Last year bought several dark moments, but it was these times which I realised which lights were shining the brightest.
It was these moments that I found myself rediscovering my relationship with God.
I was brought up in church, went to Sunday school every week, knew all the stories, knew how to play “church”. It wasn’t until I turned 16 that I first discovered my own relationship with God, and surprisingly it had nothing to do with Church. There was little for me at the church my parents went to, most of the young people were scared away by the hymns and the closed minded attitude. I fought it for ages, I got involved with a Christian charity called “One Generation” which encouraged you to run “Christian Unions” in schools. And of course my CU was the best… on valentines day I bought three hundred love-heart shaped post-it notes and stayed up writing/posting positive messages such as “you are beautiful” or “you are loved” etc. I posted the messages on students lockers purely for the joy of doing it. I wanted to spread the happiness and love that being a Christian gave me.
But then it all went wrong. I went from having the most successful year of my life so far, to absolutely failing my Alevels and losing all my dreams and ambitions (or so it felt at the time). Ashamingly, I blamed God. I believed that he had dangled this amazing bright future infront of me, and then stripped it away from me as a test. A test I failed too easily. I turned my back on Church, my friends, my relationship with God and buried myself into a deadend job, going out and a toxic relationship.
This lasted about eighteen months but eventually I stabilised, found myself an apprenticeship, broke off my relationship (a few times if I am honest), and accepted that I wasn’t going to uni to have the career as a doctor that I dreamed off. I applied myself to my new job and found myself being promoted a few times, I made amends with most of my friends and found myself in a healthy loving relationship. The only thing I didn’t repair was my relationship with God. I convinced myself I was best not to go back there, it would only cause me heartbreak and pain – right?
But then I found myself broken again, but this time, there was no obvious solution. Neither my parents, my boyfriend nor alcohol could help me numb the pain I was feeling and this was when I knew I had to try. I had heard about a new church in the centre of Birmingham with a strong student base, and I gave it a shot. Walking into that building for the first time was scary, but straight away I knew there was something there. Even though I had never stepped foot in there before I immediately felt a sense of peace. It was the same feeling you get when you finally get home after a long hard day, and your favourite person in the whole world is there ready to greet you and welcome you.
I was home.