Well, that was an interesting night! I was strangely nervous/anxious for most of the day yesterday (Partly from being at the hairdressers, which every introvert knows is a traumatic experience in itself haha!) but also for the summer school festival at night. I was beyond excited to see and catch up with a few people, having spent the week texting them, wishing I was there to spend time with them in person. But I was also really apprehensive and anxious of what kind of emotions it would bring up. I've spent the week feeling strangely nostalgic, I sobbed for about 10 minutes on Sunday night, wishing I was there and having a serious case of fomo (fear of missing out 🙄😂), and I knew it would feel weird going back to Kilgraston in particular, somewhere I'd spent so many weeks of my life (especially weird going without Matt!). I know everyone stops going at some point and I'm not trying to be melodramatic or exaggerate at all, but when something has been such a big part of your life for so many years, it's really weird to not be involved. Anyway it was all fine! I mean it was weird to be there to listen rather than take part – I had to control my tear ducts when the whole school started singing at the start (and again near the end of the band piece Purpose…), but it was lovely to just be there and particularly to chat to everyone. (Me, aka super quiet, non-chatty Roslyn, was in fact literally the last person to leave the school. Maybe Matt's rubbing off on me after all 😉) Although it's true that I may have had (more than) a few tears when I got home… 🙄
The festival itself was great – everyone taking part played/sang/danced/acted/sported(?!) really well and to a great standard. For me, I really enjoyed the q&a with the new students, the multimedia video and the chat with the sports students – because from hearing them all speak, it was clear what an impact the week was having on them. Not only that, their faith, or at least their desire to explore that faith, was evident. Seems like the sign of a good week to me (and that's only the halfway point!)
I was really intrigued by the theme for the week – live like you believe. Because it's not necessarily an easy thing to do. As far as I'm aware they've been looking at different traits, such as compassion and accountability, and how to live these out. I'm actually really sad to be missing all of the teaching and cells. It's always been something I've looked forward to, particularly in recent years of going to summer school. I like being challenged, I like being made to think and I like hearing different perspectives and points of view. I'm even more sad to be missing tonight – a lot of people hate the Thursday night, but it's something I've always really enjoyed. It can involve a lot of emotion for some people, but that's something I actually like. I like that it's a space where it's acceptable to be emotional or vulnerable, without 'losing face' or whatever. There was a kind of stability to it for me – like a yearly opportunity to sit and take stock of where my life was, and where my faith was, and where it was all going next. I like the amount of support that is always there, from people you expect and those you don't. I love the opportunity it gives for conversation and discussions, so open and honest and real. That's the thing I've missed most this week I think. Those real, genuine, authentically honest conversations. They are my fav 💗
I do have a question though. (Wouldn't be me if I didn't!!) How do you 'Live like you believe' if you don't quite know what you believe? If you take the statement literally at least, then how does that work if you're unsure or just downright confused about God/religion/faith/Jesus etc.? If you don't know what bits you understand, what bits you believe or agree with, where does that leave you? (Or me!)
I go through spells of being really 'confident' in my faith – I pray a lot, I'll read lots, I'm enthusiastic. Then I give myself even a moment to think about it, and I realise I don't understand the majority of what I'm claiming to be enthusiastic about. That when I read bits in the bible, they don't make sense or are too far fetched. That I disagree with every defence of Christianity in a book full of questions about how real it is, or isn't. That I don't understand or believe in or agree with the hymn/song lyrics I belt out in the car or the shower. And then I feel really inauthentic, and hypocritical, and struggle to see the point in dealing with or caring about it at all. Why is it so complicated?
Traditionally, I'll spend at least part of the Thursday night sobbing to Matt/Ian/Sharon/Adam/Karen that I just don't get it or just don't believe it – that I want to believe it but I just don't. That I want to believe it and feel it but I just don't know how or understand what that really means. (Side note – I've been thinking a lot and reading a lot about having a 'personal relationship with God' – blog post to come at some point!) I'm sure they'll all be very glad not to have to deal with my constant 'but why? But how?' questions tonight 😂 But for me the questions all still stand.
So, how do you Live Like You Believe, particularly if you don't know what you believe? Summer School students (and staff!), I'm looking for answers and clarification from you! ☺️
(p.s…make the most of the rest of the week, and tonight especially. Ask the questions, have the conversations, be open to anything and be present in it all. 😌)