I promised an honest reflection on my journey of faith but this is the hardest post to write. In one of my earliest posts I explained that my memory of a card of encouragement when I was confirmed into the Church of England at the age if 12 was the Holman Hunt painting ‘here I stand at the door and knock,’ but in actuality I was given a print of the painting of Christ with the caption ‘The Lord turned and looked upon Peter … and Peter remembered.’
Did I remember?
My first stumble was confusion when teaching so many children of different faiths. I was not mature enough at the time to understand that God does love all of the little children. Our role is not to judge but to care for them too.
the cock crowed
My second stumbling was confusion about different Christian groups and what they stood for. Being part of a charismatic fellowship but also involved in a Church of England Sunday night live fellowship. Neither understood the other or valued each other and it threw me into confusion.
the cock crowed
I still held on to my own faith nevertheless; that was until I stumbled into a destructive relationship with a man who was jealous of my church activities, my friendships and even my family at times. A few years later, with my confidence destroyed and my church life and support fractured to non existence, I ran away!
The cock crowed
Gradually I began life anew. I tried to attend a church but was embarrassed because I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t forgive myself, my abusive partner, let alone accept forgiveness myself.
Twice I travelled the world in search of meaning, carrying out voluntary work in Sri Lanka and backpacking through South America.
I secured a job teaching young adults and teenagers, giving them a second chance. It was so rewarding, but hard work. It was my life, gave me stability, but there was still something missing in my life. I began to write and published three novels.
I remarried and eventually we moved to Fife, but I was still searching and during the first year here I walked The Fife Coastal Path and subsequently wrote The Healing Paths of Fife.
We began to go to church every month or so and also high days and holidays but it was in the quiet, on my own that I began to find my faith once more.
Throughout this pandemic, and even several months before that, my quiet times have become an integral part of my life.
Peace, Listen, Sing, Pray, Reflect, Read the Word and React.
I cannot imagine the pattern of my life any other way now and yes, I
have truly forgiven myself,
and received forgiveness.
It is wonderful that I’m in Scotland now and Amazing Grace is even more special to me.