The photo above was taken inside my local church, a place that I have walked past thousands of times in my life and never even thought about. To me it was just a landmark, a point on my walk to and from home.
During my darkest times I found myself being drawn towards the front doors of the church and I couldn’t explain why. I would find myself crossing the road, just to be on the same side as the church and each time I went out for a walk I would do the same thing, walk up to the front door and walk away.
Religion has not played a part in my life since I was 7 or 8 years old when I used to attend Sunday School if I stayed at my Nan’s house over a weekend. I was given the choice of Sunday school or football (soccer) and went for the football and thus ended my relationship with religion.
My very good friend Teresa is a very religious lady and suddenly her words started to resonate with me and strike a chord. One day I walked up to the church front doors and pushed them to enter, suddenly I was inside the church and made my way over to the seats and sat down alone in an empty church for the first time in over 25 years.
I felt a calmness overwhelm me, it was a strange sensation as suddenly I didn’t feel so alone with my depression. I sat down and spoke to Him asking for help and guidance. I was there for over an hour pouring my heart out desperately trying to get some answers about why I was feeling this way and what path was the one to take, the one that would be the best in my battle.
That day was June 17th 2012.
I came home that evening and felt like a weight had been lifted. That there was somewhere I could go and be alone with my thoughts.
The significance of June 17th?
After asking for some sort of sign as to what I should do to help me stop drowning from depression I sat down at my PC desk and starting writing this blog! It was the first time I had even thought about blogging, the idea had never occurred to me before and yet there I was typing away for the first time and putting my feelings out there on the internet for the world to see.
Was it simply a coincidence? Of course it is possible but I choose to believe otherwise. Why start on that day, the day I took the step into the church and asked for help?
Now don’t get me wrong this is not a post about the virtues of the church or even God himself, I am not a preacher or even someone that shouts about religion. We all have our own set of beliefs on the subject of religion and I don’t want to influence anyone or press my beliefs onto people.
It is, as always, my way of documenting my thoughts and for the first time I feel comfortable writing about this subject and sharing this step of my journey with you. Without worrying that the topic would drive readers away as religion feels almost as taboo a subject as mental health with some people.
I have not attended a service at the church but on Wednesday evenings the doors are opened for an hour and a half for “quiet reflection” and I make my way there to sit alone and speak to God.
I always leave the church feeling better about myself and now I go there to say a private thank you for showing me a path that could help me, and could help others.
Before I pressed the “publish” button on my book I went to church! I went to say THANK YOU and to offer a prayer for my friends who show me such support on a regular basis. There was a 2 hour gap from finishing the book to publishing it but I felt I couldn’t do it until I showed my gratitude.
I am sure that people reading this may struggle to comprehend where I am coming from with this post, for me there are lots of unanswered questions about this
- what made me walk towards the doors?
- what made me open the doors?
- why does the church provide me a sort of sanctuary?
- where did this new found faith come from?
I guess it is like anything in life, we find things to cling on to that make us feel better, feel inspired or even just somewhere to go and be alone with no distractions and that is what the church brings to me.
I don’t own a bible, I don’t go to any services but I feel like I have found something that helps, and for me that is the most important thing. I was christened as a kid but I have never felt more in touch with HIM than I do now. Even more so when I feel low and doubt myself.
I guess this post is just my way of expressing myself. I feel like the starting of this blog was the sign given to me in my battle with depression so it’s only right that I write about it.
Have a blessed day folks!