The end of the road

The end of the road

I think it’s time to finally admit that blogging may not be my thing anymore.

 

I’ve loved having a blog so much and for the few years that I was active, I enjoyed getting to know people. Now, though, a lot has changed in a short space of time for me and blogging has definitely slipped down my list of priorities.

 

To be completely honest, I have wrestled with the idea of stopping this blog and decided not to because I thought I would miss it too much. Unfortunately, now, I haven’t blogged – or read any blogs – in so long that it seems as if I’ve missed a lot. I don’t have the same amount of time as I used to which means that I can’t commit to running a blog. It feels wrong to hop on, write a post and then log off without catching up with what everyone else is doing.

 

I think now is the time to say goodbye to WordPress. I know I’ll miss being able to type out my most random thoughts only to find that other people have thought the same thing. I’m going to miss monthly challenges (even though I was terrible at keeping up with them) and I’m going to miss sharing photos and videos and playing around with themes to make my blog match my personality. It’s been amazing to be able to share so much on this platform – and for free as well?! – for so long but I feel ready to let it go.

 

Tidrah x

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Your belief vs. What you believe

Your belief vs. What you believe

I tried to make this title clever but now I’m afraid that it makes no sense and I have to explain it.

 

I love(d) talking about my faith with people. I loved when they asked me questions about things that I’d been to talks on and could give actual answers to. I loved when they asked about topics that I’d read and researched about. I loved when they asked about things that I’d had experiences with and so could talk about with emotional involvement.

 

There are some questions, however, that I find hard to answer because answering them feels like a conflict between what the Bible teaches (My belief; Christianity) and what I, myself belive.

 

Surely, the 2 should be in line? If I all myself a Christian, surely I should hold the same personal beliefs as the ones that are outlined in the Bible? And, yet, it’s not that simple.

 

Let’s take the ongoing debate about homosexuality in religion as an example. Me, myself, have no problem with homosexuality (I get angry when I hear people saying “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” because I find that completely irrelevant) but a lot of people will argue that the Bible actually teaches against it. I’ve read a lot and watched quite a few videos on this – because of this conflict between my belief and my beliefs – only to find that people have been taking verses out of context and using them to push their homophobic beliefs. Even without that, I don’t feel like Christians should hate any group of people when we’re taught to love. This long winded explanation was essentially to say that it then becomes difficult when – in a conversation about faith – people ask me what my views are.

 

I, personally, don’t see it as unnatural but then surely I should explain what the Bible says also? As well as what I know about the context of the scriptures? But then there are other Christians who think differently, should I mention this point of view?

 

I know that I’m not a spokesperson for all Christians and I know the people I speak to know this too, but it doesn’t make it any easier. When it comes to something that can be so controversial within religion, it becomes difficult to know what to say- particularly when my knowledge on the subject is not the best.

 

Why should a loving God send people to Hell? I can give you a great explanation of this from a Biblical point of view. Yet, now, I struggle with that concept myself. I understand that God is just and that bad people shouldn’t be rewarded and that we were given free will and chose not to live a life with God. But I’m also taught that we should forgive and not hate but love and pray for our enemies. Think about it this way, say you have 5 children. 4 of them are angels, always eat their greens and go to bed on time, they never forget to say please and thank you. The final kid is the complete opposite and usually causes you a lot of stress. Now say you’re on a sinking ship and you can only save 4 kids. Would you save the 4 best behaved ones?

 

That’s wrong, no? All 5 of the are your children, surely, you love them all the same? This is where it becomes hard for me to accept things that go against my beliefs.

 

Last point before this gets too long. What’s the solution to this? Do I need to force myself to get my beliefs in line with what the Bible teaches? Or as I grow in my faith, will this come naturally?

Do I stick by what I feel and believe half-heartedly? Picking and choosing what and when I want to believe things?

 

I would love a conversation to flow out of this but this is mostly me trying to spill my thought out somewhere. I’ve asked a lot of questions that, if you feel you have an answer to, I’d love to get answered. I don’t want to be exclusive with this, either, I’d love anyone to feel like they can share their opinion here – I welcome them all (If you don’t feel comfortable commenting, you can always contact me by clicking the link on my name below)

 

I hope everyone has had an amazing week and enjoys the coming week!

Tidrah x

Step One: Prayer?

Step One: Prayer?

I stopped praying for about 2 months.

 

It hurt to pray. I was (I am) angry at God that I’m in this situation and I just didn’t want to talk to Him. I felt dissappointed that after singing the words “You’re never gonna let me down” and “You’re perfect in all of your ways”, I still have to feel this way.

 

Even though I was still going to church and getting involved with my uni’s Christian Union, I wasn’t praying and I wasn’t talking to anyone about what I’m going through. In short, I wasn’t helping myself.

 

It’s difficult to find content that talks about being angry and not praying. There are posts about being angry at God and humbling yourself but I already know that it’s alright to be angry and upset with God. People will tell you that, even in the hardest times, He’s with you and speaks the loudest but what if I don’t want to talk to Him? What if I don’t want to listen? After some searching, though, I found a really nice short article called God Hears Your Heart which quoted a verse from Romans 8:26

 

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

 

Finally, I found some comfort in words. Even when I’m not praying and I don’t want to talk to God myself and put my feelings into words, He hears me. He knows what I’m going through without me having to express it verbally and, instead, does it for me.

 

I think my main issue was that I forgot – or underestimated – how calm and grounded I would feel after praying. So, I went on a walk and decided that, for the first time in a long time, I was ready to pray for myself. Instead of my usual, “Dear God, thank you for the world. I pray for world peace, amen.”, I told Him how angry and confused and lost I am. I told Him that I don’t know what to do with myself or where to start. I just let all of my thoughts float around my mind and didn’t think too hard about trying to structure a prayer in the way that I usually do. And it helped.

 

I have to say, I have missed it. In the past, whenever I as angry or sad, I would take a walk and pray or lie on my bed and pray. Even if I was in floods of tears, I would pray and, eventually, it would feel like a weight was lifted. Maybe it was just the act of letting everything out or maybe it was knowing that I was talking to God but prayer used to be my go-to when I felt like I didn’t want to talk to anyone else.

 

If you’re anything like me and enjoy being stubborn occasionally, it’s easy to forget the comfort that you can get from prayer. I’ve been so confused and it’s hard to know where to go and what to do. I have a hard time being vulnerable around people and so I guess, being religious, God is the one person I can go to and be vulnerable with because I can do this on my own and yet get so much from it.

 

So, to sum things up, it’s okay if you’re too angry or upset to find the words or the motivation to pray to God – don’t be hard on yourself about it – but don’t stop seeking Him. Don’t pull away from the people in your life who encourage you to keep asking questions and looking for the answers.

 

Hopefully this is helpful to someone, somewhere. I’d love to hear your thoughts whether you’re religious or not – I’m happy to discuss things with people who disagree. Feel free to contact me via email if you would prefer. The link for that will always be at the end of every post!

 

Tidrah x

(That’s the link, by the way)

Join me on this journey?

Join me on this journey?

Having a public blog where I post about the things that I do and think and feel means that you (whoever is reading this) are always on a journey with me.

 

You get to see me through my highs and through my lows. If you’ve been with me from the beginning, you’ll have seen how I’ve grown and changed over the years.

 

I haven’t blogged consistently for about a year now. I think this has a lot to do with the changes that I’ve experienced from doing my A-levels to starting university and becoming more independent. Now, at the end of my first year, I never imagined I would be in this position.

 

For personal reasons, I don’t want to go into detail but my faith has really been shaken. I think I mentioned in a previous post that I was really struggling and that hasn’t improved for me. Admittedly, I haven’t done anything to help myself but, now, I think I’m ready to start.

 

You may know about the story of Jesus calming the storm (if not, you can find it here – it’s really short, I promise). On the Sunday just gone, someone from my church was talking about how, even though the disciples were in the boat with Jesus, they were scared. In reality, being in that boat was the safest place that they could have been during the storm. A few months ago, I would confidently tell you that I was in that boat but, now, I’m not so sure.

 

I have spent a lot of time thinking in circles; going round and round only to end up in the same place that I started in. Finally, I feel like it’s time to stop making excuses and to start taking steps in the right direction. I want to be in ‘the boat’ and I would love it if you would stick around and join me on this journey I haven’t figured out exactly how I’m going to do it – and I still want to post things that don’t directly relate to religion – but this is (hopefully) my first step.

 

I have to be honest, it’s quite scary. I’m not the type who enjoys being open, it makes me feel vulnerable – which is another thing I don’t enjoy. So, I hope you’ll consider my invitation and stick around to support me through this journey.

 

Tidrah x

 

P.s. Thank you to The Hope Girls for giving me the final push that I needed (:

Faith is hard

Faith is hard

‘Religion is something people invented to make them feel better about death’

 

‘Religious people are naive’

 

You might have heard something along these lines before.

 

If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll know that I’m a Christian. Recently, though, I’ve been struggling with it and I’ve had a lot of thoughts and questions running around in my head.

 

No matter how many times someone says to me, “God feels your pain” or “Lean on Him”, I still find it hard. This is coming from someone who, a few weeks ago, felt like they were in a good place with their faith and was taking steps forward and getting more involved. It’s not easy to have faith; it’s actually really difficult. Imagine putting all of your trust into something (someone) that you can’t see. Imagine relying on a single book – a big book but still, only one – for guidance about the situations you encounter in your life.

 

Despite everything that I’ve experienced in my life – and seen in others’, I’m still finding it hard to get myself back to the place I was in before. Even though it’s beginning to affect other areas of my life, I don’t feel motivated to try and understand my situation and look to God for help. That’s not to say that I don’t believe in Him; I believe that He’s responsible for placing me where I am now. It’s just to say that being religious is not just a label. It’s not just about believing in the existence of a higher being. It’s not naive. Religion is hard and it requires so much trust and effort in the same way that a human relationship does.

 

I feel that it would be wrong to end this post with no reference to the recent events. I don’t want to go into specific detail – because, if I’m being completely honest, I haven’t been following the news as closely as I probably should. What I really wanted to say is that it’s easy to get caught up in the blame game. The media know what they’re doing when they portray certain groups in certain ways or use particular words and photos to report a story. It’s so important to truly educate yourself on an issue before you can confidently make claims about it, otherwise, you’re essentially just making uneducated assumptions. With so much terror happening in the world, it makes no sense to add hatred on top of that. Go out and speak to people, educate yourself on what they truly believe and don’t let negative portrayals in the media or stereotypes and biases cloud your judgement.

 

I hope this makes sense – I don’t plan on reading it over. Hope everyone has/had a great Sunday!

 

Tidrah x

Everything is changing

Everything is changing

I’ve had a blog for about 4 years now and I feel like I have struggled to keep up with it all.

 

I started blogging in December 2012 (when I was at the ripe old age of 14 – is that how you use that phrase?). When I first started, I was so naive about the idea of having a blog. I hadn’t fully grasped the effort that it would take and so, in 2014, I decided it was time to start again. This blog, itself, started on the 1st January 2014 as a way of turning a new page. Now, though, I feel like I’ve come full circle.

 

I don’t remember the last blog post I read or the last time I even posted myself. Honestly, I had started to lose sight of what my blog really was for me. I first started blogging because I thought it looked cool in the movies. I continued to blog because I’d found a community of people who were supporting me even though they didn’t even know who I was. That’s why I’ve decided to do things differently this time around.

 

I want you to get the chance to know me. I want to start again; from the beginning.

 

Rather than creating a whole new blog, I’m going to essentially ‘wipe the slate clean’. I’m making a start on making all of my past posts private and am even considering changing about the theme. I’m truly hoping that this is the change I need. I can’t promise that I’ll be posting regularly again – I can’t even confirm whether I will post again – but it’s worth a try, right?

 

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