Hi JC, Brain, and Nathan. I would love to share my story with you guys and others.

I grew up in an Independent, Fundamentalist, legalistic, Baptist, KJV only, no drums allowed, bass can’t be too loud, no contemporary song singing, only skirt/dress/button up wearing, no tattoos or you have the devil IN you believing church. AND my father was the pastor.

As a Pastors daughter I was absolutely supposed to be perfect. I professed Christ as my savior at 9 years of age and I truly did accept Jesus in my heart. However, being saved young means that you will likely make most of your mistakes after you are saved.

I was made to wear skirts until I was 11 because I “wasn’t supposed to wear what a men wears.” But then I started middle school and now my parents would rather me wear jeans because little boys wouldn’t be able to see up my skirts. I was so confused because my mother made me vow to God to only wear skirts.

Living up to my parents standards become very very exhausting and such an early age that I started to master learning to hide my sin and actually began to rebel.

By the age of 14 I found myself in a “relationship” with a 20+ year old that attended the same church as me. I ended up having sexual relations with this man. There was this fight in me knowing that I was sinning against God and this other fight because I knew if I came clean I would be a huge disappointment. Not know at the time that what was happening was statutory rape.

I was playing piano and singing at our church while this was going on, sometimes instead of singing I would just be crying because of how badly I felt and that’s when the spirit really broke out. So I thought, well this must be a good thing if people are shouting and coming to the alter. So I started to learn how to perform instead of worshiping.

I broke free of this relationship and started really driving in the word and I realized that God wanted me even though I was filthy with sin in my life. But I still hide it and I still kept the shame years.

I started to date my now husband at 16 and he went to a very legalistic Pentecostal church. At the age of 18 he was done with that church because of how much he saw the faking when it come to speaking in tongues. So I told him to come to our church because we didn’t even believe in that.

Soon after that we got married and he answered the call the preach at the age of 20. He began preaching at my father church. And my dad didn’t quite like how he preached because he was expository preaching rather than topical preaching and a lot of things didn’t quite line up with my dads beliefs or should I say opinions.

We started to realize just how much the church was ran on opinion and traditions rather than scripture. We felt the call to search for a different church about 6 months later and the church that we now call home was the first church we visited.

Our now church is a baptist church but they preach the scriptures, and they even call out legalism. I remember the first time we went there and I felt like a dried up sponge desperate for Gods words being shared. And I left there with more than I expected.

After our first service I knew I had to come clean about the life I once lived in the dark. I told my husband that I had been lying to him for years and I told my parents that I had been lying to them for years. My husband and I had a lot to work through. We received marriage counseling and I receive personal counseling for the first time in my life. I didn’t realize that God wanted me to let go of the shame that I carried, I thought if I did that I was allowing it to be ok.

I am still recovering from those legalistic views and healing. It still affects me with how I view others sometimes. I still struggle to not perform when worshiping him. Sometimes I struggle to not let the shame creep back in. But I am realizing that God wants me, all of me, not just the good parts.