This picture was taken on New Years Day 2013. It is the old medieval church in the English village I used to call home. This church has stood since the 13th century. Sadly it is no longer used because mining in the area has made the foundations unsafe.
The church remains a light to me, guiding me home, wherever that may be. I have moved a lot over the years and I always have to find a church before I feel like I can settle in.
I was raised in Catholic churches but have moved away from it as my faith became more inclusive and it’s doctrine could not contain those that I love.
I have experimented with Unitarian Universalist churches and although they were universally beautiful and inclusive, I need a strong Christian tradition. I believe in a magic, miracles, and that a man named Jesus was nailed to a cross in a supreme act of love and reconciliation and then three days later he walked out of his tomb.
I need a church that preaches the Good News, that we can defy anything, even death, with faith.
Quite possibly I should not. I am well educated, have 5 beautiful and healthy children, a loving husband, and more books on my Kindle than I know what to do with.
But I often feel like I am shit at everything.
I have no career despite my expensive education. I used to be many things – a teacher, a lawyer, a civil servant – but because of my family and my Asperger’s, each of those careers is now…impractical.
These days I beaver away at writing with little discernable success. As a 21st century writer, success is measured in sales, yes, but also in the number of “likes” your Facebook page has and how many Twitter followers you catch.
I have been at this for 3 years. My Facebook page has 314 likes. I know bloggers that have been at it for 3 months and have 3 times as many followers.
There are many things in life that will make you afraid. Some will even keep you awake at night.
I do not mean “The Boogey Man is hiding in the closet/I’ve had a bad dream/I don’t like heights” kind of fear. No, I am speaking of the “self-doubt/risk averse/I’m not good enough” kind of fear that haunts us all.
To learn how to live with fear such as these is to lead a life of courage. And it isn’t always easy.
Here are some lessons on how to live with fear that I want my children to remember:
1. You will fail
You are a child of the Most High, my own little piece of Cosmic Stardust, capable of moving mountains and lighting up the Universe with all that you have the potential to achieve. But there will be a time in your life when you will fail.