Starting when I was around 10 years old, I vividly remember wanting to cultivate a relationship with God, but not knowing where to start. The church I grew up in wasn't exactly a fit for me, which is totally fine, but I longed for a place to call home. The next few years were spent "church hopping," I made my dad drive to me to different community churches on Sunday mornings and drop me off. I would walk in completely alone and find my way around. (I honestly couldn't be that brave now, so I'm actually pretty proud of my younger self.) Unfortunately, none of the churches I tried became a permanent home for me, but I learned a lot about what I wanted. It wasn't until I was 17 years old that a friend invited me to church with them, where I found the style of church I enjoyed most. That church, while not a complete match for what I was looking for, planted a seed in me, and I was ready to find a place to build my roots. I got to college and continued to "church hop" until I finally found that home about three months ago at Mosaic Hollywood.
I've been ranting to my friends and family about how much I fell in love with Mosaic ever since, so I figured it made sense to write about it. I think the thing I struggled with most with religion was that it was always portrayed to me that I had to prove myself through a checklist of rules in order to receive God's love- it felt like a competition. People who were religious their whole lives felt somehow superior to people who were newly saved, and pastors I had interacted with felt like they were better than the people in the audience. That's not what church is supposed to be about, in my opinion- and Mosaic embodies a better, healthier community. Mosaic is built with the foundation of love, and uses The Bible to teach us how to be better people: how to love one another, love ourselves, reach our full potentials, and live a fulfilled life through Jesus. That's what church should be. When a community is rooted in love, Jesus meets that community there. I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus is with the Mosaic community and that amazing things are happening and will continue to happen there. I'm just excited to start getting involved and finally have a place where I've rooted myself.
I've told my friends and family about this new life change, and honestly, some were concerned about what that meant and how I would "change." I think there's a stigma associated with Christianity that I wanted to address for my own personal situation. In my opinion and through my experiences, if a religion makes me feel inadequate or that I need to do (or not do) certain things in order to be a part of a community, that isn't something I want to be a part of. Mosaic, for me, empowers me to live a life of love, a life of deeply rooted community, and a life of a passion. The general concern seems to be that a Christian life, while perhaps including those things, also includes judgement and hypocrisy, which for me, couldn't be further from true. You can't love God and not love people. I don't believe that Jesus wanted anything else for us than to love one another and to love Him wholeheartedly, which is completely something I can get behind. I have such a passion for people, and I always have. Being able to understand peoples' passions, doubts, fears, and beliefs is so rewarding to me, and a life for Jesus doesn't inhibit that passion- it enhances it. The only change that is occurring in me is that I now want to be a walking example of what a life with God looks like. I want people to talk to me and have so much love poured into them, that they know a life with Jesus is filled with love, compassion, community, and empathy. I want people to see me and know that God is with me.
Thank you, Mosaic Hollywood, for reigniting the fire in my soul.
If you're reading this, whether we know each other or not, you're invited to church with me! Complete with lavender lattes beforehand, I'd love to have you join me. Please reach out to me if you're interested!
Connect with Mosaic on Instagram: @mosaic @mosaichollywood @mosaicmsc & listen to their amazing worship team on Spotify!