It’s been seven years now since I started blogging. This was one of my early posts back on Musings of a Koala. It’s kinda crazy to read it now.
A friend of mine said she missed me writing on ‘topics’ on my blog. I should really have got clarification on what that meant exactly (if you’re reading, I think you’ll know who you are so remind me to ask you next time we chat!!). If I’m honest it’s gotten tougher to find to time and motivation to write. However, I will say that events in the recent weeks may have changed that slightly…
If I’m right in what my friend meant, I think I stopped blogging on topics about three years ago. And I’m going to try and explain why I think that happened…
A few years ago I went through probably the most anti-climatic and difficult crisis of faith I’ve ever had. It was very different to crises of faith I’d had previously. In my early years of my faith I was up and down in my emotions and faith like supersonic yo-yo.I had to learn a whole new culture that I didn’t naturally belong in, because I hadn’t grown up with it. It took me a good five years. As soon as I was settled, it was like God said ‘Ok. On to the next lesson‘. My first year as a graduate was an unmitigated disaster. I learned a great deal from that disastrous year…because I started losing perspective on my priorities, and I suffered the consequences.
In April 2007 I was a hot mess. But I was determined to trust God and believed He would lead me back to where I was supposed to be. And of course, long term readers know that meant ending a relationship, saying goodbye to the safety of a job, my own home and heading to Australia for a month before I returned to the home city that was so full of horrible childhood memories.
I actually hate looking at photos of myself from that time because I lost so much weight with the stress of it all. By the time I came back from Australia I probably weighed under 8 stone…
I arrived back on May 4th 2007. I surprisingly found a church to call ‘home’ almost straight away, and I was actively involved in the life of the church serving as a youth mentor and as a backing vocalist on the music team within a month of my first visit. I joined a smallgroup and the main core of that group are some of my closest friends to this day.
My first few years back in Edinburgh were no picnic. I’m pretty sure I’d have had a total mental breakdown if it hadn’t been for my smallgroup being a steady anchor for me. They were a source of encouragement, challenge and also being willing to let a flawed person like me try to encourage and challenge them in return. There was constant change and drama and it was the one consistent aspect of my life. I knew no matter what I had that safe sanctuary where I could return for a couple of hours a week before I headed back into the madness that was my life.
When I came back from South Africa in 2009, there was a church restructure. I had come back with a lot to process and think about, and I never ended up getting the chance with all the impending changes. Our smallgroup disbanded and it felt like my safe sanctuary, my anchor in the storm was ripped away from me. I tried to suck it up and make the best of things over the next year as many of the folks I’d worked with in ministry left, along with friends and families who’s young people I had worked with for 2-3 years by that point through the youth programme. I struggled. I got hurt. I probably hurt other people in my hurting state. Suffice to say that there came a point when enough was enough and I had to make one has to be one of the most heartbreaking decisions I’ve ever made since I left Aberdeen.
I left the church.
I was also not prepared to be cut off on social media by folks who I’d previously thought my friends. I cared about the people at the church and wished them well. For several months I didn’t attend church services at all – anywhere. I needed that time because I’d gotten to the point where I wasn’t sure if I’d been manipulated and ‘hoodwinked’ into a religious cult called Christianity. Was God real? I needed to find Him in a way I could be sure it was Him and not just being programmed to believe by other people.
After three months, I was assured that yes…God was real. He still loved me. And He was still with me…no matter where I went.
Though I never really found a new place to call home, I did find myself repurposed and using my gifts and skills again elsewhere.
But in terms of writing, I really miss the days where I’d write and knew my readership. Every time I blogged on something I’d find it being read by folks in church who would chat to me about it. I loved that interaction, and I think it motivated me to keep on writing as honestly as I could – the silly stuff and the serious stuff! There were so many posts I wanted to write but couldn’t during those months of brokenness for fear of how they could affect the people reading them. For the first time ever, I began to censor myself.
So back to the recent events…
I feel like I’m at a crossroads in my life once again. My relationship with God still exists, but it is certainly not what it once was. If you asked me today how my life is going, I’d have to say it’s a mixed bag of good and bad. There are aspects that I’m really struggling with right now, and other aspects I’m really enjoying and excited about. I know that I have lots to ponder, lots to reflect on and lots to write about. There are things I think I really want to do, but needing to find more courage for.
One thing I know for sure is that I feel like my motivation for writing is getting back on track to where it once was. Where it’s going to go – I don’t know yet. But I do know for sure that I’d really appreciate your feedback.