it's early morning now.
i can't sleep.
i really can't explain much, except that i think i grew a little. church today was different, in a way. the youth service, called the Crossing, really had an impact on me today. the worship was amazing. i love to sing. praise and worship is the only time i feel useful to God. other times, i feel like a total turd. i'm really not a perfect christian.
the pastor came from another church. he's this short, loud man wearing the polo and cargo pants. he's the Chinese guy standing in front of a youth audience, preaching. he was amazing. i think i laughed for once at church. i laughed when everyone else didn't laugh, and i didn't care. i felt like i could relate for once. i felt like everything he said, he was talking to me. about me.
when the teaching ended, he asked for people to come up so he could bless them. pray for them. i swear, he looked me in the eyes. i swear when he said, "the people i've talked about, these people who need the most help, come up, and i will pray for you" and he looked me in the eyes. "the person who's felt rejected by their parents, their father, the person who feels ashamed, who needs forgiveness, come up." he looked me in the eyes, then looked away.
i looked at my hands. picked at my skirt. music came on, and i felt incredibly nervous. a few minutes passed.
one man stood up, and walked next to the pastor. the pastor said, "i'll give you a little more time. come up," he said, looked me in the eyes and looked away.
I looked up. after a few minutes of mumbling through a song, i stood up and walked over to the front. it took me about 2 seconds to get up there, and by the time i was there, i was already trying not to cry. i was the second person up there.
a girl i barely knew walked up then. then another girl. then three other girls stood in a line beside me, waiting to be blessed. i felt so strange. i was trembling. i was a little scared, really. i was not myself. i do not get scared. i do not tremble in front of people. i do not cry in public.
before the pastor put his hand on my shoulder, i was already crying. i was crying through my contacts. i couldn't see a thing but i think it was because i cried with my eyes closed.
i briefly felt the prayer team ladies (moms and grandmas really) walk by me, their motherly guidance and words whispered by my ears, and i knew that i was up there for the world to see, for these people i barely knew to see, and i couldn't care less. i barely could hear the pastor, i was just trying to clear my thoughts. tissue was pressed into my hands.
i used them up, balling them up inside my fist.
a grandmotherly woman hugged me tight and prayed for me, telling me that i was beautiful, that i didn't need to feel this, that i could be someone wonderful without someone else telling me that i was, i just was. i remember that she talked about letting go of myself and asking forgiveness. i just hugged her and sniffled.
i think today was the day i felt closer to this church. i don't care what others think of me, really. but when it comes to being at church, i feel disected. i feel examined. just because i dress differently, talk differently, react differently. i came to this church two years ago. today was the day i felt accepted just a little.