMrsTee

Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee.com - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging and Vlogging Communities. Tiffany has extended her presence beyond her URL to Television as a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons and to the stage as a Cast Member of the Finale Season of The Listen To Your Mother Show. A 2016 VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with iBlog Magazine and BlogHer.com growing herself as a Brand and Influencer are always at the center of Tiffany’s passion.


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48 thoughts on “It’s NOT All In The Going… Finding My Freedom

  • ssgannett

    I am pretty sure that I already commented on this, but I have been having some problems with my comments going in to the void…so if this is a duplicate…:) Oops! 🙂 I have not found my comfort zone, yet in church, mostly because, it is still not familiar for me. So, I don't necessarily need the four walls, to feel God with me, but I do still get a good feeling when I do go to church. I would always say that it is whatever it is that makes you happy and feel right in your heart is always the best route to take. Have a great week!
    My recent post Updates from Corntassle Cottage…

    • MrsTee Post author

      Haha! i\’m so sorry the web void keeps snatching your comments…I\’ve had days where it happen to me all day. Finding your comfort zone can be difficult at times but as long as you know your comfort zone in God I think you will be fine. 🙂

  • spiritedlife

    Even when I didn't like going to church, there was something about my attendance that would set my mind at ease for the week. It just means that I would have a good week or a great week. I don't even have a church home at this point. I would love to have one though. I am actively searching. I'm liking a really large church locally… trying to decide if that's for me. Thankfully, my husband is on the same page. We may get there soon. Thanks for sharing with Creative Style.
    My recent post Turn it Up Tuesday {40} with Top Chrome Extensions, Upside Down Pizza Bake and Making Chalk Paint

    • MrsTee Post author

      I pray you find a church that is what you\’re looking for. I am so blessed to have found one now, I just had to get past the guilt of feeling obligated to go versus the desire to go because I longed to be in His presence. Thanks so much for coming by…always happy to see you and share with the Ladies of Creative Style 🙂

  • deliberatemom

    Beautiful post! Our faith should be about relationship not religion. Attending church for any other motives than to deepen our relationship with God, fellowship, or serve usually will fall short. God calls us first to love Him. That is what He expects the most from us.

    I go to church every week and since I love my church I miss it greatly if I can't go.

    Thanks so much for sharing (and for linking up to the SHINE Blog Hop – I hope you'll join the party again tomorrow).

    Wishing you a lovely evening.
    xoxo
    My recent post Salmon Rice Recipe

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thank you! In the past I attended church to appease and keep others happy. It was less about me or my relationship with God. Now when I go I know why I\’m going. Such a sense of freedom! Thanks so much and thanks for hosting such a wonderful Hop 😀

  • mamarabia

    I was raised Catholic and I attend church every Sunday. There have been very few weeks that I/we have skipped and I've felt "off" the whole week afterwards. I honestly don't even like going to church out in another town, because I miss the community of my own church.

    • MrsTee Post author

      I guess that off feeling is somewhat what I feel too but mine has a big layer of guilt that I think was more influenced by my childhood than anything else. We try not to make a habit of not attending but when life happens or things come up I have gotten past that guilty feeling and for that I am grateful. Thanks so much for coming by Rabia 🙂

  • Brittnei Washington

    Hey Tiffany! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us at the Creative Style Linkup. Ok. To answer your questions: me and my family do not attend a church. We do believe fellowship is important and when you are able to be among like-minded believers, I think it is really important to do so. Because I grew up in Christianity, I can totally empathize with you and with others who might feel bad when they missed a service. As we studied more scripture and learned more about what it was saying and couldn't find a fellowship that was teaching what we believed was the full truth, we didn't feel so bad for not going. At first though, when we first realized we couldn't find a church, it didn't feel right not going because of how we were taught. I think that attending church as we know it is something relatively new in terms of the history of believers is concerned. Much of what was done closer to the time that the Messiah was here was more like home fellowships and communities where they would gather daily..sometimes to read scripture, pray or just for good old fellowship. I do think that is important, but me and my family aren't willing to compromise our beliefs to be apart of any church or fellowship so gathering as an immediate family for prayer, devotion/study outside of even me and hubby doing that in our own time is really important to us.
    My recent post More Activities For a 2 Year Old When On a Budget

    • MrsTee Post author

      Hi Brittnei! Always happy to see you come by for a visit and I love linking up with the Creative Style Ladies 🙂

      You\’re right, I do believe it is my foundation and how I was raised that instilled that immediate sense of guilt when I was unable to attend a church service regardless of my reasons or situation. I am so thankful that I have found the freedom in my relationship with God to no longer be restricted by that guilt. Yes, fellowship is essential but your personal prayer, study and relationship is just as if not more important.

      Thanks again for coming by and I hope you are having a wonderful week!

  • balmtomysoul

    Church is much more than Sunday attendance. In my perspective, it is a way of living. When you believe in something, truly, it colors your day-to-day living. It isn't about just going to church on Sunday, or Easter, or Christmas, it is about how you allow that to change you! Church attendance is just a wonderful reminder of what we can become. (And, it sometimes puts me in my place 🙂 Beautiful post!! Love it!
    My recent post Spring to Summer Succulents: Benefits of Gardening

    • MrsTee Post author

      Yes! Although attendance is a great way to establish fellowship and relationships with your church family your actual relationship with God IS something that must be evident in your daily life (in and out of those 4 walls). Thank you so much for coming by and visiting with me! 😀

  • Life Breath Present

    I've certainly done the church thing and trying to find one that really fit for me. I, personally, no longer attend services and find my God/Higher Power in nature and other avenues of spirituality. It's interesting the roads we take in order to find and pursue a life we feel is right for us! 🙂
    My recent post Gratitude Linkup – Week of 6/22/14

    • MrsTee Post author

      I agree, God is definitely the best way to turn when your in need of any comfort, guidance or wisdom. I may attend less than I used to but I am so glad I still know where to go as to seem to as well. Isn’t it good to know your refuge? 🙂

  • Topaz

    This is such a great discussion. I can be a bit of a rule follower myself at times. This really confuses my free-spirited side. Ha ha! I guess balance is key, and it sounds like you are finding that for yourself. I am in the same camp with your husband. When my children were growing up, we did Bible together every day and talked of God through out the day. My thoughts being the same as your husband's with seeing God outside of the Church walls and being what we walk and talk and do every day. I was raised in the church, several times a week, just like you. My children didn't really go to church until they were older teens. They love it. They are both grown now and very active in serving in the church. I guess there really is no wrong way or right way as long as we are loving and serving God and others in our lives. God looks at our hearts. It's wonderful to meet you! xo ~Topaz
    My recent post Be Brave… Let the Words Fall Out

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thank you so much. Hahaha! It\’s fun to find the balance between your disciplined self and your fun self…My Kiddies love church too but they also have days where they just want to BE and I think that\’s okay. I was never given those times and I try to give them a few without making it a habit. True. Faith is belief and relationship. I don\’t think you can put everyone into one definition of that. It is great to meet you as well, thanks for coming by to visit me Topaz. 🙂

  • Stephanie Sullivan

    Wonderful post! It felt as if I was reading an excerpt from my own life. I too was raised in a home where church services were a big part of our week, and I never knew anything different until my husband came along and I started seeing life through different eyes, since he rarely ever attended church services while he was growing up. I fell into that "well, it won't hurt me to not go to church this week" attitude in the beginning of our marriage, but it helped me realize just how much I missed that communion with other believers. Not long after, my husband made his public profession of faith and we have been active members of our church for the past twenty years. 🙂
    My recent post Three Southern Gals Throwback Thursday – Rockin' 80's

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thank you Stephanie. I know my Grandmother (and probably your family\’s) intentions were the best but it just came to a point where it was a bit overwhelming. I am so grateful for my Husband as well for helping me see that my relationship with God was not dependent on my attendance at a building. I can miss a Sunday when needed and not feel like I\’m cheating on God. Congratulations! That is truly a blessing… 😀

  • Rea Alducente

    When I was younger I went to church because my mom would always bring me. I join Vacation Bible Schools and fellowships with my father's side of the family even though his religion is different from my mom's. Eventually I followed my mom's religion and now that I think about it, religion has nothing to do with my faith. I don't go to church now I admit but I always have that faith in God. If I ever go to church, like what you said, it shouldn't be because it's forced but rather it has to be desired. 🙂
    My recent post Will I Give Up Chocolates?

    • MrsTee Post author

      You\’re so right Rea! Religion is not faith it is more of a by product as I see it. Faith is believing and then acting on that belief in spite of what may be in front of you. I nurture my faith not my religion and I think that is where I found my freedom. I am so happy you found yours as well and kept your faith. 🙂

  • Desiree

    Thanks for linking up at the TGIF Hop this week! I understand your journey! When I was younger I was in church for Sunday Service, Wednesday nights for "Teen Night", working the nursery on Thursdays for our K-8th grade night.. Then life happened, we got too busy to attend services, and realized there was more to being a good Christian than going to church. We have tried to find a church we have liked recently, but all of the ones we have attended have had more of a "sing loudly to rock music" theme rather than a teaching theme… Hopefully one day we can find one we enjoy that offers the good old fashion "Sunday Service" feel!!

    Desiree @ Complete Bliss
    My recent post TGIF Blog and Instagram Hop

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks so much for having me Desiree! It\’s a great hop and great way to meet and connect with other Bloggers. Your childhood sounds very similar to mine…lol I think it is important for any Believer to avoid putting guilt on themselves for a lack of attendance especially when it is more about their faith and relationship than where they are on a certain day. I know what you mean about looking for teaching and a \’sunday service\’ feeling. I am so blessed to have finally found that and I pray you find the same.

  • Joy Christi

    So glad you find comfort there now. We don't currently attend church, I'm a recovering catholic. Bad experiences and lack of faith have kept me away. Now that we have 2 little ones, I want them to at least learn about spirituality and make their own decision about their faith. We are thinking about starting to attend a Lutheran church, and even sending our 4 yr old to a Lutheran preschool. I liked my sister's Lutheran church when I went with her a few times, hopefully ours will have that same friendly, community feeling. Here from the hop, nice to "meet" you!

    • MrsTee Post author

      Yes, so am I Joy. It has definitely been a bit of a journey but I am glad that I am finding my place. Bad experience can definitely leave their impact in our lives but like you I always want to move beyond my scars to help give my children a chance to make their own paths and choices. I hope you find that community for both you and your children. Thanks so much for coming by and it is great to meet you as well 🙂

  • Lydia

    Thank you so much for sharing this! This is so well put! I grew up in a family where we NEVER missed a church service, and it was considered horrible if you did. I went through that lazy, no-care attitude once I hit college and never attended. Then, like you, I got married and wanted to start to go to church again but was consumed by the guilt of not going. I really struggled with the balance. My husband enjoyed church too, but he helped me find the balance and realized that our relationship with God isn't dependent on going to church all the time. Now we go because we want to. We enjoy the fellowship with other believers and the deep teachings from our Pastor. But, if we miss a week here and there, it's not the end of the world.
    My recent post Letter To My Single, Pre-Military Wife Self

    • MrsTee Post author

      You welcome and thank you for coming by to visit me, Lydia. I feel we have very similar pasts…LOL Not going was never an option for me either. I had to be sick or dying…LOL I think having a family of my own is what set me back on the path of wanting to have that fellowship still I am glad I no longer see it as a duty but more as a choice. Just like you said, not going or missing a service is no longer the end of the world! 🙂

  • Sierra & Faith

    Came across your blog on the TGIF blog hop and enjoyed reading your post. Very well said, and glad that you found a church you feel comfortable with and have a strong fellowship. While it's important to have a strong foundation to fall back on and others to be a support to you, attending church isn't the end all be all. As regular members of our church, and glad that we found a place we can call home, our relationship with the Lord is most important. Sometimes people attend church just to get their fix in for the week and then return to their lives that might not be Christ centered. As you mentioned it's not just about the 4 walls. Missing church on Sunday definitely doesn't feel normal to us but on the days we aren't able to attend for whatever reason, the glory is still given to Him that day and throughout the week. Thank you for sharing and looking forward to following along.
    My recent post Teaching Your Child to Share When You Have a Hard Time Sharing

    • MrsTee Post author

      Hi! I am so glad you found me and came by to visit! Thank you, I am so blessed to have found the church we are attending now. They are definitely a congregation who welcomes you with open arms and without question. It is so refreshing to attend because I want to and not because I feel I have to. You are so right that God’s glory must be given all week, not only on Sunday. Thank you so much for your encouragement and comment, I look forward to getting to know you.

  • LovingCaringLiving

    Excellent post! We are not a military family but have moved a few times with my husband's company. We've had the toughest time finding a church where we all can be fed. So as a result we have "visited" for six years now. I've felt guilty and sad that we did not always attend nor did we commit to one church. Those feelings stem more from wanting to provide a solid foundation for my kids. The good news is, we are moving in a couple of weeks back to the city where we lived six years ago. We'll be returning to our old church home and I am so excited. I miss the fellowship and being involved. Thanks for sharing!

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thank you so much. I think any family who has moves often can understand the difficulties in finding a try Chuck hem when I aren\’t there log enough to establish true relationships. It can also make you very hesitant to let people get close. I am so glad you found parts of my story to relate to. Thank you so much for coming by to visit…

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks so much! I am so happy that you found an outlet to help with the healing process. Sometimes just getting the feelings out through your words can help so much!

  • Jenny

    Perfectly said. I grew up in a similar church and we were always going. I stopped attending ten years ago but still feel that call to my faith and I'm thankful He still wants me. We practice a little differently now but it's a way that works for us. I'm glad you found your way too.
    My recent post The Amateur Mother

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks Jenny, I know my Grandmother was trying to give me a good foundation but it did have it's side effects. Thank goodness I know how to talk with God myself and realize that His requirements for me are what really matters, not those of others. I am so glad that you have found your way back as well 😀