For me, growing up was hard. I grew up in a hard house. I loved to be outside. I'd spend hours out there, never alone. Jesus was there in the sun and the air and the trees and I knew it; even before I knew it was him. He was there, and that was enough. We were enough.
But he had something even better for me.
I was made to put down roots that could grow down deep and get tangled up in yours. We were made to be one tribe; a living, breathing, moving, growing thing of beauty. A family. All him, all us. No one goes it alone, nobody's left behind.
Church can hurt. It can be a cold institution, a housefull of condemnation, a place of hate. I'm so sorry. That was never the plan. Church is meant to be a whole and good body. Church is where we get back what the world tried to steal. Church is where we bind up our scrapes and get better together. We were never, ever, meant to make it on our own.