I am a Christian. Just writing it down brings a smile to my face, but it hasn’t been easy getting here. Finding God took me a while, but it happened, and now I want to share my journey with you. I have lots of stories to tell about the particular path that led me to where I am in my faith today, so each Wednesday I’m going to share one with you. Today lets start with an overview.
When I was younger my Nan would take my siblings and I to church each Sunday and whilst she sat through the services we would attend Sunday school, for me this is where my journey into faith began for the first time. I was so young that I didn’t really have a solid understanding of what being a Christian meant, but I attended a Christian school during the week, and I knew that it was a term that was often used when we said Grace before lunch, and when we sang the Lords prayer in assembly. Although I was unaware of it at the time, these seemingly unimportant, everyday activities, would have a huge impact on my life as I grew up and I’m incredibly grateful for them now.
Neither of my parents are particularly religious so gradually as we got older my siblings and I stopped attending church, instead we would go to sports practice on a Sunday morning. We all also moved to different schools as things in our lives changed and they were no longer Christian establishments. Then as I got even older I stopped going to the sports practices too, and my Sundays became spare time. I did enjoy those Sunday morning lie-ins but then about a year ago Daisy approached me, saying she would like to go to church to see what it was like.
In case you aren’t a regular reader of this blog I’ll fill you in on some details about Daisy – she’s my oldest friend, having known each other practically our whole lives. Our houses are across the street from each other and before we were even born out parents were friends. We’ve been through and done everything together at some point; we’ve laughed, cried and fought (a lot), we’ve been on holiday together, built forts, filmed youtube videos, climbed trees, had many, many birthday parties and eaten plenty of pizza.
But before that day I’m not sure we’d ever really discussed faith or religion together.
It didn’t matter that we hadn’t discussed it before though because that day we started the conversation, and since then, it’s never really ended. I agreed to go to church with her, so one Sunday we attended the service at my old church – there’s a feeling of safety and peace during services that I’ve never been able to replicate anywhere else. I suppose it’s because it’s when you’re closest with God and closest with others who are close to him too.
Although I can’t speak for her, I assume Daisy must have felt something, or discovered something, whilst we were there too, because we’ve been attending weekly ever since. The day Daisy spoke to me was the day my journey into faith began for a second time, I’d say it continued on from where I’d left off – but it didn’t, because this time I was older, more receptive and truly ready to find God.
There are lots of people I have to thank for introducing me to all that my faith has to offer, the most obvious are; Daisy, my Nan and the teachers from Sunday school and my original school. Also though as people began to recognise that Daisy and I were showing up every week we began to become part of the churches congregational community, it was actually pretty easy for us to talk to people because my Nan goes with us and has been attending the same church for a long time, so she already knows everyone and could introduce us. One of Daisy’s other friends and her mother also sometimes appear at services so before we even began we had people we could direct any questions towards. But, even if we hadn’t had those connections when we started, I don’t think it would have mattered, because there’s such a welcoming atmosphere at our church and I hope that’s the same everywhere, I’ve heard it is. God brings us together and that’s very powerful – it bonds us and creates a tether of love between us.
Faith now has a huge impact on both of our daily lives, we don’t just go to church on Sunday mornings anymore, we also became involved in a youth group called ‘Highlight’ on a Friday night – where we spend two hours reading Bible passages, playing games and praying. It’s run to by two lovely youth workers and it’s really interesting to explore our faith in this way because it’s so different to the weekly services, in fact – it’s one of the things that helped show me that those Sunday mornings aren’t the only time to learn about faith, every second of everyday is an opportunity to learn more. Sometimes those learning curves are steep and at other times they are tiny steps forward but each one has an impact whether it comes from listening to someone else’s views, watching a program, reading or just realising that you want to start living your life differently so that others can see your faith in your words, in your actions and in your heart.
Last year we were both Baptised and Confirmed, cementing our ever-growing love for our faith. I’m realising each day how blessed I am and how much I have to be grateful for, now I want to share those blessings and my gratitude with all of you.
If you would like to see some photographs of our Baptism it’s this post!
Daisy and I made fortune cookies with Bible verses in them, I wrote about it here!