Saturday, 22 September 2012

How I lost my faith (part 1)

I told Justin Brierley that I'd blog about how I lost my faith.  I'm afraid we're going to have to start waaaaay back.  This could take a while.  More than one post.

My parents took me to church from the time I was a foetus*.  The church we went to when I was a small child was a fairly solemn Anglican affair.  I usually enjoyed the services (except for the rock-hard pews), believed in God and made my first commitment to Jesus when I was four, sitting on the edge of the bed in our spare room.

When I was seven, my family moved to Sheffield.  Again, we chose a relatively sombre church to attend.  Life went on.

When I was about nine, my family went to stay with one of my mum's sisters and we went to her church.  The worship there was so different from anything I had ever encountered - lively, joyful, heartfelt.  Instead of following a liturgical text, expression was free.  At one point, we children stood in a circle in the centre of the room, while adults stood behind us, laying hands on our heads and asking God to bless us.  During that time, I felt a peaceful warmth suffuse me.

I was blown away by this experience.  This was the kind of Christianity I wanted!  I read books about the Holy Spirit and asked God to fill me.  One night, while sitting in bed praying, I began to speak in tongues.  My parents - mum in particular - noticed a change in me and became interested in charismatic Christianity.  A few years later, they moved to a more charismatic Anglican church.

In the meantime, however, my life was rocked by the discovery that I had chronic renal failure.  I was ten.  At some stage in the future, I would need dialysis or a transplant.




*Though probably not within a few days of my conception, since they were in Ibiza.  Too much information, mum.  Seriously.

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