Tuesday, 27 May 2008


N.B. I'm afraid this blog is going to be completely honest, and most of you probably won't understand this, but I'm writing because the alternative right now would be much worse.

Recently things have been difficult for me. Not because of any one person, or situation, but because of a number of things that have sent my head spinning, and even now I am vaguely attempting to put everything back into place. I've tried to sort out and deal with each situation as it arose, but as I look back over the week and stew over things that happen days ago I realise that maybe I haven't dealt with any of them.

Right now I feel like my world is spinning out of control, and there is not much that I, or anyone else can do to stop that. If I look at my life, I think the one thing that gets to me more than anything is being left out. And this week, situation after situation has left me feeling like that, which is probably why I've been completely over-emotional and sensitive to everything these last few days. So many things in the last few months have left me feeling like I am completely losing my hold on reality, that I am being pulled and pushed in every which way and that after it all, I am left standing completely alone, while everyone else makes special memories with their friends. And I'm left thinking, who have I got?

Sometimes, I know I get completely paranoid about someone disliking/being annoyed with me, not necessarily because of anything they have done or said, but because I am completely insecure in the knowledge of who I am and why people would ever choose to be friends with me. But this week, I've been in a position where I could sit back and analyse the situations in which I have become nervous and paranoid, and I began to see that the actions of some people weren't just me being paranoid, but instead a conscious and willing choice to either avoid me or to leave me out.

And yet, I am not blaming any individual or group for that situation, because deep down, I still feel that it must be because of something I have once said or done, in order for them to feel that way. Try as hard as I might, I cannot shake that engrained feeling of self-loathing that rips me to my very core. And I still feel shocked and surprised when people willingly spend time with me, or say something nice, just because they want to. And so I realise, that I am losing it. Losing my grip on situations I guess I never really had a hold on anyway. Losing people that I thought were close to me, losing the chance to make happy memories that will stay with me forever.

And all I really want is to feel wanted. Not to know it, because in a way, I already know. But to feel it, to really feel it deep within my being. But I realise that that is not really something that anyone else can help me with. It is a gradual healing process that has already started, back in September when I was given a fresh start. And maybe for a while, it is time to go backwards in order to move forward. But with each step I hope that I learn something new. And most of all, I hope that I won't be doing it alone.

Friday, 23 May 2008


N.B. This week for me has definately been one of an uncertain middle ground.

As you move each foot, a new power takes hold of you, loose hair is thrown backwards, and the bitter wind stings your face as it hits, one leg behind the other, you feel like you are flying. Once you have mastered your balance you skate, faster and faster until you are flown off to place where you have the power and the control, and it is the most wonderful feeling. And then it happens. You fall, and you feel the sting of the freezing water as it stabs every part of your body. You try to catch your breath but the temperature has frozen your lungs and you feel like you are drowning, sinking lower and lower into the watery darkness, desperately wishing for a hand to grab you and pull you back through the ice into the sunlight.

There are moments in all of our lives when we feel like we have 'fallen through the ice'. And sometimes those moments last longer than others, sometimes we are almost ready to give up trying to move, body frozen still and our eyes beginning to close to the darkness before that saving hand yanks us out of the water. And sometimes we feel like the saving hand will never come as we are slowly but surely sinking towards our watery grave.

I have felt like I have been sinking this week. And although the memories of flying, of the good things that have been going on are still fresh in my mind, I can't help but wish for someone to yank me out of the water. It came so suddenly; I was barely aware that I was skating dangerously, but now that it has come, I am left ever confused as to when it began. I cry out to God, over and over, and sometimes I know He is there. But why then these fleeting moments of loneliness that submerge me back into my watery grave? I do not know. But I continue to cry out, for I know God will come.

"Cold, cold water surrounds me now
And all I've got is your hand
Lord, can you hear me now?
Lord, can you hear me now?
Lord, can you hear me now?
Or am I lost?

No one's daughter allow me that
And I can't let go of your hand
Lord, can you hear me now?
Lord, can you hear me now?
Lord, can you hear me now?
Or am I lost?"
Damien Rice - Cold Water

Saturday, 17 May 2008


N.B. Sorry it's been so long since I last wrote a remotely interesting blog. I guess the Philippines took all the blogginess out of me.

The summer is aloof! (Although, thats a rather hard thing to say sitting here watching the heavens opening over Southend this morning.) My favourite time of the year. Summer holidays. Soul Survivor, Church camping, Faith Camp, Holiday club, days spent lounging around at King Georges, quality time spent with friends, family. I just love it!

Last weekend I helped out at a church weekend at Letton Hall and I preached for the first time! It was amazing. (Not my preaching... the fact that I did it!) As I spent the weekend with the youth, I realised how amazing every single one of them was. We shared stories, we shared experiences, and I learnt a bit about how each and every one of them had come to the place where they were today.

At the end of the weekend, I was sad to leave those teenagers and think that it'd probably be a fairly long time before I saw them again. But then I thought about the young people that I get to work with every week in my church, and how vastly different and equally special each of them are to me. And that got me oh-so-mega-excited!

We recently started Youth Alpha, and have seven young people in regular attendance. That's seven people on their way back home! I have a group of about 15 that alternate their attendance to youth club. I have nearly a regular twelve on a Sunday morning. Each of those is a life that I have invested time and energy into. Each of those is a teenager whom I have a relationship with. That's proper awesome! Over the last few weeks, I have been having idea after idea after idea about what I can do to get these teenagers digging into Christianity. In some cases, I have to do a lot more persuading than others. But I care deeply about each and every one of them. And things are finally beginning to take off it seems!

So if you see me about with a smile on my face. This is why! I have the most amazing God, who has given me the most amazing job! I get to work with these teenagers and children, and hundreds more like them throughout the year, that are learning a bit about the most awesome God to whom I have given my life. ROCK ON people!!

Friday, 9 May 2008


N.B. Still trying to assort the effects of the Philippines and the effects of Training week in my head, if you're confused... so am I.

At Training Week, I finally came to the conclusion, or rather, God finally got to me enough to realise that all the things I said I couldn't do this year, were actually things that I just wouldn't do. And I don't know what it was about training week, but I finally realised that I'd spent so much of this year, and so much of my life thinking that I wasn't good enough to do something, or a wasn't able to do something, when really, God was saying to me, Why not?

God taught me a lot at training week actually. Through Beth's preaching and Wendy's sessions, I finally began to realise that YES, God does love me, YES, He did create me just as He wanted me, YES, He has chosen me and YES, He has called me to be His. To inherit His throne, to be His Heir. Geesh. Thats a lot to take in and finally realise, I can tell you! In fact, its pretty much life changing information. And I wonder how many Christians actually have realised it? Not as many as you would think, probably.

And then through Den's sessions, and Mike's preaching, I realised that God is calling me to even greater things than I have set my sights on. That I need to let go of things in the past, and realise that right now, God is calling me to spread his message. To love people. To stop letting the fear and insecurity get in the way of sharing what is inside of me. God's calling me to preach! (And that came as a shock, I CAN TELL YOU!) I don't know what form that will take, but I'm sure God will show me in time!

So on the last night of training, after a long few hours of worship, teaching and praying for others, I sat alone in the chapel. Just sitting really, trying to have some 'me and God' time. I hadn't received any direct ministry from God during that evening's session, as I had spent it praying for others, and I felt the need to just be alone with God. I just sat there, soaking up the massiveness of what God has taught me during the week, but I was flooded with images from my teenage years, images that I had tried to wipe from my head. Things that I'd said, things that had been said to me, ways that I had suffered and been hurt by people I trusted.

And I started to ask God why. Why did He wait so long to let me know that I was loved? Why I had had to wait so long to finally realise it? Why I had to spend so long wanting desperately to feel loved, when He was right there, loving me. Surely He could have done something? I continued to question God in my head, when Kat came in and sat beside me. I told her everything that I had been thinking.

She prayed with me, and she told me that God made me wait, because he wanted me to have the strength of the testimony I have now. He always loved me, He just knew that I wouldn't fully believe it until now. She said I was worth a million. And for the first time in my life, I actually believed her. Which, as usual, resulted in me crying (God has that effect on me...) But it was a release. God was allowing me to get rid of it all. He was telling me that it was finally time to stand up, and to start running the race HE has set before me. And the wait? It was necessary. Because now I know the extent of God's love, and plan for my life.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008


N.B. Just collecting together some thoughts... don't expect to be any more enlightened at the end of this.

Spending so much time down on the beach this week has brought back all kinds of memories from my childhood. We used to go every summer to Norfolk to look after my Aunt and Uncle's house while they went away on holiday. We always spent days down in the beach, Stephen always getting lost, building huge sand castles with moats and digging holes to bury Dad. At the end of the day we would always walk along the pavement in bare feet and then try to wash the sand from our feet with bottled water. There are so many things that remind me of the holidays we had, so many sights and smells that bring back rushes of happy childhood memories.

And amongst it all is a sad longing for it all. So much has changed in recent years, growing up has finally happened. Stephen will be 18 next year, we are all adults, preparing for the next part of the adventure. No more are the family holidays and times spent down on the beach building sandcastles and eating picnic sandwiches. Gone are the long car journeys and finding ways to amuse ourselves as we ask "Are we nearly there yet?!"

I feel kinda sad that that part of my life is over. It had barely begun, and suddenly, its over. Its a thing of the past. I remember being in Year 7, thinking that seven years at school was ages, and then before I know it, its May of Year 13 and I'm preparing to leave school forever. Time comes and goes so quickly, each day the sun rises and then is gone. And it leaves behind this ghost inside of me, almost an empty space, waiting for something to replace those memories that are just that.

I guess this has all been brought on by it being David's birthday tomorrow. The big 21. If I'm completely honest, my big brother is my hero, and he always has been. We've been close ever since we were kids; I've always looked up to him, and he's always looked out for me. Sometimes he does things that I don't agree with, yes, but I admire him for who he is. And I guess realising that he's 21 now (well, nearly) and he has already done so much in his life. He is a fighter, no matter what happens that throws him off course, he always seems to have a new idea, a new inspiration. I love him to pieces, and with both of us living away from home and working around the clock, we haven't seen each other since Christmas (and even that was a brief encounter). So I guess all this is just me getting emotional because I probably won't see him for his birthday, and I'd sure like to. I miss him so much.

"And still this emptiness persists
Perhaps this is as good as it gets
When you've given up the drink and those nasty cigarettes
Now i leave the party early, at least with no regrets
I watch the sun as it comes up, I watch it as it sets
Yeah, this is as good as it gets

My, my, my it's a beautiful world
I like swimming in the sea
I like to go out beyond the white breakers
Where a man can still be free (or a woman if you are one)
I like swimming in the sea, yeah."
Colin Hay - 'Beautiful World'

Monday, 5 May 2008


I come on my knees, to lay down before you
Bringing all that I am, longing only to know you
Seeking your face, and not only your hand
I find you embracing me, just as I am

And I lift these songs to you and you alone
As I sing to you, in my praises make your home

To my audience of one, You are Father, and you are Son
As your spirit flows free, let it find within me
A heart that beats to praise you.
And now just to know you more,
has become my great reward
To see your kingdom come, and your will be done
I only desire to be yours, Lord

So what could I bring to honor your majesty
What song could I sing,
that would move the heart of royalty?
And all that I have, is the life that you’ve given me
So Lord let me live for you, my song with humility

And Lord as the love song of my life is played
I have one desire, to bring glory to your name

To my audience of one, You are Father, and you are Son
As your spirit flows free, let it find within me
A heart that beats to praise you.
And now just to know you more,
has become my great reward
To see your kingdom come, and your will be done
I only desire to be yours, Lord

And we lift these songs to you and you alone
As we sing to you, in our praises make your home

To my audience of one, You are Father, and you are Son
As your spirit flows free, let it find within me
A heart that beats to praise you.
And now just to know you more,
has become my great reward
To see your kingdom come, and your will be done
I only desire to be yours, Lord"
'Audience Of One' - Big Daddy Weave

This song has got me so many times this week. Every time it comes up on my MP3 player, I just imagine myself kneeling before God, and everything that I've ever done wrong (and trust me, thats a LOT) just comes tumbling out before me like a river. And the Father is just standing before me, soaking it all in. And all I can do is kneel before Him and weep. Tears of sorrow and of thanksgiving, that the Lord has taken my punishment from me. And He has given me life, that I might live to please him, that I might live to bring glory to His name. What honour is that? That the Lord of heaven and earth should give me a second chance. And should be interested to call me by name, Ami, Ami.

Oh Lord, all that I can give is my life. Take all of me Lord, take all of me.

*Imported from Talk of Circadian Rhythm*