About a year ago, I didn't go to church; I wasn't interested in it really. I had more interesting things to do. I wanted to go to the movies, my friends house, and text every single person I knew. I did start going to church though because of my family. I had been visiting my grandparents for the summer, and they had started going to a new church after our last one closed. It had been the church I went to when I was growing up, but I had stopped going all together after my family started moving around- I pretty much forgot church existed in my everyday life.
When I went last year to Michael Memorial Baptist Church, I had no idea what to expect because every church we had visited when I moved around had been or at least seemed very closed off to me- and even slightly unwelcoming. I was pleasantly surprised however when everyone greeted me and wanted to meet me. It was so new and pretty strange. I mean nobody expects to have people just to come up to them and introduce themselves. Let alone for it to happen multiple times within a few hours. At the end of the Sunday school class- which happened to be incredible-that was about big questions we as teenagers have, somebody had walked up to me and introduced herself to me as Olivia. Along with her came Madison, and now they are two of my best friends. They always push me in the right direction and give me amazing encouragement.
A couple of months went on and I had slowly started going to church there more and more. I had come to love it and everyone there; they had started to become my second family. My youth pastor and my leaders started to become my mentors. My brother made friends with EVERYONE. There is not single person there that my family and I haven't liked. They really are a second family for me. If I wanted to, I could talk to literally any person there about anything, and they would try to help me.
I have actually learned a few things in the past year as I started going to Michael Memorial and started listening to Pastor Brian, my youth pastor, and made all of my friends. One of the biggest things was that my walk with God is not one that has to be alone, but it is also completely different from everyone else's- no person's should be the same as another's. I have to make friends who want to learn about God with me and will encourage me to continue on the right path. My friends do that and are that. My pastors are that. My youth group is that. They are all people that continually try to lead me and the congregation in the right direction.
It can be extremely hard to find a group of people that are encouraging and kind.To find that is an incredible feeling. You feel like you can do anything. People that are willing to share their beliefs and teach you things are people you don't see everyday. My friend Kamren is quiet. He is very quiet if you don't know him actually but he is extremely kind and firm in his beliefs and very silly. He is almost the exact opposite from our friend True, who is loud and silly but is just as kind as Kamren. I didn't really know either one of them until not to long ago but I wouldn't trade them for the world. I wouldn't trade any of my friends or any one in my church for anything.
I am, by no means, a perfect Christian since I have started going to Michael Memorial Baptist Church but I was not even a believer before really. I don't read my bible everyday and I don't always do everything I should do as a Christian but I am how ever a believer in God now. I have made amazing friends. I have learned that I don't need everyone to like me and that God will always love me and my friends will always love me. It is not just the church I go to. It is a second home for me. They are not just my youth group. They are family and they are not just my church friends, they are my best friends.