That time a pair of shoes gave me an identity crisis

“Talk to the person next to you about what kind of shoes you’d be”

All I could say is “I have no idea”

A retreat with the student ministry of my church,
Connecting with God,
Growing as a group,
Learning and spending time together.

Then it struck.
“What kind of shoes would you be?”
I had no answer,
No real sense of self to fit into a pair of shoes.

Spiralling,
Exhaustion and loneliness,
An hour later trying to hide my tears.

They didn’t care that I didn’t know,
They just moved on,
I came up with half an answer,
So had to back track.
“Maybe converse, dependable converse”

I stand by that,
But still worry about what they thought,
A turn around from my first answer,
An actual answer this time,
Well, maybe half an answer.

Identity has been a theme of the past year,
The loss of a relationship that defined me,
Growing deeper in my relationship with God

What shoes am I?
I’m still not 100% sure,
But I can’t wait to find out more.

The first and the last time

The first time was based on the unknown.
Lets try this way,
This might be the place,
Finding new beauty amongst function,
The unfamiliar steps I came to know so well.

The last time didn’t feel like the last time.
It was just one in many,
Home by now,
Yet still that little bit novel.
A love still inside me.

I have to learn to mentally move out,
Physically doing it was so much easier,
Heavy lifting,
Slightly emotional,
Yet not quite real.

I always feel most at home the day before I leave,
Looking into the unknown,
Clinging on to where I am and have been.

But moving on means leaving something behind,
The next chapter only starts when you let it,
Take another leap of faith.

An ode to my over-thinking brain

I don’t like you very much.
Most of the time I wish you’d stop.
A new brain would be brilliant thank you very much.
To switch off,
Not analyse every little thing,
To only focus on me and what I want and how I want.
That would help a lot.
So there.

I know myself far to well because of you,
Feelings can’t just be feelings,
Reasons always pop up.
Anger can’t just be anger,
I can almost always see the other person’s point of view.
Happiness can sometimes just be happiness,
Although then again I’m always waiting for the fall.
The fall which I know is coming because its come far too much before.

Over-analysis is your greatest hobby.
Helpful in academia maybe,
Not necessarily when I’m trying to just be.
You help me in seeing myself,
I trust your judgement completely,
Until I question myself,
Find I’ve changed,
Then cement that into being.
You miss the flow of change, to you things just suddenly are.

I wouldn’t be myself without you,
Little details that allow me to read people,
Understand things.
Being able to catch the little moments between husband and wife.
Seeing that the child has dropped something,
Making sure that I smile at the most miserable looking person.
You’re kind and caring and loving,
Without you I’d be incomplete.

Religious?

This post has come from a conversation with my mum where she referred to me going to church as ‘being religious’. If you’ve read my previous posts you probably know that I’m a Christian, but there was something about the label of religious that didn’t sit comfortably when it was applied to me.

The first thing I thought about was the saying ‘Christianity isn’t about religion, its about relationship’. I’ve heard the phrase a lot since I started going to a non-traditional/evangelical church and became a Christian, I guess its kind of a ‘trendy’ view. The more I’ve thought about it, however, the more I agree with it. From the outside, Christianity looked like a way of life: you followed a set of moral principles that were set out in the Bible. When I started actually reading the Bible and learning about Christianity, I realised it was about something so different.

In my mind, being religious is about rituals and rules that you follow. As a Christian, I don’t follow rituals to bring me close to God. My faith is based on prayer and the fact that Jesus died for me. Knowing this and getting to know and rely on God over time is the reason why I am a Christian. I go to church to meet with God and develop my relationship with him. For me, going  to church isn’t an act of being religious: it is a development of a relationship.

To other Christians, or people of other faiths, I’m curious what you think. Would you consider yourself to be religious or do you feel that it doesn’t apply to you?

The power of a group

where two or more are gathered.png

I truly found the meaning of this verse through the Christian Union at my university. I was very lost and lonely in my first year at university and, ultimately, it lead to me finding God and becoming a Christian but I truly don’t know where I’d be without the Christian Union.

Over the time I was a part of it, the group changed, a lot. I think I was probably the only consistent person who was there most weeks over the two and a bit years. It makes sense: a university Christian Union isn’t a stable thing, people graduate and other people join the university. I made some great friends within the group, especially in my last year, but the friendships weren’t what impacted my life the most.

Being able to be a part of a group, however big or small, who could come together for a bible study, a bit of prayer, and fellowship, had an impact. I was able to learn so much through reading the bible and listening to other people’s thoughts and beliefs from discussions, especially when I was first introduced to the group. They were the first people to take me to church, a type of church that I was very unfamiliar with, which opened me up to a new way of following Jesus. I was a quiet part of the group for most of the time and many people who went there probably didn’t know what an impact they had, but they had a huge impact on my life.

I truly believe that God worked through every person in the Christian Union to bring me closer to him and further me on this faith journey. I think the above verse summarises it so well. It doesn’t matter who is meeting, as long as they are a loving group meeting in Jesus’s name, God can and will do incredible things through them.

When the child that I was became the child I still am today

There is a divide,
In my mind.

Before Dad and After Dad.

The moments in between are perhaps some of my clearest memories:
The moment I found it was terminal,
The last Christmas when he was able to come home,
The picture of him I took,
The night we got the phone call and my mum went to the hospice to say goodbye.

I do not know myself well with a dad,
I have bits and pieces of memories which I piece together.
I was young,
Only young,
Thats what I know most about myself.

I do not feel grown,
I hope I never do.
Keep learning, keep moving,
Finding things anew.

A child talking to my heavenly father,
Grown talking about my deceased earthly father,
Although I will always have a bit of that child in me.

When a parent dies without seeing their child reach adulthood,
Its almost like you don’t reach adulthood.
There’ll always be that part of me that longs for a grown up father daughter relationship.
I develop it in my mind,
Make believe, as a child.

I am two different children existing in my memory.
I think thats okay.

Getting back to God

I have a cycle.

Two weeks connected,
Two weeks not so connected.

I know it well now

It goes with my moods:
Two weeks good,
Two weeks not so good.

God holds me through the bad and the good,
Knows me at my best and worst,
Always within me.

I’m always travelling towards Him,
Running into his arms,
A sprint or a jog, is there a difference?

 

A blog about blogging

If we were to have coffee today I would talk to you about blogging…

I feel I have been neglecting my blog a little but, its in need of a bit of TLC. Perhaps people don’t notice because I schedule 99% of my posts, but I have been neglecting my blog. I started this blog as a form of self expression. If I’m really really honest, I started this blog as a form of procrastination while I was finishing my last assignments and revision for my degree. The times when I should be doing something are the times when I write the most. I have lots of ideas for what to write all the time, I just only seem to be able to get them down when I should be doing something. Even know, I’m procrastinating on getting dressed and starting the day.

This blog is the third blog I’ve started in my (relatively short) life. Its the most creative blog I’ve ever had.I used to almost exclusively write about myself, usually posts were very angsty or they didn’t go anywhere in particular or were fairly dull, or all of those things rolled in to one. I’ve been able to make this blog something different. That probably has something to do with the fact that I’m no longer a teenager and I have developed a lot as a person over the last year or so. I’m more proud of this blog than I have been of my others, but with that comes some pressure.

I want to do well at this. Ideally I’d like to build an audience and be able to have a bit of a conversation with them. In the past I have definitely blogged out of loneliness: a desire to share my story in some way, wanting to talk to people who understand. Thats never really gone away but I decided to do something different this time. This time I set out to share things that mean something to me, rather than share me. I guess I want this to be a fulfilling experience for myself more than I want other people to like what I write but also I kind of feel that for it to be fulfilling I would like an audience. I’ve got myself in a weird paradox.

One of the weird things I find about blogging is that I’m very happy for strangers to see what I write but I would never dream of sharing it on facebook with people I actually know. It doesn’t make a lot of sense but I almost have two worlds which I really want to keep separate, I can’t really explain it right now: maybe it’ll make itself into its own post one day.

I have a lot of thoughts about the unique thing that is blogging that I wanted to share, perhaps to get me out of this blogging rut. Let me know if you have any thoughts to add!

Daddy

My relationship with my dad is complicated.

At the age of 11 I became fatherless.
In a way.
He died after a year of illness that I knew little about.

My memories of him are not always good,
The devastating thing about his brain cancer,
It changed his personality,
My mum tells me that all his anger, all his frustration,
Fell on to me.

At the age of 20 I realised that I’d built this picture of him as a bad person.
I realised the impact of that last year,
A year I remember so little about,
Though the emotional scars may still be there.

My memories are few but sometimes good.
I know he loved me,
I know that he and my mum laughed,
They were very much in love so he must’ve been pretty great.
I know we hugged and had a relationship.
I wish I could remember how it felt.

At the age of 12 I was covering this hurt,
Big time.
The consequences haunt me now,
But I think thats the only way that I could cope.

I once saw a quote:
“death ends a life, not a relationship”
And I realised that my relationship with my dad was oh so real,
I’m still his child,
Just not the one he knew.