Twenty-five years ago, I had a spiritual experience which changed the rest of my life. I said ‘yes’ to Jesus. A decision I have never regretted. In the good times, it is God I thank; in the dark times, it is him I reach for. As I have got older, my faith seems more like poetry and less like prose. I have more questions and less dogmatism. I crave authenticity, love community, celebrate unity and long to see justice, mercy and grace. But oftentimes I’m muddling along – a pilgrim stumbling along a twisty-turny path.
Thankful today as always for the heroes of faith in my life – ordinary men and women who have prayed, loved, taught, preached, challenged, shown hospitality to me, forgiven me and inspired me to seek God afresh.
Following the birth of Little Miss in September 2016, I felt a new freedom to share more openly some of my thoughts through my Facebook statuses. Some of my Facebook friends suggested I create a blog so that these reflections may be shared more widely to help others connect with God.
One of these earlier longer posts was about my desire to be authentic. I had been thinking about how much I value authenticity but often struggle to be authentic myself. A large part of my writing here is the marrying together of different elements of my life and a gentle acceptance of some of my weaknesses: I’m often anxious and afraid with low confidence and self-esteem, I have unhelpful perfectionist tendencies and I’m over-emotional at times. I can be selfish and angry.
It is liberating to be able to write this. For too long, I have been ashamed and have been hiding – too scared to reveal my weaknesses. I’ve realised how my fear of admitting my fears has been limiting me. By declaring out loud the difficulties I face, they somehow lose power. By using words to describe my failings, I am using my strength to diminish my weaknesses.
Writing has been part of my professional life for over 10 years now but I have always written using a corporate style. It is exhilarating finding my own voice to express myself and to be creative in a way I didn’t think possible.
‘Just Reflections’ – these blog posts are just musings, thoughts and questions about issues which interest me, hopefully with an emphasis on social just(ice).
The word ‘reflections’ brings to mind these beautiful words from first-century Jesus-follower, the apostle Paul: For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror.
‘Dido Pilgrim’ – I am a Christ-follower, a wife, mum to Small Boy and Little Miss, a daughter, a friend and charity worker. Dido Pilgrim isn’t my real name! This is a pseudonymous blog. I’m comfortable writing openly as myself on Facebook among friends but would prefer a level of anonymity here. I believe this will give me more freedom to be honest and vulnerable.
(Dido is a character from Virgil’s Aeneid and Pilgrim refers to the idea of being on a spiritual journey to a holy destination.)