I am a church kid, this you already know. But, like, I’m a serious church kid.
I’ve got more prayer meetings under my belt than Benny Hinn. I slept under church pews so much that there was a permanent pillow and blanket under there for me. I could sing you through Hillsong’s worship albums (circa Darlene Zschech 1993) before I could tell you what was actually in The Wiggles fruit salad.
To me, the Backstreet Boys may as well have been another name for the disciples when they had to find an alternative route to the temple. And I thought the Spice Girls were the women who prepared Jesus’ body for burial.
I may be exaggerating a little because, well, that’s what I do, but you get my point. As I grew up though, I discovered all things Baby Spice and Backstreets Back (all right), and regained a little of my reputation. But in growing up, I found myself dealing with the same things any other teenager did, church kid or not. The difference for me was that I was a church kid, so I thought I had to keep quiet about my teenage-hood.
I didn’t know church kids were allowed to have issues, I thought they could only have prayer requests. (tweet that)
I thought that if I was honest about feeling lonely, about hiding the real me, and about wanting to kiss all the boys, I’d be shunned forever and a day. I wish I knew then that being honest is the only way out of loneliness. I wish I knew then that there are people who love the real me. I wish I knew then that kissing all the boys only leads to a hurting heart.
I wish I knew then that the very thing that scared me was actually the very thing that could save me. (tweet that)
But now that I’m kind of a grown up, emphasis on the kind of, I know that no filter living is actually what leads to freedom. A few years ago I felt the responsibility to make sure those growing up in church, or growing up their little mini-me’s in church, knew that too.
So after four years of writing and developing, opening up wounds and letting them heal again, articulating the tears and bleeding on paper, it’s finally here.
Today I received the first copy of my book, Confessions of a Church Kid.
It arrived this morning at the office, just like any other brown paper package, tied up with string, except it wasn’t (sorry Fräulein Maria). Actually this package was duck taped so well that Edward Scissorhands would’ve had a tough time cutting it open. Finally, after I almost tried to convince myself that it looked better in the brown package, I opened it.
There I sat. Holding my book. My book.
I was holding a life of that time’s. That time I went from office assistant to pastor. That time I traveled the world with my main man -- my dad. That time summer was all about Taylor Swift and too many freckles. That time I was addicted to Diet Coke. That time dating was something I dreamed about. That time dating was something I became a little too good at. That time my best friends dressed up and drank champagne in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. That time I left the only church I ever called home and realised it would never feel the same again. That time I learned “best friend” is a level of friendship, not one single person. That time I moved to Los Angeles. That time I wondered if Jesus could still use me, even though….
A life of that times, and finally, today, I held them, in one book. And as I held it, I realised that Jesus knew them all.
Jesus knew all my that time’s, before I even lived one time, and plans to use every time, to help someone else’s future time. (click to tweet)
Sounds like a pretty good time to me.
Confessions of A Church Kid is my honest story of the good, the bad, and the ugly of growing up in church. And guess what, you can pre-order a copy right now, just click here. Go on, all the cool kids are doing it.
My book will be released in a couple of months and I could not be more excited. Not just because I feel like I’ve been pregnant with this thing for four years, and I’m pretty sure any doctor would say that’s not super healthy, like I should probably be dead by now or something. Just to clarify, I’m not actually pregnant, although that’d be a plot twist. (Again, not pregnant.)
I am so excited because I finally get to take what’s been sitting on my desktop for far too long, and share it with the world. And I’ll be honest, because that’s kind of all I know how to be these days; I hope your friends read it. I hope your kids read it. I hope your sister reads it, and I hope your brother even reads it.
But most of all, I hope you read it.
I hope that as you listen to my confessions you resonate with my honesty. I hope you have a moment where you can nod your head and say, “me too.”
Because you and I aren’t that different you know. We’ve both been hurt. We’ve both asked “what if.” We’ve both had nights where our smile was all too fake. We’ve both wondered if anyone actually knows us. We’ve both learned lessons the hard way. We’ve both felt like our life was meant to be significant.
We both have a story.
I’d love to tell you mine.
And one day? I’d love to hear yours too.
Confessions of A Church Kid, it’s finally here.