… in finding my way back

Published on 29 Mar 2016
Unsplash

This is a short reflection that doesn’t quite fit with the tittle ‘where I found God today’. This is because I don’t feel like I have ‘found’ him yet; I feel like I am still looking. Nonetheless, I believe I can feel him working.

When I was younger I had a very strong and unshakeable faith. When I prayed I felt as if God was there with me, beside me, and inside me. I had no doubt that he existed; he was everywhere. Then, towards the end of my time at University and immediately afterwards, my faith was shaken. One of my parents passed away, then an uncle, then a close family friend, and then I was attacked. I did not blame God for any of this, but my world swiftly became a rather dark place and I could no longer feel Him. I kept searching; I went on religious retreats, I read, I went to confession, but when I prayed I felt like I was talking to myself. I felt utterly alone – perhaps even deserted – and my once colourful world had gone grey.

It was not all bleak, I did not wallow in a pit of despair, and I have a lot to be grateful for. I graduated with a good degree, made many friends, and got the job I had always dreamed of having. None of it, however, made me happy or helped me feel God’s presence.

Then, around a year ago, I met someone. He is not a religious man, he came with his own ‘baggage’, and we might have been thought an unlikely match; however, quite simply, I fell in love.

I came to realise that the grief, the attack, and everything else, had made me afraid to love. I was afraid of getting close to anyone – loving anyone – in case I should lose them and feel the crippling pain of loss once more. I thought that by pushing people away I could protect myself, but I could not have been more wrong. It has been learning to love again that has enabled me to start healing.

Now, thanks to him (my boyfriend/partner/insert appropriate acronym), I am happy and I see the world in colour once again. I even appreciate and see beauty in the little things, such as a crisp winter morning, crunching through autumn leaves, having a drink with friends, listening to music (the list goes on).

I like to think that the benefits of the relationship have not all been entirely one sided. He is also happier (but his story is his own to tell), he is doing Lent for the first time in his life, and now he sometimes comes to Church with me. Together we make each better.

I believe that God brought us together. It had been my fear of love that had prevented me from connecting to God; therefore, learning to love again has been helping me to find God once more. I have come to realise that there is much truth in the passage, which I had until recently forgotten, ‘he that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love’.

I am not quite there yet, as I cannot say that I have ‘found’ God (whatever that may mean); but I am certainly on a journey and a lot further down the road than I was before. My journey is ongoing, but I am happy to be travelling forward once more and happy to have someone else travelling with me.