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?