Hello from beautiful London, England, everyone!
I’ve been blogging for the Athena Study Abroad program for the past couple of weeks as part of my study abroad program so I haven’t had much of a chance to pay any attention to my own blog.
My Athena blog is mostly about the experiences I’m taking part of and the people that I’m doing life with while I’m here. It’s a way to calm the nerves of potential study abroad students in the future and I’m all for it.
But I have to admit, I’ve missed having a moral message about my blogs.
So, here I am. In typical Claire fashion. In typical Claire speak.
I’ve been spending a lot of my time in churches.
I mean, as a trained Anglican musician, how could I not? This is the land of Anglican churches! Everywhere you turn, Eucharist on Sunday, Evensong every single night. It’s just beautiful. Not only the outside architecture, but the insides as well. And the choirs. Holy butts! So talented and in tune. Makes my musician heart really, really happy.
I’m going to be real honest, here.
Anybody of faith knows that it’s journey.
There are ups and there are downs. That’s just the way of life. I’ve had my fair share of both. And there’s been a lot in my life recently that has knocked me down a couple of pegs.
In December, I went through a pretty bad breakup with my boyfriend of almost three years. I won’t go into details because I still really respect and value this person. And it’s private. But that’s the life-event that really caused me to look back many months and maybe even the last year and see that my line of communication with the Lord has been closed. And this really bothers me. Faith has always been so important to me.
My church home right now is fuzzy. I work at one church, which, even though sometimes I don’t want to go or don’t want to be there, I love. I love the way it’s always the same, I love the people, I love the music. It does feel like a home. But I leave on Sundays not feeling spiritually full all the time.
Fast forward to this trip. I had a high expectations that I would find someone like me that’s studying here. Not going out to the pubs every night, wanting sleep, going to the same places that I want to go to. A week in, I wasn’t sure I had found that person. My roommates are lovely people and I absolutely adore hanging out with them. But we don’t always agree eye to eye. And that’s okay. Differences make things interesting.
Last night, I had the most real conversation about my faith with a girl here that has gone through a lot of the same challenges I have. She’s my age, full of life, and working hard towards strengthening her faith too. We went to dinner, just expecting to hang out. We laughed and laughed about the inside jokes that we had created the week before from the different social trips and our awkward encounters from the day. But then we got serious. Our conversation turned into talking about the struggles of culture shock (which is 100% real, even in a country where there is no language barrier, people just sort of talk differently) and homesickness. On the train ride home, we talked about faith. And I went to bed that night with a very full heart because I finally found my person here.
Why am I telling you this?
The biggest reason is I am speaking this into existence for myself. I’ve been suffering in this for too long and I don’t want to suffer by myself anymore. Faith is so important and one of the beauties of it is sharing it with other people. It can be a communal experience. And that’s what I want. I want to dream big and have people to lift me back up if I fall and share in the happy times.
And this kicker is, I already have people in my life that will do that for me. But I’ve been keeping this to myself. I haven’t once reached out for help. Even though I know these people would be more than willing to jump in and help me get back on my spiritual feet, so to speak. To those of you reading this that are in my circle (and even those of you that aren’t), this is me crying out for help.
In the same way, even though we are individuals, Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other.Romans 12:5
This is what I have for you now, friends. Faith is always a work in progress and I totally understand that. But it’s heading in a good direction and that’s a positive.
Pray for me friends. Or send devotions or bible verses or just words of love. I sure appreciate anything.
Much love to you all.