Monday, 3 August 2015


Gratitude for life is one of those things we don't speak of much. "I'm grateful to be alive" tends to be a phrase reserved for survivors of plane crashes, or over-enthusiastic guys in 80's movies. I'm not sure why. Maybe because of its cheesiness? Maybe because we're British?!

Despite all of this: I really am grateful to be alive right now.

And by this I mean, I am grateful to be here to experience this; I'm aware that I could not be, and happy that I am.

It means there have been times in the past year where I have really not wanted to keep Being, where life just felt like day after day of panic and grey, and I couldn't imagine that there would be sunnier days and peacefulness and contentment.

I was in no way grateful to be alive, closer to Job's cry,

“Why then did you bring me out of the womb?" (Job 10:18)

I felt bad that I wanted to stop existing, when other terminally-ill people would give anything for another year with their precious family. It seemed like such an unfair distribution of life.

And so, in the context of all of that, there are beautiful days like today when I'm so grateful something inside of me (or rather, outside of me) decided to keep living.

Moments where you think "it would have been sad to miss this". Times when life is just really sweet, even if only for an afternoon. It's at these points - the moments you'd happily bottle up and keep it for crummier days - where hope grows back, like fresh buds from a seemingly dead branch.

Suddenly, yet again, there is hope, urged into life a little more by each moment of happiness. And for every stormy day, these days keep me going, in the knowledge that if you just keep pushing through, the sunshine will, eventually, return.


**Disclaimer: I tend to be pretty blunt in these posts, but even publishing these had me feeling a bit self-conscious. I've tried wherever possible to be as non-melodramatic as possible. This is just life's beauty and pain all mixed up :)**

We're waiting on change, but I don't know if it's coming
Waiting on change, but I don't know if it's coming
Brooke Fraser, New Years Eve

So things have been brighter recently, and then today hits like a huge grey storm cloud.

Within each moment I'm caught between a tantalising hope of what life could hold - normality; happiness; relationships; positivity - and the slow-burn dread that this is, if anything, as good as it's going to get.

I go about the weekend, and tasks are punctuated, sometimes by glimmers of hopefulness that this is just a bad day and actually everything's fine; sometimes by foreboding clouds that threaten me with my darkest fears and whisper that I'm not okay.

My mood has been a lot better of late, but today I found myself wondering yet again, whether it will simply be a case of gritting my teeth and waiting till the day of peace that lies beyond this world. In its bleakest form, waiting to die.

And thankfully no, I don't spend most or even many days at the moment feeling like that. But does anyone else out there sometimes feel like we're just killing time, trying to remain stable?

I have no desire to live like that, but sometimes it feels like the best option life is presenting. I swerve between the faith I've believed and the blurred realities I'm faced with. There should be transformation; but change is painfully slow and I continue to be the same old broken me. There should be hope and yet I no longer particularly know what I can hope for, other than paradise on the other side.

Ultimately, I wish I was different. My biggest fear is that I will remain in this purgatory for the whole of my life, sometimes tasting joy and beauty but always carrying these big old chains which occasionally plunge me into darkest night. Never being truly free.

And whilst my mood is okay at the moment, I hope you can see how easy it is to long for eternal life, which I believe promises joy, consistent peace, freedom for ever with my Father.

There is so much beauty out there to grasp. I want to live to chase it, to behold and marvel in it. There is so much to be seen and done. I want to squeeze every last drop out of life whilst I have it. And yet I know that I am just a thought, a chance moment away from dark shadows which cloud out beauty and hope and joy and replace all around me with one thing: fear. Dark; murky; soulless; joyless: an abyss.

I fear that I will spend my whole life balancing on this precipice called life, trying to keep it together, grasping for beauty around me, almost falling at so many points.

I fear that I will spend my whole life in fear.