Struggles + Fear: Nicky’s Story of Returning to Church After Trauma

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I've shared about my struggles with attending church in the past. Returning to church after a long absence can be intimidating, especially if previous experiences have been filled with judgment or negativity.

Three things I want you to know TODAY that hold most back from attending:

  • You don't have to be perfect to attend church, in fact, the church is a place for imperfect people to come together and grow in their faith.
  • A church should allow you to connect with others and you should actually enjoy it. Okay, okay... {Maybe you won't enjoy it immediately but you shouldn't hate it either.}
  • Attending church allows you to be a part of something bigger than yourself and strengthens your relationship with God. And, whether you want to admit it or not, you NEED the local church as part of your battle plan.
A disconnected member of the body of Christ will not last. It must be attached to a body for sustainability.

I can't remember the pastor's name but what he was saying was as Christians we are all a part of the body of Christ. If you are a believer, I'm assuming you know we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. 1st Corinthians Ch 12:12-31 shares about different body parts and how all are essential for the work God is doing.

So what happens when a hand is cut off and no longer has blood flow? It dies. While some of us have left the church for a season and haven't yet lost our faith, I now believe God's word says it is crucial for us to be connected to a body of believers to sustain the hard days and the attacks of the enemy. WE NEED each other! If you are currently not attending a local church, I believe it is only a matter of time before you grow stagnant and get distracted by the world's noise. Let this message be a wake-up call!

I connect with one of my coaching clients, Nicky, in podcast episode 32, where we talk about her leap of faith to return to church. Through Nicky's testimony, I know you will be inspired to take a step of faith in obedience to do whatever it is God is asking of you.

We discuss:

  • Overcoming personal struggles and healing from trauma caused by the church
  • When you feel like an outcast because of things out of your control
  • Having a child with special needs inside the church and feeling unsupported
  • Why avoiding hard conversations is disastrous and causes conflict & chaos inside the church.
    Divorce inside the church and why treating someone differently because of it isn't the answer.
  • Be intentional about going back to church, even if it's scary and intimidating, and remember that the church is made up of broken people who may not always know how to respond in difficult situations.
  • Acknowledge the elephants in the room and don't avoid what's uncomfortable.
  • Take time to reflect on what God may be calling you to do and trust in His plan.

Nicky Asher-Bowling is a resilient and inspiring coaching client of mine who has overcome numerous challenges in her life. As a devoted Christian, Nicky faced the heart-wrenching decision to leave her lifelong church after experiencing judgment and disappointment in her time of need. Despite these setbacks, Nicky maintained her faith and yearned for spiritual growth. With immense courage, she took the leap of faith and returned to church, embracing God's calling for her life. Nicky's journey demonstrates the importance of obedience and trust in God, even in the face of fear.

Overcoming the Fear of Going Back to Church

Returning to church after a long absence can be intimidating, especially if previous experiences have been filled with judgment or negativity. Opening oneself up to a new church community requires vulnerability and courage. The fear of rejection or not fitting in may hinder people from exploring their faith and finding a supportive and compassionate church community. It's important to remember that everyone's spiritual journey is unique, and sometimes, revisiting the familiar may offer new insights and stronger connections to our faith. Nicky Asher-Bowling faced her own fears and hesitations when considering returning to church after a long absence. Through our coaching and God's nudging, she realized the importance of trusting in God's calling for her life and recognizing that her fears were merely obstacles to her spiritual journey. Nicky's story highlights the powerful and transformative results she experienced as she overcame her fears and took those first courageous steps back into a church community where she felt welcomed and supported.

The Importance of a Welcoming Church

A supportive and welcoming church environment is crucial for fostering spiritual growth and a sense of belonging. Churches should focus on acceptance, understanding, and genuine connection instead of just following rules or imposing strict expectations. A person's spiritual journey is deeply personal, and a person's ability to grow and thrive in their faith is usually greatly influenced by the quality of the church community they are part of. For Nicky Asher-Bowling, finding a church that supported her personal views and beliefs was essential to her reconnection to her faith. Throughout her conversation with Melissa, Nicky shares how she eventually found a church that offered her a supportive and welcoming environment through their unique system of "house moms," which helped her feel seen and heard. This connection allowed Nicky to flourish in her faith and feel inspired to invite her husband to attend with her, further deepening their spiritual bond.



Want to reach out to Nicky? Find her on social media HERE, listen to her PODCAST, or email her at [email protected]

Want more on this topic? 

Listen to episode 25 of Priorities on Purpose, where I share it all about acknowledging all the elephants and some of my own personal experiences. Also, check out episode 26 of Priorities on Purpose, where I talk about church search anxiety and practical tips and tricks to make the process doable and stress-free.

Read my blog on Overcoming Church Shame and Church Search Anxiety.

Book a consult and let's chat!

Coaching women in life and business is my passion! I'd love to offer you a free consult to see if working together could be beneficial for you. You don't have to know what you need help with, you just have to book the call. It takes courage. Just DO IT.

Let's connect:



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