Who we are, and who we are becoming, is not as neat and tidy as people may think. Is it nature (our DNA), or nurture (how we are raised) that makes us who we are? Holy Scripture leads us in a different direction: towards an understanding that we are in a relationship with God in which we get to be who we truly are. These Wednesday blog posts are the unedited stories that are shared with me by residents of Slaithwaite and Marsden. This week Iain Mejaat takes up the baton and shares his wonderful story of coming to faith…
…Iain Mejaat writes
I grew up down south in Essex and never really had a structure of faith in my life. Aside from the fact I went to a C of E primary school and we would do things like sing hymns and say the Lord’s prayer every now and then, that was as far as it went really.
There was no faith or religion in my house growing up. My Mum is not religious in any way and my Dad is North African so is Muslim. Quite unusual for a young boy to grow up and not adopt the religion of his Father, but that was the case.
Yet despite having no obvious influence, something from very early in my life was pulling me in a direction and there was a definite “presence” I felt. I would often have a conversation and speak to someone or something before bed where I would say thank you for the things I had, and also ask for help with the things that were worrying me. Back then I really didn’t understand the relationship between God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit, but in hindsight I don’t think it really mattered. I was locked into a daily conversation with them regardless.
Fast forward through my teen years where I got up to all kinds of mischief and dealt with teenage stuff, I didn’t delve any deeper into my faith until I was 20 and at University in Leeds. I got invited by a friend to go to her church on Sunday and see what I thought. It was the first time I had been to a church in about 10 years, and the first time I’d ever been because I wanted to go. It was a happy clappy affair and I wasn’t keen.
It was my late twenties and early thirties where I finally felt I had connected with something in the typical religious sense. It was at this point I learned about the relationship between the Trinity. Someone pointed me in the direction of Trinitarianism and things kind of fell in place. I really connected to the idea of this incredible loving relationship between God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit as the Trinity and our position in that was directly in the centre of their love and relationship. I had never really understood this idea of a detached God who is watching, taking notes and thinking up punishments for when we make mistakes and it was probably why I didn’t go to church earlier. In contrast, I had always innately felt that if there was a God he would be exploding with overwhelming love and kindness towards us and walking with us through our struggles and mistakes, not punishing us for them.
I started reading books like The Shack and listening to people like Baxter Kruger that made things fall into place. All of a sudden things from my past started to fall in place too and I really connected with the message and meaning.
I wouldn’t say I am an avid church goer now, but since moving to Slaithwaite in 2018 I have been to St James’ a few times, and very much enjoyed it. I love the spiritual reset and the subsequent connection I get when I am in church. I pray daily and try to centre as much of my life as I remember around God. But I know even when I forget or fall short, I am still right at the centre of that incredible relationship. And so are you.