I sought to follow my family’s examples to live a happy life as a girl. This ambition meant understanding the guiding principles as stipulated in The Good Book. We believed in moderation in everything, of being charitable, keeping the faith, having hope and trusting in our God in all things, and doing good works as a kindness to others. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the ideals we lived by were as simple as achieving this.
Secrets- The Introduction
This clean-living lifestyle served us well until, as a maturing girl, well trained in biblical principles, I began the struggle of questioning attitudes, expectations and rules. I became aware of insidious evils such as shame, pride, and gossip.
I believed Methodists had attained the ability to forgive others, for we learnt to let situations go and accepted any cruel words directed at us as a sign of the perpetrator being under stress.
But, I wondered – was this forgiveness?
How could it be when I began the habit of distancing myself from the person I thought I had forgiven?
Then, doubting my ability to act in the manner a good Christian would work, I decided that a young girl couldn’t do so unless she became committed to her faith. Religion became the centre of my life as, with determination, I sought to live a righteous life.
These words filled my head. Along with endless questions asking why this, why that?
Why, why, why?
I became like a scratched vinyl record when the needle sticks- repeating why, why, why?
My pride was at stake. In the mirror above the bathroom basin, I stared at a girl worried and weary from trying.
Then came the fall.
I let go, and the words of the wise Reverend who ran the young folks Sunday school came to mind.
‘Let go and let God.’
‘By letting go.’
I realised answers were filling my head. Answers from questions that I had been asking were filling my mind, and it was no longer the Good Reverend speaking.
‘Why secrets? Why do we keep secrets? What is it we are hiding in the closed ranks of our families? ‘
‘Shame?’ I ask.
‘And fear, and pride, and self-righteousness. Do you need me to go on?’
‘Please don’t, Lord. ‘
‘Then how will you understand freedom?’
‘I give life without fear, pride, shame, pride, and self-righteousness. When you are without, you are free.’
That day I cried many tears. And thus began the beginning of the journey, but ‘perfection is impossible this side of Heaven.’
Editing and revision has begun. And about time too! I say. Over the coming months I will blog snippets about the final book in the Journeys of the Fortune Seekers Series. Secrets explores how we interpret the present and the past by following the lives of a fictional family. It may be Historical fiction but the story is based on real facts.
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