easter gives me hope

silhouette photography of hanging rosary
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We need that little bubble

Rising in our throats

A little joy, some warmth

To see us into summer months

We never thought we’d see.

I’ve written about my faith and how I’m struggling with it at the moment. And not in a ‘I’m not sure if I’ve got it right’ kind of way. I mean in a ‘I hate everything that comes from this’ kind of way. And that genuinely makes me so sad. Because my faith has brought me through so much, and I genuinely think that everybody needs to believe in something bigger than themselves if they are going to thrive in the world.

But there is something about Easter that just refreshes what I know I’ve always felt. Christmas can sometimes bring out the worst in people because we are all so stressed, trying to make it the best ever. But there isn’t that stress that surrounds Easter. And if you have a Christian faith, then it’s obviously a very powerful and emotional weekend.

I’m only bringing this up again because I just went shopping and rather than nipping around the corner, I decided to get in the car and drive across town. This meant that I had twenty minutes in the car, listening to the radio. And on the radio they were talking about the crucifixion and playing songs by choirs and choristers.

It just made something bubble up inside of me. I’ve been hating God for the problems in my family, but the truth is that it’s inherently human to go through all of these things. These weekend is celebrated to remind us that Jesus suffered that pain.

I sometimes feel like I have wavered at the first hurdle with my faith. I almost gave up when the first bad thing happened. Almost. But not quite.

Wishing you some hope and love this weekend.

Much Love

Rachel xx

being a little more selfless leads to a little more happiness

I’ve not made it any secret that I’m struggling with my faith at the moment but I am hanging on in there. And the reason is because I remember the peace that it brought me in a really turbulent time in my life.

With everything being so uncertain, I’ve been thinking a little bit about what it was the made me so happy despite the crap the world can fling in our direction. And I’ve come up with two things that I think are so important.

Firstly, worshipping something bigger than ourselves and the material things that you can get in this world is so invigorating. I get so caught up in things that really don’t matter and being able to lean on a being that will never not love me brings so much comfort.

I’ve also realised with the whole job situation, I just want a job NOW so that I can say I’m good at what I do and have people admire me. Really, I got into teaching to help and to serve and if I trust in God then He will put me in the right place, the right school, to do that.

Strangely, I feel like this experience has made me see a chink of light at the end of what has seemed like a very long and dark tunnel. I think that we always find our way back when we’re ready.

Much Love

Rachel xx

to strive is to hurt

Striving up those cold and winding steps,

I see how futile this enterprise can be.

Those steps will never end, on and on they go,

Until you’re tired and lacking life,

And what is it that you have got?

Better give yourself to something bigger than you are,

Something you can bask within

And know that you’re enough.

You don’t need to look all tanned, and thin

And sad and hungry for some food and love.

Give it up and go along with that ebb and flow,

It’s quite the journey, don’t you know?

little cracks everywhere

Little cracks can splinter through the whole,

They let in light and breeze that chills

And faith can filter through those streaks

That mar the edges of the vase I sculpt.

I want that faith, like air into the lungs,

Like rich nutritious food to build,

I need it even when its light is weak,

One day it will be filling up my life again.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m going through a bit of a tough time with my faith. I haven’t turned my back on it but the way my mother has behaved since she has become a Christian has made me feel suspicious of the church. I’ve been hurt and I think that it’s a natural reaction to shy away when that happens.

The funny thing is that every time I’m feeling a real hatred over everything that has happened, those are the times that the light finds its way into my life.

For instance, I’ll be feeling so sad and angry about my mum all day and then I’ll watch Strictly Come Dancing and a Lauren Daigle song will be played. This is a popular prime time show and they choose a worship song to dance the Viennese Waltz to.

I think that’s amazing, that Rescue should be played when I really feel I need rescuing.

And when I’m running and feeling angry at the world, it’s then that somebody runs past me the other way and smiles and tells me I’m doing an excellent job. They’re like little gifts that are sent my way when I need them the most.

I think that everyone needs to stumble in their faith at times. I am hoping that the struggles I have at the moment will only lead to a stronger faith. Because I need it. I need that love back in my life.

Much Love

Rachel xx

losing my religion

I will cling for as long as I can

Like I did to those ropes at school;

The ones that they made us climb in PE,

And I’d often get stuck at the top,

My hands burning with fear and rage,

Unsure how awful the fall could be.

I often feel like I’m struggling with my faith. It’s a mix of two things that make me struggle, but between those two things I am often left feeling like a terrible person, and I’m not sure that that’s the point of religion?

On the one hand, I’m really anxious. I started a new church just a few months before lockdown and I didn’t really get to know people well enough. Then, when the churches closed, I drifted even further away and now I feel too distanced to go back.

The very thought of walking into a building full of people I don’t know, all of us wearing masks, is too much for me to deal with. I can sometimes give up on the idea of going with minutes to spare and it can send me into a bit of a spin (this is what happened tonight).

The slightly more difficult thing to deal with is what happened with my mum. It was after going to an Alpha course for three weeks that she started to lock me out of the house and say that I was a devil worshipper. It felt like she became this unrecognisable person as soon as she became a Christian.

This just made me back away from a God that I had come to love; a God who had got me through getting sober. I couldn’t understand why a loving God would take my mum away from me like that.

I still don’t have any answers and I’m still struggling with my faith. I wanted to go to church but I just couldn’t face it. I feel so anxious that I could even turn to drink if I wasn’t doing so well in the rest of my life.

Has anyone else had a wobble in their faith like this? Is it normal? Do you have any answers as to why God would want this to happen to my mum? I really don’t want to turn my back on the church but it makes me ill trying to go.

Sorry, that this has been a bit whinge-y but it’s eating me up and I am sure there are other people out there who have felt these very same feelings.

Much Love

Rachel xx

PS I’ve chosen to include the Lauren Daigle track rather than the REM one because her voice has got so many people through so much.

you only get given what you can handle

green tree photo
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

You only get given what you can handle,

Fucking annoying to hear, I know.

But it’s so bloody true

As we grow like trees,

Creaking with effort.

Our branches are stronger,

Thickening with age

And making us tougher

Than we ever thought real.

I’ve always hated it when people say that you only get given what you can handle. Even if you have a faith and feel loved by something much bigger than yourself, it can feel really difficult to believe that life is that linear.

If it were true, then we would grow at a fairly steady rate and things would steadily get more difficult as we got stronger. It would be kind of like a computer game where we level up every couple of months.

And that’s not the way that it works.

But, in saying that, I look at the way my life has changed since I got sober and I have managed to take on more and more. If I had tried to do a teacher training course back then, I just wouldn’t have had the emotional resilience to get through it.

And so I feel that we are given what we can handle, but a lot of the time we are only given more because we choose to take it on. That doesn’t take anything away from the beauty of it. And it doesn’t take away any of the pride I feel in being able to bear the weight that I now can.

I feel strong, even when I’m sometimes feeling like my branches are a little bit shaken. Whether or not it’s because I’ve grown as a person, I don’t know, but I’ll keep on plodding in just the way I am.

Much Love

Rachel xx

i’m pretty sure that affirmations work…..sort of

grayscale photo of people raising their hands
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I’ll chant those words just one more time

Until they’re printed on my brain.

I’ll never know if they’re the truth

But if they move me on to fields

Greener than the ones today,

I’ll chant some more

And see where I will go.

A couple of years ago I went to a Christian festival called New Wine. It’s a week in camping accommodation, just completely surrounded by worship and people who really love God.

At this point I would like to say that I am a Christian but I do have a bit of an up and down relationship with God. I would also like to say that I’m also at my happiest when I’m feeling that my faith is strong, so take from that what you will.

Anyway, I went to this festival and I loved every minute of it. And on one of the days I went to a talk in a little marquee. It was a brilliant talk and at the end we were asked to stand up, close our eyes and repeat after the speaker. We chanted lots of affirmations about how we were worthy and loved in the eyes of God.

I felt a bit self conscious while we were doing it, but by the end of it I had the strangest sense of peace and love. I’ve always been intrigued by things like The Secret and what power we have within ourselves and this got me thinking a bit.

My mother was a really negative force in my life and everything seemed to collapse with her whispering in my ear. She was negative because she didn’t want to see me fail and to hurt, but at what cost? Did her love actually crush me into half the person I was supposed to be?

Now I try to repeat those positive affirmations and it does have some power. Whether it’s a mystical power that depends on vibrations, or it’s just a psychological switch that gets flicked, I don’t know. But I do know that there’s something in it.

I’d love to know about other people’s experiences with positive affirmations and meditation and prayer. Has it made a difference in your life? Has it brought you good things? Or is that not what it’s about for you? For me, it’s just about feeling like a whole person who has purpose and has love in their life. And that’s all that any of us can hope for, really.

Much Love

Rachel xx

thinking about death

We’re all thinking a lot

About the fact that it could end

At any time.

Life has very fast become


A film we watch

With popcorn in our laps.

And now we see

The final kiss is near.

But rather than the leading man,

It’s from a virus

Sent from Hell.

This wasn’t how it’s meant to end

But just you try and stop

Those credits as they roll.

I hope your movie was a hit,

I hope it made you laugh and cry,

I hope you fell in love.

Just remember, don’t be scared,

Life is just a little blot

On a never ending spool of film,

And so, without a doubt,

We’ll meet again

Somewhere down the line.

During really scary and uncertain times I think that we are all forced into thinking more carefully about the end. Not wanting to get too dark, but the virus the world is faced with at the moment can infect anyone. And we have seen that apparently young and fit people can die.

But thinking about the end doesn’t always need to be dark and depressing. Because if you are thinking about the end, you also must think about life as a whole. And hopefully, you can look back on the life you have had so far and be proud of accomplishments and also remember really good times that you have shared with your family and friends.

I think that although this virus is causing massive disruption and thousands of deaths, it is giving a lot of people a chance to pause and really think about life and how we spend our days. And I guess that’s a really good thing, right? Just pause and breathe and reflect while you have this opportunity, because we don’t know what kind of world we are going to be stepping back out in to.

It’s also worth thinking about what you believe is going to happen after death. I hope that you have a positive outlook on death and where you will find yourself on the other side. My faith helps me to feel less scared and I hope that you have faith in something bigger than what we have here on Earth.

Use this precious time wisely.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

my fear of death

When I’m crossing the finish line of a running race,

That feeling is quite marvellous,

It’s one of utter relief.

It’s over, I can rest,

I can go back to pizza and the sofa

And an endless episodes of Friends and ER.


And when I finish the book that I’ve been reading

I have a feeling of enlightenment

That I wear proudly like a prom dress,

I can show it off in public,

The colourful things that I now know,

And the authors that I’ve read.

The closing of the book is the beginning of my fun.


But what can I say of what is certainly coming,

That fearful black entity that will swallow us all.

Yes, death is inevitable,

We can’t run away and we can’t close the book.

But is it an end like the end of a race or a classical work?

Or is it the beginning of something mistook?

The line is in sight and we’re heading that way,

But why all this talk about how to keep it at bay?

I’m thinking that maybe we should run at full speed,

Collecting our medal and the praise of our friends.

And we deserve it so much,

For surviving this world we live in today.

No, I don’t think that death is the end,

I do not think it is evil and dark.

But rather a blanket that’s placed round the shoulders

Of the tired distance runner who has battled it out.

It’s a hug from the coach and a medal in hand.

I agree that this world sees the pages slammed shut,

But only to wake in the bookshop of dreams

Where there is so much to read

That the fear and the pain are no longer things

On which your imagination can feed.

So, death terrifies me. I am a control freak and not knowing how or when or what even happens is something that makes me sweat. I mean, we all think that we are going to die as old people and our hearts just give up while we are sleeping. But the truth is that it’s probably not going to be a pleasant as that.

And then there’s the big question that is ‘where do we go?’ I’m a Christian, but even the Bible doesn’t tell me exactly what is going to happen. Do I go to a waiting room where they decide if I’ve made the grade to get into Heaven? Or do we go into some kind of hyper sleep until the second coming? There are so many questions still left open that I need the answer to. And I worry that if I think about it too much then my head will go pop.

That’s why I like to think that it’s not the end. Whenever I finish a race, I know that there are nice things to look forward to at the end. And I know that there are other races that I can enter to have another go at bettering my time. It is a similar experience when reading a book. There are times when I fall so in love with the characters that I can’t bear for it to end. But when the book is finished I can sit and think about it in my own head or discuss it with friends. I can read other work by the same author or see if the book has been made into a movie. Life won’t end as soon as that book is finished because the characters live on, and more importantly, I live on.

So, if death also terrifies you, try to think of it as a little break in the proceedings. It’ll be a time for you to have a look back at your ‘best bits’ and then prepare for whatever lies ahead in the great unknown. And if you have recently lost someone, it might be comforting to think that they have just finished this race, but they’re still out there running another one and waiting for you when it’s your turn to join them.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

the drama queen

It had taken her hours to find the keys.

The shed had been locked for more than ten years.

It was filled with tools and mowers and shears,

Nothing of use, until this day bloomed.

She wiped away pain along with her tears

As she fervently searched for the rusty old can.

The cap was tricky to prise from the top,

But she needed to do this, they all had to see.

Tears weren’t enough to show what she felt,

They wouldn’t dredge up the love that she needs.

She emptied the can, until she was drenched.

She smiled as she thought of the shock they would feel,

Of the kind words they’d say when she became dust.

She struck her one match, closing her eyes.

It didn’t take long for the fire to take hold.

Flames licking up over her head,

Becoming a torch, a warning to all

That people won’t rush to save those that choose

To make their own dark and devilish mess.

They’ll watch as she burns, down to the ground

Shaking their heads at the terrible waste.

She could have had quite the incredible story.

If only she’d needed far less attention

She wouldn’t have gone out in a blaze of glory.

I know so many people who seem to chase drama. While I was drinking I was one of them. I always needed somebody to be feeling sorry for me or to be jealous of me or to be in awe of me. I didn’t know how to just be.

I see so many people who are on that same destructive path, just inventing things to make people look in their direction. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did something really dangerous one day. And the sad thing is that they are so wrapped up in themselves that they don’t seem to realise people will only care about them for a limited time. Eventually we will be forgotten, so we need to savour the moment for our own benefit.

Therapy has taught me that I am enough on my own. I don’t need other people to tell me that I’m good or that I’m nice, I’m learning to know that from the inside. And I hope that the people I see needing this validation can find some peace. I hope that they can learn to live with themselves and that they don’t end up reaching some of the dark places I went to in my journey.

Take care of yourself and know that you are loved by God. Unfortunately people will let you down so don’t put your future happiness in people alone. Enjoy your time in the world, be nice and don’t chase likes and followers (there’s far more to life than those arbitrary numbers).

Much Love