I’ve been intending to post this for a few weeks now and am only just getting around to it. I stood up and shared my testimony on the Friday morning at summer school, and thought I would post it onto my blog. Why not……
So I was really undecided about coming this year – i literally only signed up on Friday – and I was undecided for so many reasons. But despite all the things on my pro/con list (got to love a list!), there was a nagging feeling telling me to go for it. Whether that was god or not, I don’t know. But something was urging me – something besides Adam – to go for it. Ignore my fears, or what other people would think, and just go for it. Like Vicky said the other night, this was also a ‘step out of the boat’ moment for me. It might not have been a big deal for most people – but after a year out and not having Matt or any of the people I’d traditionally hung about with here, It was more like a leap than a step for someone who feels as quiet, shy and socially awkward as I do.
This is my 11th summer school, and this place – music/summer school – has shaped so much of my life. It was here I had my first experience of people my own age who had a belief in god and a faith and who talked about it. It’s helped me make big decisions, like changing corps, and it was after a cell group one year that I got the encouragement and therefore courage to quit the uni course that I hated, and go after something I’d enjoy. It was here I met Matt, literally here at Kilgraston – 10 years ago – and now he’s my husband. And perhaps most importantly – though don’t tell Matt I said it was more important than him – the foundations of my faith – however weak or ignored that faith might be at times – were built here.
I’m so happy I changed my mind and turned up this week. (Although it pains me to say that Adam and some others were right!!) I’ve pushed myself way way outside my comfort zone – i couldn’t just hide behind matt or stick to what feels safe and comfortable. I’ve pushed myself, and forced myself to try and just be comfortable being ‘me’ – something I don’t find easy to do. But it’s been so worth it, and the conversations and experiences I’ve had this week, some with people I might not have normally spoken to, have been so worthwhile.
Being honest, i’ve been struggling quite a bit recently, even if I’ve hidden it and pushed people away so I didn’t need to admit it. I’ve been panicking over what I’m going to do next in life job and careerwise, my relationship with myself is quite poor, and I’ve just been feeling a bit numb and stuck in general.
So I came hoping to find some clarity – clarity around who I am, what I’m doing with my life, and god.
At the end of the week, I know I’m nowhere close on any of those fronts – but I’m maybe slightly further along that journey than I was on Saturday. I’ve also been reminded time and time again that we’re not on our own in any of it – both because we’ve got each other – and the friendships we make here can be so strong – but also because even when we don’t realise it or accept it, and I certainly don’t most of the time, God’s right there with us, and I really hope i can remember that longer than just this week.
So that was the testimony I stood up and shared on the Friday of summer school. I can’t reiterate enough how glad I am to have spent that week where I did and with the people I did. I loved singing in girls chorus all week. I felt like I learned quite a lot(even managed to sing notes higher than I ever have?!!), I enjoyed the music (as you’ll know if you read my last post 😂) and there were poignant moments, but mostly Marjory just made it a lot of fun, which makes such a difference.
I enjoyed cell group, as despite it being quiet at times, we got some good and challenging conversations as we got to know each other more and explore things about God.
The friendships I made or strengthened that week have really sustained me since -it’s been lovely to see so much support not just during the week but since, both in person and across social media.
As for God, I’m not sure where I’m at. And that’s ok. As for me? I’m a bit more positive than I was before I went, but that may just be because I’m currently lying in Crete, next to a swimming pool, in 30 degree heat 😎😂 We’ll see how I get on in a few days once reality really hits, but I know I can figure it out.
I saw someone share the Youbible App’s verse of the day yesterday, and it’s one I screenshotted and have had coming in and out of my head since.
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail” Proverbs 19:21
Whether I’m taking it out of context or not I’m not sure, but there’s a huge reassurance in the thought that God has a kind of overarching purpose, rather than any exact plans, for our lives. So no matter what my next step is, whether it works out or not, God has a purpose for me 👌🏻