With my first year anniversary of being confirmed upon me, I have been looking to how my faith has changed over the years. I have also been thinking a lot about my faith in general, which for me can be a good or bad thing.
To say that my relationship with God has been tumultuous would be an understatement. I have always believed that God existed from the earliest I can remember, but, I haven’t always wanted to follow him. Like many people I guess, it can be easy to blame God for the things that go wrong instead of looking towards yourself, and I have done my share of blame in the past.
With age, hopefully, comes wisdom and the understanding that only you can make things happen and only you are responsible for your mistakes. It has led me to think of my religion as a support, a way of learning to accept who I am and what I can give to others. When I went to the confirmation celebration at Canterbury Cathedral, I was struck by the number of people who have found peace and happiness from discovering their faith.
Everyone who attended looked so happy and confident in their belief that I have to admit I was a little jealous. I haven’t reached that level in my own journey yet, and I’m not sure I ever will. My anxiety on some days is such that simply getting through the day is an achievement. It can sometimes make me solitary, which is a little at odds with an active church life. Although I do what I can, it is one of the more frustrating things about anxiety. Trying to muster the will to do anything, even something I know I will love because I also know I will have to deal with a battle inside my head.
It is a cruel irony that my favorite time of year, both in the church calendar and at home is Christmas. I love the build-up and the services that happen, the old-fashioned Christmas movies, the carols and of course, Christmas TV. I also love the meaning of Christmas, and the message it sends to everyone, but it is also the worst time of year for my anxiety. It makes going to these amazing events and services all the more difficult and frustrating.
Maybe it is my faith along with my family that has kept me going, maybe without it, I would have given up long ago. Perhaps God does more for me than I realise?