My Autobiography (of my life with God) by someone else.

I discovered a song by Nichole Nordeman a few weeks ago and it is almost as if she wrote the autobiography of my life with God with it. It’s such deep theology in it, it’s left me floored.  Anyway here is it. I changed two words in it to fit better with my story but other than that it is untouched, I have just put the dates by the places the lyrics fit with.


This is where your ship went down                    6th Feb 2017

Right there, stern and bow

You took on waves, took on water

You took the blame, even harder

You drug a net across the ocean floor

Just rubbish and a broken oar

You washed on shore beneath the moon

And I’m not sure you want me to

But I’ll put you back together

Hush, hush                                                              March

You don’t have to have the answers                  April

Hush, hush                                                             May

I will gather all the branches                             June

I will light a fire for you                                      July

Rest your head ’til you’ve had rest enough    August

Hush, now hush                                                   September

Hush, hush                                                            October

It’s worse in the light of day                              November

It hurts the things they say                                December

You wrote big letters in the sand                      January

You watch the sky and wave your hands       February

But I love you if they never come                     March

I love you in the scorching sun                         April

One cup of water at a time                                 May

‘Til you remember you are mine                      June

And I will love you back together                     July

Hush, hush                                                             August

You don’t have to have the answers                 September

Hush, hush                                                             October

I will gather all the branches                             November

I will light a fire for you                                      December

Rest your head ’til you’ve had rest enough     January

Hush, now hush                                                    February

Hush, hush                                                              March

One cup of water at a time                                   April

‘Til you remember you are mine                        18th May 2019

I am the calm, I am the sea

Your rescue and recovery

And I am the storm that swallowed you           6th Feb 2017 & 25 July 2018

I let you bleed, I thought you knew                    6-10th July 2018

And I am the bottom, and I am the floor           September-October 2018

I am the deep you never knew before               1st November 2018

I let you sink and I let you go                               13th March 2018

But I caught you in the undertow                      14th October 2018

And I am the shore, and I am the flame

And mercy is My name                                        5th May 1983 till forever.

Hush, hush

Hush now

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My suspicions were correct…

A couple or a few blog posts ago I mention how I feared that I hadn’t properly grieved my sister’s death. Turns out I was right. Today I got a text saying her cat isn’t well and only has a few days left to live. I am absolutely broken, distraught, mashed up. Totally wiped me out. I know this level of emotion it’s not about a cat. But the thought of him going to be with his mummy (My Sister) is like someone knifing me repeatedly in my guts. Why does he get to see her before me? How can it be that she’s not here? I’m pretty certain that when the time comes for Alfie and/or Eric (My Yorkshire terriers) I will be the same in regards to John. My hearts desire is to see John or Paula that’s all I want and I’m so envious that max the cat will soon be reunited with her and I have to wait it out here. Unfair is an understatement. And yet at the same time I’m please for the cat, I’m happy for Paula that she will have her Max back on her lap. (Please don’t engage in a theological argument about pets in heaven at this point and just indulge me, thanks!) I’m pleased that soon max won’t be in any pain as he’s been ill for a good few years but has limped on, and actually was so helpful when Paula did pass as he was like a connection to her and now we are losing him as well feels we are losing another connection to my sister. I know that is not true but that’s how it feels. I’m meant to be writing my essay which is due in on Monday after an extension and I have no idea how I meant to do that now…. I just want to go back to bed, I’m exhausted. It’s 10:46 am. Grief is such a tsunami at times it destroys all in its path. Problem is I don’t have the time for it right now. I have to get on, I have to get this essay in or else my degree is in jeopardy, and that makes me more sad. Vicious cycle. I currently have estate agents, surveyors, and solicitors chasing me and I can’t deal with any of it. Somebody make the madness stop please. Please. Lord have mercy, cause if You don’t no one else is gonna.

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Same Place, different story.

Yesterday I went to a service at Manchester Cathedral. I knew it was around this time of year that I posted this blog post – in 2017, what I hadn’t realised was it was on exactly the same week! It’s almost as if God brought me back there at the same time of year to remind me of how far I have come and how much (of what I perceive as) a miracle has happened. If you’ve read the blog post from 2017 I was in such a bad place in my faith. I actually think I was at the lowest I have ever been, it doesn’t necessarily come across in the blog but I really was about to ditch the whole lot. I was in so much anguish I didn’t know how I could continue on with God and was fearful that my faith was over for good. I prayed that somehow by some way God would make it that I didn’t walk away from Him, but I couldn’t see anyway. I told Him my desire is to love Him and serve Him as best I can every single day and I truly never want to let Him go, but I couldn’t see a way ahead. I sat in the Cathedral and cried bitterly for quite some time. 2 years and almost to the day I am back in the Cathedral, and all I could think about was that day and how different the two days were.

Last time I was alone, this time with new people who have become dear friends. Last time bitter, fearful, and filled with grief fuelled sadness, this time laughing as I walked in the Cathedral, some how articulating hopefulness and heart bursting with love for God. This much I can tell you, I NEVER expected this. It was such a lovely time yesterday and I am so grateful. And if you are wondering, No I didn’t get ANY of the answers I asked God in 2017 and now they are not so important to me either. For God to give me the answers I require He would probably have to explain the whole universe and the whole of history leading up to this point, and my little brain couldn’t handle half a morsel of that. I did walk past the chair where I sat in 2017 and I gave it a little wink to physically acknowledge the difference between the 2 years.

There’s still loads going on for me with the house and I’m still struggling with grief to do with John and my sister but me and The Lord are tight. Long may it continue.

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Nearly wrote the title of this post as hopping, those of you who know the footprints poem joke about hopping will appreciate the irony. I don’t want to put the horse before the cart, but maybe, slightly, almost-ish, I might be starting to like my life again. Big development I know. A number of things have prompted this, and I’m also aware that there is still so much going on. Today has been such a mixture of emotions. Went to view a property and thought that it would be perfect for me, but don’t want to get my hopes up as haven’t sold my house so… but then I met one of my new friends from church and had a really good time, and I went out the other week with one of my friends from work. I feel like life is picking up a little, but I am also not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination. Best case scenario (Please God, let this be prophetic!…) I sell my house for a good price, buy the property I have seen this morning, go on a holiday once settled in, then come back ready to engage fully with life again, start looking for a new different job and crack on with my degree.  Life rarely goes the way we want it to but I’m hoping for a short time even at least it will do. Once I’m in my new property and settled crap can begin again but I’m in desperate need of something going my way at the minute, and new friends are definitely helping me at the moment. I truly didn’t realise how just how heartbreaking selling the house would be, I knew it would be hard but not quite this hard. I cried when someone put in an offer even though it was too low, and then I cried after seeing and loving the property I saw this morning. I think its why I’m so worn out at the minute. Grateful to be going and seeing an old friend tonight, and I’m hoping it will be uplifting. Part of me is desperate for the limbo I have been in since John passed away to be over, and I think that’s why I am so emotional, emotional that its finally might be coming to an end but emotional in a way that I am moving forward (not on, I could never move on from John). I have to trust God with all of this once again, cause the potential that everything could just to fall to the ground and I’m left without anything is the same real and visceral threat since the moment John passed away. Must go and get ready for this evening.

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Therapy today stirred up so much in me, and maybe the whole week, being Mother’s day on Sunday has made me think about a lot of different things. Certainly, my therapist picked up on something bubbling away within me and traced some of my thoughts. On the way home I really started to look at my life and was just devastated by the last two years, and then I began to think of my life as a whole and how I have ended up where I am, and I just feel really crap about it. Swung by church and sat in my car outside it. I went through a period last year and earlier this year where I was sitting in my car outside church almost every day at some point be it early morning, late evenings, after work and randomly in the afternoons, but haven’t done it for a while so it felt a bit strange. I’ve had two panic attacks in the house when I have really cried recently and I thought I know I feel safe at church so if I go there and I cry it might not lead to a panic attack.  And sure enough, it didn’t and I cried a lot. I absolutely sobbed till I couldn’t sob anymore. It’s strange that I don’t feel safe in the house any longer. I knew it would change when my lodgers moved out, but this level of uncomfortableness really isn’t pleasant. I wonder if it is cause I am selling it and trying to let go? I don’t know. The only hope I have for my life is to trust God. There is literally nothing else. I’m tired of it seeming like there is this big blank space in front of me and I’m in desperate need of some direction and focus. Some people might desperately want a big blank space in front of them to do whatever they want and not have anything planned, that for some would be a relief and an opportunity, but for me, it isn’t. For me it’s scary, I’m pleading with the Lord to help me. Give me something. Something solid. Something that I can work towards that’s tangible, cause I honestly just feel adrift without a paddle. I’m not saying life was planned out in fine detail with John, however, it didn’t really matter then cause whatever came we were together and that’s what mattered. Now I’m alone it’s totally different. Lord, I can’t be adrift much longer, you got to do something, step in, speak, whatever, you know what it is. I’m begging.

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I am tired, I feel like I’m always in my head, constantly trying to work everything out and even when I’m not doing that I’m thinking about everything deeply. I can’t seem to chill out. It’s wrecking my head. I need some fun, I need something else to think about and something else lighthearted to think about. I’m in desperate need of a really really good long laugh. I need a holiday. I need to get away so badly. And there’s just no way that is happening or even slightly anywhere in sight. I’m so tired of being sad and lonely. I need real consistent friendship and deep laughter like I’ve never needed it before… but who has the time for that? Maybe I’m just missing John without being able to articulate it in this way before. I know I’m holding on, trying to get to the next season or stage of my life or whatever terminology you want to use. It’s ridiculously hard at the minute, I honestly have no idea whether I’m coming or going in SO many different areas, my gosh. I just want all the things that are up in the air at the moment to be settled. Sometimes I have no idea who I am or what I want or like, or even think.  With that in mind… and I may regret this later but I feel I need to make some conscious decisions and cement somethings to somewhere about something somehow.  So here goes…(Take me or leave me). I am still a Christian and love The Lord more than I ever have and am more committed to Him and more serious about Him than any other time of my life. I worry about offending people most of the waking day. I believe Brexit is wrong and needs to be stopped. I enjoy driving but worry about the environmental impact. I can not do maths, not even timetables. I love 90’s pop music. I 100% reject Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory. I will always be a dog lover, no matter what. I do not like Coriander or any solid food that is red. Simon Baker is one of the most handsome people on the planet. I am still trying to make John proud and feel I am failing consistently. Nancy Carol is my favourite actress followed closely by Gillian Anderson. I’m trying to hold everything and everyone loosely. I want to have a favourite musical artist and a favourite paint artist but I don’t. I have no dress sense. I worry I am lazy. Blue is still my favourite colour. I am an affirming ally of the Christian LGBTQ+ community, who are my beautiful sisters and brothers in Christ. I love the seaside. Winter is no longer my favourite season, spring is. I do not want to be a poster girl for bereaved people or widows. I desire a daily fitness regime.  I am missing so many people from different times and places in my life that sometimes it makes me cry. I want to live more simply.  I worry I haven’t grieved my sister’s death properly. I cannot eat bread without butter on it. I’m addicted to liturgy.  I want to be kinder and gentler. I could watch detective series all day, every day. I am still seriously considering a monastic life despite the numerous monthly signs that suggest someday I should be ordained. I am going grey and I’m gonna go with it. I am no longer worried about changing my mind on things. My favourite saint is Saint Ignatius of Loyola who I sometimes talk to, and refer to him as Iggy.  I still hate putting the bins out and washing up.  I find swearing in context brings me relief. I’m always worried that I’m ungrateful. I have rejected dispensationalism.  I love romance. I have always wanted to take up ballroom dancing. I am worried about having regrets about the decisions I make. I still believe alcohol to be one of the evilest things on the planet.  I hate silent houses but I love silent churches. I want to be overly neat and tidy. Anglo-Catholic worship flicks my switches. I hate most fruit. I err on the side of escapism more often than not. I enjoy a good sing. Even though I don’t want to, I still believe everything happens for a reason. I love jewellery.

So now you know and so do I.

Till next time.

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All out.

A couple of months ago I was chatting to someone and I remarked that even when I feel I can cry no more still more tears come. However I have finally reached the stage where there are no more tears left. I feel like I’m gonna cry and nothing happens or the tiniest moisture appears in my eyes and then vanishes. I honestly didn’t think this was possible. I remarked to my therapist yesterday and she confirmed that sometimes one can cry so much the body can stop producing tears. It’s like it just says ‘enough’. My only reflection on this has been to think “wow… the tears ran out on the same day my savings ran out.” Now I have nothing to spend sadness wise or money wise. I knew the day was fast approaching when I would have to trust God completely financially, but I hadn’t thought about trusting him with my emotions. It’s so strange to feel like you are crying when there are no tears. Happened this morning in silent meditation, and it makes you think your emotions are not real cause there’s no evidence of the sadness. Crying can be such a release for me that thinking about clearing out the house and all Johns things without being able to cry is quite frightening. And if there’s one thing I don’t need more of it is fear. I’m trying and praying so hard not to be afraid when there are so many things to be afraid of. How can I live without John? How can I carry on? How can I live not being married anymore? How will I sell the house when I have no idea what I’m doing? What if the sale goes wrong? What if they find something wrong with the house and I don’t have the money to correct it for the sale? What if it sells and I haven’t found somewhere else to live? Where am I going to live? Where’s the best place? How am I going to live day to day when I don’t earn enough? I still don’t feel able to return to full time work but how will I survive financially? What do I even want to do now? Am I doing completely the wrong thing? Have I made a mess of everything? How can I not screw up my life? I’m praying that I would experience God’s perfect love, cause perfect love casts out fear. I have no other option than to trust God.

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Is this really happening?

Just signed the estate agents document for them to put the house on the market. Cried my eyes out. Sobbed through morning prayer and was glad I was alone doing it, that wasn’t nice for anyone to witness. Now feel empty, emotional and exhausted…its 9:09am. I know a house is a material object and inanimate, but it’s the fact John is not here and we are not doing this together. This is truly one of the hardest things I have ever done, ever. Heres where the secondary losses really kick in. Also, it will be 2 years since John died in 5 days and I feel once again like I just walked out of the hospital. Grateful for bereavement counselling today, pray for my therapist Y’all. She gonna need it.

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Under pressure

Tomorrow is the inquest into my sister’s death. It’s been 6 months since she passed away, and really it’s still hitting me. The last week has been horrible. The pressure I feel at the moment in particular is unlike any I’ve felt in my life, and I’ve been in some high pressured situations having run 2 businesses as well as lots of other crap in my life. This is pressure from nearly all sides of my life. John’s 2nd year anniversary is looming over me coming up the first week of Feb. I’m trying to sell my house to downside as I can’t afford it financially and to say I’m in pinch would be a little understated, trying to keep working when I really have no energy or concentration is one of the hardest fights I’m having, while trying to keep going and functioning as a normal human being with daily tasks. Add to that the grief of losing John and my sister in a relatively short space of time and the prospect of tomorrow’s events is exhausting. My body is aching under the weight of it all. My neck and my shoulder are in agonising pain. I can feel my face starting to tense again due to jaw tension. I don’t want it to be that I come to a place where life has kicked the stuffing out of me so much that I can’t recover but I’m certainly taking a beating at the minute. I’m trying so hard to not be scared and trust in God, this is the hardest battle. A good friend of my says “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” Easier said than done. Lord, I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on You.

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My broken certitude.

One of the many things that happened when John died was my certitude about things was smashed to pieces which if you have read through my blog I talk about a fair bit. The most worn out phrase I use since John passed away is “yeah….I’m not sure about that anymore.” And while at first it felt like a horrible curse, because the things that I were so sure were black and white suddenly paled into grey, and I was scared. Very scared. However, I have recently discovered it has turned out to be a blessing in the most unexpected ways.

Because I know hold so many things loosely and withhold my judgement I have been able to experience things I never would have if I had labelled and shut things out of my life. I have had far more experiences of God because of it, and I’m very grateful for that.

It’s almost like a whole new world has opened up to me, and it’s a kinder, friendlier one than I ever could have imagined. I have done things I wouldn’t have done a few years ago, I have had conversations with people I wouldn’t have entertained for half a second a few years ago, and they have been some of the most beautiful conversations I’ve ever had, I’ve read books I would absolutely never ever have read and the one I’m reading right now I have to keep putting down cause it’s more like it’s reading me than I am reading it… which makes for an even more interesting read…

So even though my own life feels very much like a train wreck still, I still have no idea what I’m gonna do or where I’m heading and it doesn’t look great right now to say the least, somehow in all of it? God is showing me Himself time and time again, and I just want Him to be first in everything I think, say and do. I want Him more than I want anything else. That is my new certitude now.

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