Washed away

And to sleep with a prayer for the beloved & praise on your lips
And to sleep with a prayer for the beloved & praise on your lips

This day 7 years ago, I got baptised in my local baptist Church.

It was an amazing day and I felt truly blessed.

This was/is my testimony on that day

I used to call myself a ‘vague’ Christian. I used to ‘believe in God’ and I always thought that was somehow enough. And then about 10 years ago something happened which made me start questionings the existence of God. And my feelings just changed I can only describe it as a ‘falling out’. I lost my faith. I didn’t trust in the Lord and I just thought ‘I can do this on my own’. But actually I couldn’t. And over the past few years I have began to feel that there was something more to it than this. But I never knew what. I was just very much aware that when I met ‘real’ Christians that they were totally different people. They seemed to have a certain light / energy around them. In a whole where there is so much uncertainty they seemed to be fairly certain about something. I am going to cut the middle bit but essentially a series of life events mostly good and a few mildy unpleasant eventually lead to Church and eventually to the alpha course.

This is where I really learnt about Jesus and his eternal love for us. I learnt about why he came to be here and the importance of why he left (although to return in some point in time) and . And listening to various people and lots of thinking. It’s seems to make sense to me – just like the missing bit of the puzzle that I have looking to complete. I think it was there all along just hidden away by all the meaningless distractions in this world. There’s no Earth shattering moment/ event I can point to when I feel that I changed. Just one evening sitting in my living room reading my Bible and feeling in despair about some other trivial event that had happened that evening. And as I was reading I suddenly felt just different. All I can say is just not the opposite of being alone. I just had this feeling that I would never be alone again. At least no in the way the I normally think of as alone. To me I think this is the feeling of God’s love. Since then I haven’t looked back – all these funny doubts, hesitations just disappeared. I realised He had been there all along I was not seeing.

And so now I see everything in completely a different light. I am so appreciative of everything around me. And even though there are some parts of our life on this Earth that are very ugly – there is also the part that is totally amazing and beautiful. I am just so thankful to be alive it all. So I want to spend the rest of life serving Christ and learning to become more like him. I feel like do anything else is a waste of why I have been put on this Earth. I now feel like I have a somebody who will be here forever always pushing me in the right direction.to help others in the best way possible

This is the verse that was prayed over me.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

How is my walk of faith almost a decade later?

Decidedly Wobbly…

It’s a difficult and complex place I find myself. Believing fervently in some things and having doubts and disappointments in other areas. I am not the avid Church goer that I once was but I continue to believe in the power of prayer and a God that loves us unconditionally.

I never quite got the whole Church ‘thing’. I understood the Biblical principles however I never seem to understand the 21st century middle class London version!

I suspect that much of my social difficulties were intrinsic to me. Perhaps I just did not have what it takes?

I struggled to maintain relationships with Christians my own age but made heated and passionate arguments about the virtues of Christianity to my atheist friends.

So how has it come to this…

PUSH FACTORS
not really bonding with anyone in Church – the people I had the strongest bond with have all left the Church
Crying in Church and having the people around me ignore me completely
A sense that the non-Christians were there to be pitied and patronised

PULL FACTORS
Many parts of the Gospel are compelling, beautiful, hopeful and uplifting; when actually lived out – warms the human heart like no other

Being a part of a humble Christian community with nothing but love and grace to other is amazing.

What does they make me? Christian or non-Christian?Fair weather Christian? Dilettante?

I think this poem and this song sum it up.

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost sometimes
That’s why I chose this way”

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble –
needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
and pray for strength to carry on

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion
asking humbly to be taught

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible
but God believes I’m worth it

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache
which is why I seek God’s name

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I do not wish to judge
I have no authority
I only know I’m loved

Carol Wimmer

One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)

I continue to be hopeful

I pray that I can pass on love and grace to those around me, just as I have been graciously loved by God.

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