Saturday, June 22, 2013

This Is Me | It's Not Forced On Me

I get a lot of people who ask me why I am the way that I am. I'm talking about in terms of religion. I know a lot of you bloggers have never met me in person, but {I hope} that even by reading some, if not all, of my posts you can tell that there's something different about me. One thing people who see me tend to think when they see me is that because I go to church I am forced to only wear skirts/dresses, and not cut my hair, or wear jewelry... But that's just not the case!!

{photo via Pinterest}

I am an Apostolic Pentecostal Christian. I haven't always been this way. I was raised Baptist my whole life and up until I started going to college I went to Baptist churches (plural because we moved a few times). In college I started attending an non-denominational church for awhile, but very quickly started skipping church until it was rare if I showed up at all. This is where I was up until the time of my Car Wreck (story for another time). After the car wreck I pretty much did nothing but lay in bed all day and let my body recover from all the things it had gone through. I had a really good friend who would "rescue" me and, as we called it, "Ro-nap" me (like kidnapping only she would just steal me for a day or so or the whole weekend sometimes too) and when I was with her she would drag me to church. Now it's not because I didn't want to go to church, it's just that many times I didn't feel good and would only want to lay around and do nothing. That and I didn't really feel like God was that important to me. In fact I was kind of angry at him because I thought my life was ruined.

Photos from my college days. I liked changing the color of my hair then...if you can't tell lol.

At the time of the car wreck I was a full time student at Rose State College (Oklahoma), I worked two part time jobs (one at Old Navy, which I LOVED! and one at Payless Shoe Source, which I hated...but that IS where I met Ro so I guess I ended up with a job there for a reason!), and I would hang out with friends on days that weren't too busy working or going to school. I thought I had a pretty almost-perfect life and when all that was suddenly gone I wasn't a happy person to be around.

Ro & I.

Okay, I know that was a bit of a side track, but it's important to help you understand the story. So back to Ro dragging me to church: One time I purposefully ONLY put on a tank top and casual shorts to wear over to her apartment so she wouldn't make me go with her to church. That didn't work out quite like I planned though because when she got home from work and realized that's all I had brought she drove the 20 miles back to my house so I could go get proper church clothes. Needless to say, I never tried that again! My point in telling you that is someone cared enough about me that even when I tried my best to get out of doing something that was good for me, and even when they didn't really have the extra money to drive all the way back to my house so I could get clothes for church, she did...and I really think that it is because of her persistence and not letting me be a lazy butt that God was able to work on my heart (in the services I went to with her...oh yeah! She went to the Shawnee UPC in Oklahoma at the time) that he was able to change it piece by piece so that I would be able to open up to him. All this happened from 2010 on through 2011 until she moved away.

In August 2011 Autry and I started dating. He was raised Pentecostal but wasn't in church at the time. BUT because he had been raised in it he was able to better help me understand some of the things I didn't get like why the women didn't cut their hair. That was something I had really never seen before (at least that I remember). Or the only wearing skirts/dresses and not pants. The no make-up thing. The now jewelry thing. Between Autry, Ro, her grandma, and my pastors wife I really was able to learn and understand why Pentecostal people did these things (that is a WHOLE different topic for some other time! but email me if you're curious and I'll be glad to explain!).

Left: Me in 2011. One of my One Year Car Wreck Anniversary photos. {View more here}
Right: Me in June 2012. Same blue eyes, same great smile, just no make up this time.

I do the things I do because of the relationship I have with God. I have a conviction that I should not wear make-up. Any make-up, not even foundation or mascara. I do wear a chap stick and I do use moisturizers and face wash, but that has more to do with hygiene than altering the beautiful face God has given me. I also have a conviction to not wear a lot of jewelry. Actually the only piece of jewelry I wear anymore are my wedding rings. I could wear a watch I suppose, but I don't use them so there's really no point in that for me. But as far as bracelets, necklaces, toe rings, anklets, earrings...I don't feel that those are things I need to put on my body. The same goes for jeans/pants. I have a conviction to wear skirts/dresses and to not wear pants/shorts (unless its sleepwear and that's only worn inside my own home).

The no cutting my hair has been one thing that I didn't find hard to adjust to. Not cutting my hair was a huge change for me and was difficult for my family to understand at first because we were not raised with these beliefs or convictions so naturally I got a lot of questions from them about why I was changing my appearance so much. I think no one thought that this would last. I am a completely different person now from the one I was almost three years ago now. The only explanation I have for that is God saved my life in the car wreck, he brought Ro into my life to lead me back to the truth (by her taking me to church so much), he brought Autry into my life because God knew that he would help me and I'd be able to help him (we're both in church now)...there are so many things that have happened over the past few years that there is NO possible way I can say that I was or am being forced to live the way I do. This is a subject I could probably go on and on about, but I will end it here for now. Thank you for reading and of course if you have questions...I'm not shy, so ask away!


  1. I think you should post your religious beliefs for why you don't do these things. I think people will be genuinely interested, not critical...

    1. Well I'm working on it. Writing something like this takes a lot of time. I am fortunate to have gotten this post out! :) Maybe I'll be able to put together something else in the future.


  2. Go HELEN!!! Awesome reading parts of your testimony!!! Curious about two things:1. Whatever happened to your friend Ro??? 2. How did Autrey get back in church? Love ya! :) Oh and we need a pregos update girrrrl!!!

    1. Ro now lives in Texas and has been really involved in several churches down there. Autry got in church at some point after we started dating. Probably due to some influence on my part as I was becoming curious about church and as I was getting involved he started attending church again regular with his aunt who has been very involved in church & his life for years.

      Prego update will come soon! I have to scan the latest ultrasound photos so I can share them in the post! :)


  3. :o) I loved reading your testimony!!
    It is so neat to see the different ways people come to God. My husband is 5th generation, but like you, I became apostolic at 16. I love our religion and have no desire to change!

    Take care!!


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