Friday, 11 April 2014

Take a Walk With Me

Earlier this year my writing was featured on another site called Stumbling With Grace which is written by the lovely Sara - who also has the site Walking With Angels.

Sara and I  met a few years ago at a blogging event with over five hundred delegates, it was a daunting yet liberating experience. A handful of us became very close friends and have been in touch ever since.

These strong, inspirational and lovely women have meant so much to me over the past few years and I hope they know how much I appreciate them and value their friendship beyond belief. I hope to be there for them as much as they have for me. I was proud to have one of these friends come to Church with us one Sunday when she was visiting and hope that when she moves to a nearby area she will be visiting us a whole lot more.

Take A Walk With Me - by Kate Ladd - February 2014
I had grown up in the Church, our local Church Of England Church called St. Thomas of Canterbury. My parents had dressed me up in our ‘Sunday Best’ every week and we went to pray each and every Sunday. Some Sunday’s I took part in the Family Services as part of the Brownie and Guide clubs. It was generally a once a week affair where I had to be on my best behaviour. I often found it stifling for it was the age where children were to be seen and not heard. That was a challenge for someone like me who had a nervous energy and needed a creative outlet. I found it difficult not to sing and dance in the isle/back of the congregation. That was something that made me happy especially when I did it at Church. It was never deemed appropriate so I felt ostracised from the off. Ironically now as an adult I don't feel comfortable in over enthusiastic congregations, what I would call ‘happy-clappy’ services. It just isn't me.
I always felt God’s presence growing up even during traumatic times in my life. Looking back these times don't seem that bad in comparison to others but at the time, and even now, they are all relative. I didn't realise when I was younger that when I begged for the troublesome times to disappear that I was actually praying. I also wasn't aware that when I closed my eyes and crossed my fingers whispering “please let them be ok” that I was asking for God’s help to others. I didn't understand how much God was a part of my life in these and many other ways. I wish I had known how much of a part of my life He was for I would have said ‘Thank You’ so much more.
I chose to walk with God by my side as a young teenager. It was something I decided to do all by myself. I wanted to confirm my love for God and feel God’s unconditional love in return.  It was a very special occasion and still is to many Christians today. However even as I made my promise there was a flicker of doubt in my mind and I found myself questioning if I was truly worthy of his love.
As adolescence descended with peer pressures, and hormones, the feelings of being a failure as a good Christian and general human being took over. The road I had set out so purposefully upon became foggy. It became unclear and so distracting that at one point in my life the road seemed to branch off in so many directions it seemed impossible to make any headway. My life as I had known it spun drastically out of control. I was tumbling down a dangerous helter-skelter from a very scary height. I became dizzy and lost focus in all aspects of life. I could barely see clearly let alone hear God. At one stage I was so overwhelmed by this black cloud that I was content with leaving my place on Earth. I wanted to ask God why he wasn't there?
I left the Church during this time and didn't return for seven or eight years. It was hard leaving a place which had once been a sanctuary, a place of light and hope. To me it had become an abandoned building of cold despair full of strangers which I had once thought of as friends and family.
It was my mother who invited me back to Church, her faith had never faltered and she continued to share it with me. I was dubious at first for I was still angry and felt discouraged but with each Sermon I listened to I felt I was being spoken to directly. I felt as if I was hearing God for the very first time. It has taken me over six years to feel confident in saying “I am a Christian and I am proud” but every time I go to Church and hear another Sermon or lead the Sunday School sessions I still get that warm feeling as though I am given an invisible hug. That it what hearing God is like for me. For a long time I felt guilty returning to Church after being absent for so many years. I didn't feel pure enough for God’s love and to be called ‘Christian’.
Being a Christian is a constantly changing journey that takes time and effort. With the help of daily devotionals, talking to my vicar or religious peers, and by spreading God’s love I am proud to say that I have found my faith again.
Christianity is so accessible nowadays it is all around you, as is God. You can find social media mediation tools, daily devotion downloads for mobile phones and technological devices, and there is always the good old fashioned Bible – you can get one in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes these days. They are all different, on the outside. If you can find your trigger to gain some perspective on life you will see that you too have a purpose for life and live with peace and love. My inspirations are the story of Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer who lost her left arm to a Shark when she was thirteen. Also I use the daily devotions phone app and books by Joyce Meyer.
I could go on but there is far too much to cover from music to muses. It’s like finding a pair of shoes. Once you find a good comfortable fit then you too can begin your walk with God. If you would like I can walk with you. This is just the beginning of my journey, let’s start yours, walk with me?

Until next time,
Every Blessing
Kate at S-T-O-C-K-S

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