I grew up going to church every Sunday. In troubled times, my faith has kept me sane. In falls from grace, my faith has kept me hopeful that I will be able to rise above the depths I have sunk to (hey, I’m no angel!). In times when I felt uncertain, my faith has kept me grounded. I may not be openly religious but it has been my faith that has kept me centred.
For one’s faith to grow, I’ve always believed that it is necessary to read the bible and pray (in my head now, I’m singing the Sunday School song, “Read Your Bible, Pray Every Day”—does anyone else know that song?). I remember my struggle to find a bible and how relieved I felt when I finally found the bible that I felt was for me (it has something to do with the version it was written in and nothing mystical :)). I find that although I’m away from my church family, my faith, unbelievably, has grown.
Another ingredient, apart from reading the bible and praying everyday (and I’m still singing that song!) is fellowship with like-minded individuals. I grew up in church and grew up with people who have had the same nurturing of faith. It was a fear for me, that when I left, I wouldn’t feel as spiritual because I wouldn’t get the nurturing that I had from fellowshipping with like-minded individuals.
But because of the wonders of the Facebook and emails, I am able to keep in touch with the people I grew up with. What does help the most is the daily devotional emails that my mother sends me. She’s also made it amazingly easy to read the scripture reading as well because she’s included the readings in the emails that she sends. I know she only does it because she wants to minister to us (it takes a lot of commitment to type up each devotion every single day and send it off!).
I appreciate all the effort my mom goes through because I know that it’s her way of nurturing us, and, in my case, even from afar. Thanks Maman! I try to tell you how much I appreciate what you do but somehow writing it down helps me express how invaluable your devotional emails are (besides, it helps me keep tabs on my mom as well–if she doesn’t send me a daily devotional for a couple of days I start to worry that she’s not well!).
One of my favourite passages from my mother’s emails is a reading from the book of Psalms. When I am in despair, or when I need centering, reading something from Psalms always has an uplifting effect. I’m sharing it with everyone who comes to read the blog because, even if you are not religious, it is such beautiful writing, and very, very moving plea from someone who wants nurturing, direction and protection from their God.
1 Lord, I trust in you;
let me never be disgraced.
Save me because you do what is right.
2 Listen to me
and save me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
a strong city to save me.
3 You are my rock and my protection.
For the good of your name, lead me and guide me.
4 Set me free from the trap they set for me,
because you are my protection.
5 I give you my life.
Save me, Lord, God of truth