Tuesday, 30 September 2008


N.B. I was shifting back through some things I had written on an internet forum, and I came across this. I wrote it back in March, I think, and just was encouraged to see what I started out doing this for.

"Working within the church is great. I've met a lot of awesome people, people I can talk to, be open with, share stuff with, and also learn from. Older people that have seen a fair bit more of the world, have learnt lessons the hard way, have made the mistakes, and have run a bit more of the race. Sometimes, life gets hard. I'm only a young'un, and there are only a few here my age that I can socialise with (not that I have many evenings in a week to socialise... or the money to do so...) When most my age are off at Uni, partying, making friends, being independant, doing what they want and somewhere along the way getting essays in before the deadline, I have a responsibility. To the church. To the kids and young people I work with. To myself, and to God. I have to be places at a certain time, prepared. I spend a lot of the time on show. So even when its been a crappy day, if there is a kid about, I have to hide that as best as I can. I guess I'm used to that nowadays though.

Sometimes, I feel like giving up. When I'm tired, and I've spent 4 hours preparing a bible study session, and then I don't actually get to do it because the kids are messing around, its frustrating. When I have to spend hours at church, night after night, or haven't slept well or at all, and still get up early enough to get to the school on time for the assembly, or somewhere for a meeting, or to church to prepare for the service, I feel like throwing in the towel. I am constantly being challenged to do things I find really hard, things I find difficult to cope with. Things that had I a choice, I would not come within twenty thousand miles of doing. But amongst all that - is the chance to change lives. Is the chance to make an impact on a young persons world.

I've had a passion for youth work since the age of about 15. At my home church, I was heavily involved in the kids work - for some reason kids just seem to take to me really quickly. Even the difficult ones seem to like me! (Which is a surprise to me most of the time!) And I owe a lot of where I am now to my youth worker. He changed my life dramatically when I hit rock bottom, and I have been given the chance to do the same for the young people I work with. Yes, life is hard sometimes, damn hard, but when a young person comes to you with a problem because they only trust you, and you have the chance to demonstrate the love and care of Christ to that young person, it makes it all worth while. When a crying child runs to you for comfort - you know that they need you.

I've overcome a few random struggles in my life. And I know from experience that when people go through stuff, they often wonder why God brought that hardship into their life, why they have been made to struggle or deal with a difficult issue. But if you stick with it, and stick with God, somewhere along the journey, you realise why, and begin to see how God's plan in your life is not always the things that you had in mind.

I had a conversation with a young girl of 9 years old the other night. She was upset because she didn't see her Dad much because he worked a lot and she missed him. As we chatted, she confided in me that she didn't think her Mum loved her because she shouted at her all the time. Just chatting some things through with her made me learn from my own experiences. Talking things through with her, I was able to be the one to explain that actually, no matter how her Mum acted, she did love her, and her Dad too! She left feeling slightly more settled about her relationship with her parents (I hope!)

And sometimes, it is those little things, that text to a young person who has had a bad week, that smile to say, "I'm happy you're here", that conversation that says, 'I'm interested in you', it is those small things that make the biggest impact on the lives of the young people in whom I invest my time. Just making the effort, goes a long way when a young person realises you made the effort just for them. And through building those relationships, strengthened by the small things we do day in and day out, comes the real everyday experiences of Christ.

And that is why I get up every morning. And why I go to work even when I am feeling crappy. Each of my young people has an awesome life ahead of them. And some of them will walk it with God, and some will fight him all the way. But if through my ministry they might learn something of the gracious love that upholds them and sustains them, then I'll be satisfied that I did my job as God willed it."

Ami Wager [March 08]

Monday, 29 September 2008


N.B. I have been finding it rather difficult to sleep these last few weeks, falling back into old sleeping patterns and ways of thinking.

Since returning to work from the summer break, I have been learning more and more about myself, how I react to things, and how I adapt and change in every situation that I feel unable to cope in. I have been challenged by a number of peoples' questions and enquiries, and left many a conversation feeling glad for sharing a bit more of myself than I normally do.

Phil’s sermon on Sunday evening was based on the first part of Romans, the very first part, and he talked about who Paul was as a person, and who he saw himself as. As part of that, he quoted the film, ‘Hook’ when Wendy says to Peter, “Don’t you know who you are?” He posed this question to the congregation, who of course just murmured back a response.

But, due to the circumstances I mentioned earlier, this question hit me hard. Recently, it is all I have been thinking about. What makes me who I am? What am I defined by? I know that my identity is found ultimately in Christ, that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about on earth, this very second, I am completely unable to define who I am as a person. I don't know why, and I don't know when this realisation occurred. But I know that I have it. A complete incomprehensible illiteracy for reading who I am.

*sigh* You don't really understand what I'm going on about do you? Okay. So, erm.... I guess the only way to really explain it is this:

"Too many nights I have waited for darkness to cover me.
Too many dawns I have burned in my mind.
I don't know who I am, or where I am going.
No matter how much I laugh and smile, inside I'm broken.
It's a pain deeper than anything I've ever known before.
When I cry, I feel like the world is falling apart.
And when I write it all the darkness in me comes out.
Sometimes I stay awake all night just to avoid the nightmares.
When you leave me alone, I feel completely isolated.
When you don't talk to me, I feel abandoned and rejected.
But I believe it's because I am not good enough.
So I wear a mask to hide how much it hurts inside.
And most of the time it works because I don't let you look in my eyes.
I can't control how I'm feeling.
And I can't explain why I feel sad.
But I want nothing more than to feel like I am worth something.
And to know that you like me for who I am, not what I do.
I wish I had better words to describe how I'm feeling.
But to be honest, I really don't understand myself right now."

Thursday, 25 September 2008


N.B. I've not been feeling too settled lately. Maybe you know that, maybe you don't care, but I just wanted to apologise in advance if my blogs seem a bit... off, over the coming weeks. And hey, feel free to comment to let me know I'm not alone here.

I was at Training today, and there came a point when I found myself just staring out of the massive great window that is seated on either side of the barn. And as I thought about all manner of things, that verse that talks about us being of the world, or in the world came into my head (and I don't even really know what it means.) But I know that so often, I will look out of this window and watch those outside enjoying the beauty of the sun and surroundings, and wish I were in it.

During lunchtime I took a walk/run with God, and trudged to the top of "the mound". When I got there, I just shouted out to God, "What do you want from me?" over and over again. I screamed, I shouted, I fell on my knees before God. And I waited. I wanted to cry so so much, but nothing came. No tears fell. I asked God what was wrong with me. No booming voice or answer came. Maybe I'm not listening right.

Thursday, 18 September 2008


N.B. Yes, yes, I know, EVERYONE's going on about Kimya Dawson. I do generally like to avoid the highway and fall down into some country lane when it comes to talking about things on my blog. But just for once, I want to draw attention to this. Okay?

I was walking home from something at church the other day, and I had my Mp3 player on, and this song came on. I was listening to it, and it just made me think, yeah! I know that so often in my life I feel so insignificant to the grand scheme of the world, and this song, although maybe not rooted in scripture and 100% theologically correct (what song is, these days?) it described adequately for me how I felt. And that's what I love about music.

"When I go for a drive I like to pull off to the side
Of the road, turn out the lights, get out and look up at the sky
And I do this to remind me that I'm really, really tiny
In the grand scheme of things and sometimes this terrifies me
But it's only really scary cause it makes me feel serene
In a way I never thought I'd be because I've never been
So grounded, and so humbled, and so one with everything
I am grounded, I am humbled, I am one with everything

Rock and roll is fun but if you ever hear someone
Say you are huge, look at the moon, look at the stars, look at the sun
Look at the ocean and the desert and the mountains and the sky
Say I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye
I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye

When I saw Geneviève I really liked it when she said
What she said about the giant and the lemmings on the cliff
She said 'I like giants
Especially girl giants
Cause all girls feel too big sometimes
Regardless of their size'

When I go for a drive I like to pull off to the side
Of the road and run and jump into the ocean in my clothes
I'm smaller than a poppy seed inside a great big bowl
And the ocean is a giant that can swallow me whole
So I swim for all salvation and I swim to save my soul
But my soul is just a whisper trapped inside a tornado
So I flip to my back and I float and I sing
I am grounded, I am humbled, I am one with everything
I am grounded, I am humbled, I am one with everything

So I talked to Geneviève and almost cried when she said
That the giant on the cliff wished that she was dead
And the lemmings on the cliff wished that they were dead
So the giant told the lemmings why they ought to live instead
When she thought up all those reasons that they ought to live instead
It made her reconsider all the sad thoughts in her head
So thank you Geneviève, cause you take what is in your head
And you make things that are so beautiful and share them with your friends
We all become important when we realize our goal
Should be to figure out our role within the context of the whole

And yeah, rock and roll is fun, but if you ever hear someone
Say you are huge, look at the moon, look at the stars, look at the sun
Look at the ocean and the desert and the mountains and the sky
Say I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye
I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye
I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye
And I don't wanna make her cry
Cause I like giants"
'I Like Giants' - Kimya Dawson

Sunday, 14 September 2008


N.B. So the summer is officially over and its back to Southend and back to work! Wahay!

I am very glad to be back home. Its been a very long six weeks. Things are starting back a little different, I'm in a new house, (new in the non-physical meaning of the word...) with a new perspective, and most of all a new attitude and a willingness to stick it out with God for another year. I have definately come back this year feeling a little different to the person I was before. Maybe the time away has made me realise how precious every moment in life is. Maybe I learnt something over the summer after all. Maybe I'm just learning to see things a little differently.

In the first week back, I learnt that openness is sometimes necessary to move forward. I shared some really deep, personal things with some friends of mine, and through their responses, learnt to be more willing to accept others kindness as something other than hostile. I learnt to trust people with things that I refuse to talk about. I learnt that not everyone in the world is out to make you feel insignificant. And that some people care about you just for you, and not for something you have done or something you will do for them.

I guess thats a lot to learn in the first week back at placement. But I am glad that I am learning it. I am glad that I have two extra people with whom I can journey through things with. I am glad that friendships are a two way thing, and that openness begets openness.

Over the summer, I was struggling with a number of issues from the past that God wanted me to go over, to re-experience (so-to-speak) in order to move on from them. Some have been a lot easier to journey through than others. But that is the pathway I am on. I know that being a Christian is not supposed to be an easy life, but that God will travel the highs and the lows with me. And luckily, he has put some people in my life that will also experience that rollercoaster with me. So I am glad, that the first week back was as it was. Because it has challenged me to travel along a road I am not comfortable travelling down. And in that uncomfortableness, I will learn to lean upon God more than ever.