I remember when Elle asked me to be a contributing writer for The Elle Scoop in 2013, I was a little apprehensive, but soon realized the beauty and freedom in sharing my life with other Christians who were also striving to look more like Christ. I remember thinking, “What do I want people to feel when they come in contact with the Mollie Column?” It immediately came to me! “Authenticity!” I wanted my readers to experience someone who wasn’t ashamed to share their imperfect flaws and embarrassing stories about life as a young Christian…transparent is what we call it. In fact, I stated in my bio on The Elle Scoop site that, “I am transparent about everything that I face and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you!” Well, let’s just say I stopped sharing when things got a little too awkward and weird for your girl! Lol! Let me elaborate…
I am the typical southern girl, raised in a Baptist home and attended a Baptist church for most of my life. I was always taught to go to church; for this is your rightful service to God (no one ever really mentioned a relationship with God). I sang in the junior gospel choir while I was in middle and high school and was taught the basic morals and values of Christianity. I was taught to be a lady, don’t get pregnant out of wedlock (no premarital sex), go to church every Sunday, read your Bible, don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke, don’t cuss, and don’t party. My knowledge about Christ and Christianity was barely scratching the surface. I knew about the resurrection, but had no clue how much the Lord really loved me. When I went to college, I made finding a church home my first priority as it had been a weekly routine for the last 18 years of my life. Finding a church home was a difficult and long task, so I joined what was convenient and familiar; the campus gospel choir. I was led to Christ in the elevator after rehearsal one evening by one of my fellow gospel choir peers, but things didn’t seem to change. Nobody followed up with me or even provided guidance on how to be “saved” or what I was supposed to expect…I’m not sure if they really knew themselves. I continued to live a legalistic life…possessing a form of godliness, but ignorant to all of the treasures that were bestowed upon me as a new citizen of the Kingdom of God.
Fast forward to my second year of college, I was tired of living a life of sin. I knew that there was much more out there for me. I rededicated my life in August 2006 at my new church home and immediately got involved with a campus ministry. I was new, again, to the “saved life”, but these young people did a much better job of explaining and walking me through the ways of a Christian lifestyle. I was nervous to speak out about the fact that I knew NOTHING, lol, because they all had so much wisdom and knowledge regarding the Gospel. I wanted to be just like them, so I went to every Bible study and made friends with many of them (Elle was one of them!). Over time, I was coming into my own and gaining a better understanding of who I was in Christ. I joined the dance ministry and LOVED IT! I was so happy that I found something that I was gifted in!!! I, then, felt like I was one of “them.” I was a part of the Christian club. I was doing what Christians were supposed to do. I was saying what Christians were supposed to say. I was friends with all the people I once deemed as cool, untouchable, fashionable, spiritual, saved, powerful, and intelligent. In my mind, I had arrived because now I was being associated with all of these qualities.
I bet you’re wondering when am I going to get to the point! Lol! Well, that is a big part of the point I’m trying to make. I was like a free rider. My campus ministry friends were doing all of the work and I was just…there. They were doing all of the praying, studying, laboring, and crying out to God, while I was doing nothing. I wasn’t really studying…I didn’t know how to and I was lazy. I read from time to time and fasted here and there, but I wasn’t sold out like them. The same holds true today. Scoopers, I am at a place where I am EMPTY. I don’t study my Bible because I still don’t know how and I don’t find it amusing. I read from time to time, mainly devotionals, and I really don’t have a real relationship with God. I came to the realization not too long ago that I was reading, fasting, praying, and saying “godly” things for the last several years because I wanted to fit in with the friends I made back in college. I wanted these “cool, intelligent, godly” friends to still like me, therefore, I felt like I had to continue to do the things they were doing. I know that sounds so elementary, but that’s what I thought. It’s kind of like when we were in grade school and there were different cliques that represented various characteristics. You had your mean girls who were snobby, pretty, and popular. Then there were the average girls who were not popular or the best dressed, but they were loyal to one another, kind, and honest (that was me). If you wanted to hang with the popular girls, you had to disown your old loyal friends and wear all of the trendy expensive clothes. In essence, I’m embarking on a journey to know God for myself. I am not opening myself up to a relationship with God because of what I’ve been taught for 28 years or because I want to fit in with a group of people, but simply because I want to.
I believe in God because the evidence of His power is very clear in the lives of people around me, but I just have to learn how to experience it for myself. I can no longer be a free rider. That’s not how this works. I don’t want anybody’s formula for how to talk to Him. I just want to build a personal and unique relationship with God; I no longer want to check him off my to-do list. In order for the Mollie Column to truly be a blessing to all of the Scoopers out there, Mollie has to get self together. I can’t pour out of an empty heart. My only advice to you is to check your heart and motives for which you choose to live your life the way you do. Are you self-centered? Are you doing it because it’s all you know? Are you full or great upstanding morals, but you don’t know why you’re holding them as your standard? Is your relationship with God shallow or full of substance? It’s time to do a heart check people.
Pray for me as I walk with God, my living, patient Savior.
P.S. I have started reading a really good book called “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. I’m getting to know God by starting with understanding how crazy His love is for me. Maybe you can read it too!