I wrote yesterday of the God question. As stated yesterday, I have thought various things at various times in my life. I have always been a doubter. This was exactly why I finally did a degree in theology and then a Masters and then a doctorate. None of this was to get letters after my name and I never use those letters. It was all part of my quest for understanding. I met many wonderful people during that time, of all faiths and none. We all got on wonderfully well together. It was a very fruitful time for me. The first thing we studied was philosophy and all the different arguments for and against God. And of course God cannot be proved in the scientific way anyway. It is a matter of faith.

As many of you know I had a terrible childhood, with a horribly abusive mother. I had no love from her and there was much cruelty and violence. However when I was thirteen years old I encountered something different in a Methodist church that I started attending with some friends. At first I just went to the Youth Club. I loved the dancing, but also I loved the conversations that I had with the deaconess there. I was always a thinker and a questioner and we talked about the world and everything. Eventually the deaconess stopped me in my tracks by telling me quite out of the blue that God loved me. Well, having known no love at home I fell on it hungrily and thirstily. It was a good time in my life and a became a full member of that church. The church people became my family rather than my blood family. It was not long, however, before I was put in a car with a man from the church to deliver the harvest produce to some elderly people. The man groped me in his car and then locked me into his car. I was fourteen years old. I told the deaconess about it and she instructed me to tell nobody about it. The man was protected. Well, I got over but I was labelled the sinner, not the man. This did not dent my faith. It was the man who was in the wrong and not me.

I went on from there to become very involved in the church, leading services of worship. However, the evangelistic nature of the church bothered. Most were fundamentalists and you were not allowed to question. It got on my nerves. By the time I went to teacher training college at the age of eighteen I was fed up. I could not accept all of that stuff.

Having discarded that first faith I continued with my life. However I could never stop thinking about God and love. I did not know what I believed. I was young and just getting on with my life, getting married and working. It was later in life that I decided to pursue these questions about God and did my first degree in my forties. By then I had had many bad experiences. During this time I attended a Methodist church again, looking for community. However it was at this time that a terrible thing happened to me. I got raped by a man from the church. He was a treasurer in the church. He came to my own home and did it. The church treated me badly and silenced me. I did not remain silenced and have written about it and told people about it. I did not abide by the church’s edict. I left that church in the end and moved away and tried to get away from the memories of what had happened. I moved from Lincolnshire to Derbyshire. Where I was very happy, except that my father had just died and I went to an Anglican priest to talk about my grief. He too did something terrible to me, and I reported him to the church authorities. At first I was not believed, but after a year long case, which almost destroyed me, I won the case. After that I just got on with my life again. I still could let go of some kind of faith though. It was a very changed kind of faith that had to embrace suffering rather than anything else. I found what I was looking for in the Catholic church. Yes, I know all about all the abuse there and it is horrific, but I actually found love and acceptance there and also a theology that embraced suffering. You did not have to be healed or fixed to be accepted.

In all of this, I still found a great wealth of love for others within me. I listened to many people and accompanied them in their suffering. My own suffering enabled me to understand and be alongside others in their suffering. I accompanied dying people too. I worked in Nursing Homes, sitting with dying people and talking to them and listening to them, and attempting offer care and love.
I then moved back to Lincolnshire which is my home county, having discovered the mystics and finding that I could relate to them. They talk about suffering. I had suffered much in my life. I also had an abusive husband. I could have given up but I did not and continues to seek life and meaning. I did not always believe in an external God, but rather in the divine spark within us and the life force within us, which many would call

Then I got cancer. My mother entered my life again. Needless to say she was just as abusive as ever. I still do not know whether I believe in an actual God or not often, I feel that the atheists have got it right however, I still seek to know the truth and probably will to my dying day.( I will continue this story soon. )

8 thoughts on “MY JOURNEY

  1. Shocked to read about the abuse you’ve suffered at the hands of so-called men of faith. That in itself would be enough to dent anyone’s faith.


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