I wanted to write about how I became a Christian. I was brought up attending church every Sunday with my Auntie (my Mum is an atheist). I was part of the church community, eventually got confirmed and called myself a Christian, but in name, without much thought to what that meant. Aged 18 I left home, went to university, didn’t look for a church and God slipped from my thoughts. In fact later, in my early 20’s, I became actively not a Christian. I clearly remember sitting in church at a baptism thinking ‘what about evolution?’ I couldn’t marry the overwhelming evidence that evolution happened with a Christian faith. That was the moment I stopped calling myself a Christian.
Last year Robo Boy came home from pre school and told me “God is everywhere.” A vicar had visited and talked about God. I talked to the vicar, a regular visitor in the pre school, about my views and she was respectful of them. She developed a great relationship with Robo Boy and he took on God in the way that I had as a child, as fact told to him by adults.
Then the boys were invited on a Christian summer school at the end of the summer holidays. Three days of crafts, play and fun, which was very reasonably priced. I’ll admit, cheap child care and after a fun but exhausting summer I welcomed it. After the summer school I decided to visit the church involved. I think despite my logical convictions something in my heart was being called. This church wasn’t the right fit for me, so I started to look around Bristol at other churches. Not even really sure why I was looking, I followed the pull.
I found a church. Non denominational, which I wanted because ‘religion’ and the things done by the various factions of church in religion’s name was not what I was searching for. I wasn’t looking for religion, I was looking for a relationship with God. It’s a happy clappy church, I wanted to take the children and I wanted church to be fun, positive and happy. I wanted our experience to be joy not condemnation. This church felt right, I started going every Sunday with the children.
It’s been 10 months now and I’d love to have a thunderbolt, Jesus appeared in a victoria sponge and told me he loved me, story to share. For me though it’s been a slower, more gentle thing. Something inside me telling me that there’s something in this story, a feeling. Sunday’s praying in the church, feeling moved, feeling love, feeling hope.
I don’t have fact to back up these feelings. I guess that’s faith. I’m doing an Alpha course to learn more, to explore the bits I don’t understand/can’t explain. I know I want God in my life, and the children’s. I’m inviting him in. I call myself a Christian, I’m trying to live my life the way that he wanted. It’s hard, I’m imperfect and keep falling, but trying is good. I have found that science and evolution theory and Christianity can co exist in my beliefs. This is how I became a Christian.
It’s taken me a long time to feel brave enough to write about this part of my life here. I’ve been scared of judgement, worried you would all see me differently, stop reading. The time has come now though to be proud of my faith, not embarrassed. I won’t ever judge you on your beliefs so why do I judge myself on mine?
Inviting Him in is a big brave step. Congratulations. X
i think everyone is entitled to their own beliefs Ella and if it brings you a sense of calm, inner peace and happiness then I am so happy for you and you have made the right decison to follow your heart and welcome god into your life.
well done for writing about it on here – i love you for your honesty on here and respect you even more x x x
Thanks Jenny, I appreciate your support.
I completely agree with Jenny. Believing is something no one can ever judge you for. It might not be for everyone, but if going to church, praying and having a fun time with your children is something that makes you happy and more positive, what’s more to want and who are people to judge?
I love the thought of Jesus finding me in a sponge cake! When Maxi was small and we lived down south I attended playgroup at a “Happy Clappy” or as they called it charismatic church. It was full of the kindest, joyfilled people I have ever met. They made me feel welcome inspite of our differing views and most of them believed in creationism and many were scientists or techies based at the local software firms. The whole place made me feel warm inside. I tried the local church of England church when we moved here, but it felt cold and distant and it didn’t fit me. I think I am a spiritual person, not necessarily a christian one. I live somewhere that doesn’t have many church options and I am not going to the Catholic church.
One of my oldest blog friends is the wife of a pastor and her blog is http://angalmond.blogspot.co.uk/ you could so a lot worse then take a look. I will also send her your way as she is ace!
I love this post. Even though you’ve told me some of this story in person, it’s great seeing more of it in writing. Perhaps a gentler journey is more what you needed so you know that it’s an authentic relationship rather than a one-time emotional experience? It’s great that you’ve shared this here too. It’s easy to keep your spiritual side to yourself, worried that others might alienate you (I know I often feel this way and have to actively make myself mention my faith on my blog) but your blog is so much about your life that it would be odd to hide this important and beautiful bit away. Thanks for sharing. x
Fab post x
This is very much your personal space and it would be odd for you not to post about your faith. It’s an important part of you.
Am pleased you have found something that offers you so much and pleased you had faith in your traders to share. Bit disappointed about the Victoria sponge as I read initially, that you did see Jesus in cake and that slightly blew me away!
Hi Ella – my mate Jen@the Madhouse asked me to get in touch – actually, I’ve read some of your blogposts in the past – but now will sign on as a Proper Follower
Well done you, for ‘coming out’ about your faith. Nobody has ALL the answers – even those of us who have been God-people for half a century or more. And I believe passionately that our relationship with God is personal, in the sense that we each come to know and understand Him in our own way – there is no blueprint, other than that Jesus is the One who helps us. But faith is also something to be shared, when we realise just how much God helps us get through the good and bad times.
It sounds like you have already found lots of lovely supportive Christian friends, and I am sure the Alpha course will help you get more of the answers and build your confidence.
On Sunday our youth group are doing the service at Church and calling it The Journey – a brilliant title – because we are all learning, all on the way, and not one of us has arrived at ‘Perfect Christian’ yet. [that happens in heaven] but we can say that we do not think ‘eternal life’ is something that occurs after we die, but rather it is something we start to live now.
Love and prayers winging their way to you, and your lovely family – summer blessings – Ang xxx
Your Aunty was your godmother. She and your mother believed that without information one is unable to make personal choices. A mother’s beliefs should not be inflicted on a child. A mother’s role is to offer experiences that give their children the ability to make choices as they grow and develop. I am happy both that your godmother played her part and gave you some of those experiences and that you used your experiences to find your way. I hope that your faith enriches your life and that I know that you will give your children the experiences they need to make their own choices in the future.
I’ve recently found my faith as a Christian and am so much happier!
I was never very religious growing up, but was Christened and went to Church sometimes with the Brownies or at Christmas time. I was the kind of person who liked to believe in something, some higher being ‘up there’ but I wasn’t quite sure what!
It has only been recently, after having kids and lots of things going on in my life, that I have found God and am starting to learn more about being a Christian. I’m hoping to be confirmed and start to attend Church regularly! (I always want to, but have a terrible time getting up early enough in the mornings!) I talk to God and pray each night, so I know that I’m now on the right path 🙂