My name is Carrie and not only do I deeply love God, whom I call “Abba”, which means Father* in Hebrew, but I have learned to trust Him, to follow Him, to walk His way to the best of my understanding, whatever that may look like…
Growing Up in God
Born and raised in Maryland, at a very young age, my mother tells me I was an inquisitive child that would ask her many questions about God. At age 6, I did what all good Christian Baptist children do, I asked “Jesus into my heart”. Shortly thereafter, I was baptized, and over the years, eagerly attended Sunday School, Awana Bible Clubs on Wednesday evenings, Vacation Bible School, and Christian camps in the summers. As a teen, I loved attending youth group at church, led “backyard Bible clubs” through Child Evangelism Fellowship, and served at Christian camps. My proud grandparents called me “their little missionary (of the family)”. I graduated from Annapolis Area Christian School and even attended Philadelphia College of Bible for a few semesters (now Cairn University) before moving on to the University of Maryland.
As an adult, I was constantly seeking greater truths, all building upon one another revealing more of God’s heart. Over the span of nearly 20 years or so, I was a member of various denominations, including Baptist, Methodist, Charismatic, Pentecostal, and Non-Denominational gleaning elements of truths from each one. I helped lead worship in some of those churches as well as served in other areas and made many amazing friends through it all many of whom I am still friends with to this day. I enjoyed studying the Bible while also wanting to know why people believed what they believe. Annually, as I would learn new realms about God and His Word, I would write a “statement of faith” for myself which outlined what I believed with supporting Scripture. Although certainly far from perfect, I loved God and His son, Jesus, while being willing to let God’s Holy Spirit guide me.
Leaving It All Behind (like Abraham)
At 40 years old, feeling led by the Spirit, I went on an unexpected journey. I sold my home in Pennsylvania as well as most of my possessions and moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina knowing not a soul or even exactly what I would be doing for income. My mission was to “lead others to the Lord”, namely tourists, while trusting God would guide me in all areas of my life. As an Evangelical Christian, it is ingrained into congregants to tell others the “good news”, or to help get people “saved”, which translates to a person won’t burn in hell by default if only they believe in and worship Jesus as God, Messiah, and Savior. Therefore, everyone is destined to hell but can buy their ticket to heaven (so to speak) if they ask Jesus to live in their heart and strive to follow him. But as a Christian, you already know all this. What I didn’t know in my missionary pursuit is even though my motive was good, my theology was evil or so I would discover later.
I thought I would be leading people to the LORD, but in reality, the LORD led me to Him. Moreover, the truth of Him.
Meanwhile, I established this website “Flip Flop Fellowship” to document what I was learning in Christ and how I was ministering to tourists and locals at the beach. In the process, I bought a beach condo in cash and launched a cleaning business that specialized in cleaning beach condos for property owners using Airbnb, VRBO, and the such. While living in my beach condo just a few hundred yards from the beach, God’s Spirit illuminated the importance of what Christianity labels the “OLD” Testament. In time, the more I studied the first five books of the Bible, known as Torah, and the prophets, as well as the psalms, and other “OT” Scriptures collectively known as “Tanakh”, my false ideologies slowly eroded away.
Although I wasn’t Jewish, I found myself wanting to honor God’s voice (see Deuteronomy 28:1), my Heavenly Father’s explanation of who He is, what He likes and doesn’t like, or His instructions for life found in Torah and reiterated throughout the rest of the Tanakh. I stopped eating pork, shellfish, and anything else God deems unclean inspired by my love and respect for all of God’s word. However, I didn’t do so to earn my salvation; rather, I did it because of my salvation – out of gratitude and respect and ultimately, love.
Additionally, I desired to rest on the actual Sabbath being Saturday. However, because I had a cleaning business that specialized in cleaning beach condos turnover and my biggest money-making day was on Saturday, I significantly altered my business structure and even the location for various reasons.
I sold the beach condo and relocated to the Houston-Galveston, Texas area. Still determined to “lead others to the Lord”, I purchased a sailboat there and re-named it “Sailvation”. While living in Texas, I once again launched a cleaning business that specialized in detailing yachts. After getting established in the area, I attended a Messianic Jewish congregation and thrived. I enjoyed learning about aspects of Judaism, the fascinating layers of Torah, and the depth of Hebrew, while also getting to know wonderful people. Once again, I found myself on their worship team. Still deep in my studies, I realized, according to the Tanakh, or what Christians label the “Old” Testament, the prophets clearly state numerous times that Jews will be forgiven for all of their sins, saved from their enemies, and destined to be in the world-to-come or what Christian’s term “the new heavens and new earth” (see Isaiah 42, 52-58, 60-66; Jeremiah 30:8-31:37; Ezekiel 36-49; Hosea 11:8-11; Hosea 14:5-10; Joel 2:27-4:21; Micah 4-5, 7:18-20). All of which begged the question to my Messianic Jewish leaders, why the urgency to evangelize to Jews trying to get them “saved” by believing in Jesus if the prophets and other passages of the “Old” testament clearly reiterate, Jews are chosen, called for a reason, are in an eternal covenant, and will have an elevated inheritance in the “new heavens-new earth” regardless? Among other questions, no one could answer me (see “Questions Every Christian or Messianic Should Investigate”. )
I confess for much of my life, I just swallowed the Christian essential doctrines, like the Trinity, Jesus was born of a virgin, is Messiah, had to die for everybody’s sin in order to receive God’s forgiveness, etc., focusing more on the differing denominational doctrines of Christianity while being ignorant as to what the actual Hebrew texts reveal. But as previously discussed, there is always more to learn in God as He illuminates more and more of Scripture.
Despite my unanswered questions, I continued to believe Jesus was Messiah and probed for answers using primarily my Bible as well as other sources. In 2020, my eyes were opened and my vision focused as I discovered the actual “good news” for Jew and Gentiles alike and the bad news of believing a man could be God, all of which tragically revealed I had been duped since I was 6 years old, albeit not intentionally by my well-meaning family and various church circles.
Understandably, I was devastated and wrestled with how to proceed in my faith journey. I grieved for many months. I was relieved to discover, however, that I was not alone as thousands of ex-Christians continue to also critically analyze both Testaments and come into said truth.
While spiritual changes were occurring, physical changes in my life manifested as well. In 2020, during a pandemic as well as a named Tropical Storm, I sold the boat and even made a $5,000 profit, which is unheard of when selling boats! I relocated back to my original home state of Maryland to be closer to family. Despite the COVID pandemic, I landed a job within a week of moving back and was quickly promoted a few months later. God is indeed a good, good Father!
By October 2021, the same week of my physical birthday, I officially converted to Judaism. Prior to doing so, I struggled with which denomination or branch of Judaism to convert to as I didn’t and still don’t 100% agree with one particular branch; rather, my theology is more of a smorgasbord or blend from the different denominations of Judaism, similar to how I collected various truths from Christian denominations at the time. I suppose you could say after years of gestation, I was finally “born again”. I customized my conversion mikveh (aka baptism) to simply immerse my feet in the living waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Ocean City, Maryland while I said the “Kol Nidre”, a prayer titled “All Vows” typically said on Yom Kippur. I audibly renounced all vows previously made to the idol known as Jesus and dedicated myself via personal prayer to the One True God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whom I call Abba Father. I chose to purify my feet to symbolize the washing away of various trails by error now choosing to follow God’s way and His Fatherly wisdom in Torah to the best of my understanding. Although a foot mikveh is not per Halakhah or Jewish Law, it was meaningful to me.
A Journey of Flip-Flopped Faith
This unexpected journey to different shores washed away unintentional sins while adding me, just another grain of sand, to Abraham’s descendants albeit through spiritual adoption (Genesis 22:17; Isaiah 56). I had no idea when I picked the name “Flip Flop Fellowship” God would be “flip-flopping” my faith from Christianity to Judaism! In the process, I learned the entire purpose of the Jew is to lead the world to God’s pathway of salvation, by shining a light to and through Torah (Isaiah 49:6; Proverbs 6:23). Hence, why the world has always done its best to degrade, replace, and eradicate Jews. Torah is all about loving God and loving others in how God defines love. If Torah could be described in a single word, that word would be relationship.
Subsequently, although I am grateful for the lessons and friendships I acquired in many Christian circles, I feel compelled to share more accurate truths of what I discovered along my spiritual journey and what I am learning in Torah today. In doing so, perhaps you too will learn to walk in God’s ways and enjoy exploring the depths of Torah as well. Perhaps your theology will be challenged as was mine (and still is). I trust whatever steps closer you make towards Abba Father, whether as Jew or Gentile, He will bless you and keep you along your journey as He has for me and many others!
To read various theological, but easy-to-understand articles overcoming common Christian misunderstandings, I invite you to visit the “Carrie, Did You Know?” page.
Walk His Way!
*Note: God is depicted as Father in the Hebrew Bible as noted here – see Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 64:7; Jeremiah 3:19, 31:9