As a young kid, I remember being dragged to church every Easter and Christmas; always singing the same monotonous hymn from the same hymn sheet. Occasionally I would end up playing Mary in a school production of the Nativity in which i sat in a dutty costume with a blue towel over my head with a fake doll (they couldn’t even get the gender right so I assumed Baby Jesus was trans from birth, easy mistake right)?No?Ok then..
I had always thought that God was boring, dull and uninteresting, that The Bible was all a load of Codswallop that could never be applied to my life; after all who could apply the words of a book dating back 2700 years old at age 9?If you could get through those passages at a young age unlike me, I applaud you. I really, Really do.
At age 10, I remember stepping back into a church. I felt like I was treading on Eggshells, that it was all conditional and bounded by rules. I felt as though I had no freedom of speech, that every question was burning my insides; waiting to be asked but never feeling free enough to even open my mouth. By the end of the year, I had fully given up my idea of ever finding a faith. Having a hope for my future, Just as the scriptures said. I believed it Wasn’t true. Like everything was forced. Faith for me at this time was unimaginable.
After stewing these ideas for just under a year, At the end of Primary School, I distinctly remember my mum telling me about this church, which happens to be my current second home, New Life. After mum expressing a wish to go and her pestering me for weeks, I reluctantly got in the car on Rainy Sunday Morning and went. As I stepped inside, Everyone was praying and singing praise and I immediately felt as though a hole inside me had been filled, all my previous feelings dissolved in love. After only a few weeks, New Life felt like my second home and I knew I had to Pursue a faith yet again.
A few fleeting months later, At only 12 years old, I began Struggling with an undiagnosed eating disorder, Body Dismorphia, Anxiety and depression. I felt ashamed. So, so ashamed. As though God hated me and everyone else did to. After all was it so ungodly I would be kicked out of the church I called mine? Things got so bad I ended up in Hospital after being diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa, just 2 weeks before. I distanced myself from God. I believed he wanted nothing to do with me. That I could never come back to him.
After a near death experience at age 13, I began to slowly wrap my head around the Bible again, believing that it was my only hope. As I read, God started speaking to me, telling me that by faith he could heal and how precious I was. More precious than Rubies. At this realisation, I began to put everything I had into recovery in the hope I would make it back to God and Church, to put all this behind me.
When I was discharged from hospital, God had made it clear to me that I needed to get Baptised. Still unsure, I began to reach out to my amazing youth team and we prayed. At a youth service that night, I knew what I had to do. At this realisation I began to cry and thought “Yes God, I will do it!I will do it”
I was baptised by my Amazing Babe of a Youth Pastor Rae Hicks in front of the church on the 28/10/2018 and since then I have never looked back. Through the trials and the change, relapses and tribulations and doubts, I am becoming stronger in who God believes I am and I want to inspire people in both recovery and faith, from here onwards.My Journey is continuous and although it’s a struggle, I have God on my side now. Hope, faith and Most of all, Life!
Yet what we suffer now, is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us Later