Saturday, 19 January 2013

A Second Chance

Sometimes in life it's hard to forget what you do have by concentrating on the things you wish you had. If I wanted, I could spend the rest of my life wishing I had hair but realistically it's not going to happen and I would just be wasting my wishes.
What I've seen in life are a couple of key principles. The first one is to be thankful. Now it may seem like there isn't much to be thankful about when it comes to losing your hair. When I first lost my hair through alopecia I told myself 'I'm never going to get married, I'm never going to be happy or have a life of purpose.' But it's a lie. It's a lie to think that you're not good enough. It's a lie to think that you're not worthy.
The second principle, to smile through genuine happiness. You know, someone said to me the other day 'how come you smile so much?' and I'm like 'well it's a long story but it's very simple at the same time.' But the truth is it's very hard to smile sometimes in life, especially through the pain. There are things that happen to you that you don't understand and sometimes you just don't know if you're going to get through it. You go through storms in life but you have no idea how long this storm is going to be around for.
It's scary to think how many people have issues and struggles. Issues with home or work life, issues with themselves, with others and just with life in general. It's scary how many people think they are worth nothing. But God put you on this earth for a purpose. You might not think you're perfect. Society might not think you're perfect. But to God, you are more than perfect.
I have a personal relationship with Jesus and he has helped me through my struggles and to become the person I am today. If you do not share that faith, well I am just thankful that I can share mine with you.
I was born into a catholic family and have been brought up learning about Jesus and his teachings through primary school, high school and my local church. However, as a stubborn teenager I dipped in and out of my faith and when I was told my alopecia was pretty much for life I became angry at God for letting this happen to me and eventually turned away from him altogether. I lived my teenage years without any faith and I will admit these were the deepest, darkest days I have experienced in my life so far. When depression takes over you it totally consumes your thoughts and actions. I recognised the irrationality and the weakness and I would be angry at myself for being so pathetic, but the new me had the upper hand and each day was a vicious spiral of draining, emotional downfall. I will never know how I managed to get through my GCSE's, A Levels, singing and ballet exams, or how I went on with life in general and made it to this point to tell the tale.
Getting a place to study paediatric nursing at Nottingham University which has the largest university based Christian Union in the country was just the start of re-finding my faith. I was 19 years old and away for the weekend in Wales with the Christian Union when I sealed my faith in God. From then was the start of my amazing spiritual journey.
After months of church hopping I have finally found settled at Grace Church in Nottingham and am in the process of planning to give my life to Jesus and be a fully fledged member of the church through baptism at some point in 2013. I look back on the years without God actively in my life and it is only now when I can talk about those dark days that I realise that it really was the longest and loneliest time.
My new faith has been my central source of strength and confidence to live my life without limits. Before my faith this time round my realisation and acceptance of my alopecia and myself was a struggle. Don't get me wrong, religion isn't some miracle cure; things are still tough, I have my down days and living with alopecia is a huge emotional battle. However, the difference is how I can call on God to guide me and help me approach and manage these dark times. Through the love of my family, friends and faith in God for the first time I can see life past my adversity and realise my life is filled with joy, purpose and light for the future.

1 comment:

  1. This is inspiring.
    God Bless You Nelson.
    I'm definitely going to probe you on this further in smallgroup.

    It's a pleasure to have you at Grace.