I'm just beginning my journey of faith but I thought I should share how I came to be where I am now.
I was orphaned at a young age and was raised by relatives with no real religion. We occasionally went to church, usually at Easter and at Christmas but I don't really have any positive memories of going. I remember going to Sunday School once or twice but we basically did colouring in and then went back into the main church for the end of the sermon.
I didn't feel like I was really missing out on anything then. I was happy and healthy. I did well at school and I had plenty of friends. But I think that there was always something in me that was looking for something more. I remember my religious education lessons at school, everyone thought they were a bit of a skive because we would have debates and you could get good marks without trying too hard.
But I liked my RE lessons. I kind of wanted to know more. I liked the idea of belonging to a group in that way but what I was learning didn't tally up with what I had experienced. And another thing bugged me. I couldn't understand how you could believe in something that you couldn't see. I didn't understand how to have faith.
Over time, after I left school I carried on going back to looking at the idea of faith. I went along to a meeting at a group with university but they seemed really relaxed about their Christianity. It didn't seem to gel with what I had read, they wore crosses and sang hymns and quoted verses from the Bible, but afterwards they were out drinking and clubbing and worse. So I stepped back again.
I met my husband, Ivan and we dated for a while before getting engaged and then married. We waited to start trying for a baby because already God was working in our lives and helping us to direct our beliefs. We spoke about it before we were married and decided that we wanted to raise our children in a 'proper family' with a mum and a dad who were married to each other.
We spoke often about how many kids we wanted. I'm not joking, it was The Sound of Music that kind of inspired us. We watched it one day and decided that we wanted a large family. I threw out the number 7 and Ivan agreed that it sounded like a good number. That was it decided, we wanted a large family. I started looking up blogs online about large families, and found that many of them had strong religious convictions, it seemed like the more I read, the more I agreed with the way they were raising their families. Something made sense and I felt a strong conviction that when the time came we would raise our family in the same way.
But God wanted us to wait. As time went on, it became apparant that there was a problem there which was going to stop us having babies. It's something which we're working on getting fixed, but it might take time.
I've never really prayed before but one night I went to bed and lay there awake long after Ivan fell asleep. I lay there 'wishing' for a baby, it was the last thing I remember thinking before I fell asleep, just wishing that some day I would have a baby.
That night I dreamt that I went upstairs in our house which looked quite different and there was a person dressed in white who handed me a baby all bundled up in a white blanket. When I took the baby the person (I couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman) said "you are not barren". Then I woke up.
I'd never had a dream like that before and I puzzled about it for a few days before I opened up and told Ivan about the dream. He said that it sounded like something from the Bible. I looked it up on Google and found Deuteronomy 7:14 You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock.
I have to admit, I thought it was a miracle or something. I went and took a pregnancy test straight away thinking that perhaps that was it and I was pregnant. It was negative. Looking back it's kind of funny that I thought that it was as simple as that.
Ivan suggested that perhaps we should pray on it. It was strange to hear him say that because I never prayed on something before and he had a similar religious upbringing to me. But we sat together and asked God to help us understand the message that He had given me. We sat in silence for a long time and then I picked up the Bible we had dug out from somewhere (neither of us remember where it came from, it's fantastic that we had it in the house). I opened it up and my eyes fell on Psalm 28:7.
I told Ivan that we just had to trust the Lord and have faith. So we set about trying to change our ways and shortly afterwards we welcomed Christ into our lives.
That's where we are now. We're learning together and it's exciting and new and scary all at the same time. I'm hoping that I can share our journey towards becoming parents along with our journey in our faith through this blog, and hopefully meet other likeminded people.