When it comes to my relationship with God these past few months, I think yesterday was the low point. I’ve never cried quite so thoroughly in public before. A lovely lady tapped me on the shoulder to ask me for directions and looked utterly horrified when presented with my mascara streaked face and eyes that made me look as if I hadn’t slept in a week. I remember looking in a shop window at myself. Lost in the middle of Cardiff, looking like a drowned puppy, and with very wet feet.
It’s not the most elegant I’ve ever been, but the main factor was that I’ve never felt less faithful in my life.
My identity has always been found in God and I have never been at a point where I didn’t believe in him. I have every edition of children’s bible, youth bible, picture bible, study bible and street bible (always a hysterical read, the Psalms are written as raps – utter genius!) you could ever think of on my bookshelf at home.
But the thing is, being here, one term into university in Cardiff, I’ve lost it all a bit. Honestly I haven’t prayed in months, the idea of church fills me with dread and when I think of a so-called guilt free and fun life without the pressure of pleasing the creator of the universe, I come very close to walking away.
My abandonment of my quest to get to church that morning made me realise I had a decision ahead of me. I could either throw in the towel entirely, a much easier and more tempting choice, or I could begin trudging back up the Mount Zion! A heroic vision, but sadly it was university that I had to trudge up to that particular morning, not Mount Zion.
Luckily, this is not going to be a story of a girl who threw in the towel at all. In fact, I shall be throwing nothing, linen based or otherwise. I do know though, that I am a lost sheep. I can’t hear God, I can’t see him, and I can’t feel him. I have never felt less embraced by the love everyone has told me about all my life and I have very little Christian influence in my life right now. But nevertheless, I am still God’s daughter.
At the moment that is all I know to do is to go through the motions. I cannot make myself fall back in love with the Father I once felt so close to but what I can do is pray honestly, read the Bible, attempt to attend church at least once without balling my eyes out and having to spend the rest of the day recuperating in front of Downton Abbey (I <3 Hugh Bonneville), try to follow the basic guidelines for a Christian lifestyle, and try and include my non- Christian friends in this difficult journey to show them the power of God.
I phoned my Mum after my traumatic failure to set foot in a church, and what she said sort of stuck with me. She told me that she sees the whole faith thing like a marriage. There is not always going to be that rush of loving emotion, but what you must remember is that there is love there, an awful lot of love, and if you stick at it and hold on to what you know to be true, eventually that will be honoured and what you felt before will come back, stronger than ever.
And so it begins…