Are you there God? It’s me, Hattie.

Are you there God? It’s me, Hattie. I have often thought about you, and what you meant to mum, and the enormous peace that Christianity offered to her. Do you think religion could feature in my life too, or has too much happened, or is it too late? So, please tell me, God – where are you, and should I get to know you? 

As I’ve mentioned before, my mum was a good Christian woman. She lived and breathed the virtues of a Christian life – she was loving, thankful and gracious – and she cared deeply about everyone she met. 

Mum had begun practicing Christianity in her mid 30s (..a coincidence that I was born around the same time? I THINK NOT!). We grew up going to a Baptist church which was filled with lots of lovely people but, as a toddler, child and teenager, it was more of an obligation than anything else. I had never experienced the thrill of reading a bible verse, or joy from singing a hymn from the dusty hymn books. In fact, I had instead managed to feign illness on a couple of blissful Sunday mornings, and smugly watched Cheers in my Disney pyjamas (and, just a heads up, this is about as “wild child” as this blog will get..).

Growing up in the church, we met so many kind hearted and selfless people, who had dedicated their lives to serving others. We ate hundreds of biscuits, went to barn dances and went to an after-school club on Thursdays – Storykeepers! 

The problem is, there has always been a disconnect for me. I haven’t ever spoken to God, or felt their presence in any special or overwhelming way. I read the Bible and understand the meaning behind certain stories or tales, but I don’t know how I fit into the mix. And, by the time that had occurred to me, I was a teenager and didn’t “have” to go to church anymore. So, I didn’t. Time moved on, and my relationship with the church and God faded. 

Mum’s devotion to God hadn’t faltered, however. She would go to Church every Sunday, and she would be on tea-duty with Barb, Dot or Kath. She would hold bible study in our sylvanian-family sized living room, and feed everyone home-baked cakes and delicious mugs of coffee (whilst desperately trying to shepherd our incredibly hostile cat into the garden).  

When mum was diagnosed with cancer, I was so angry. How could this happen to such a loving, caring, devoted Christian woman? If this happens to people like her, what about me? I haven’t worshipped a God, or lived a selfless life! How can God be letting this happen to my mum?

But, Mum didn’t see it that way. Instead, she found peace in knowing that this was God’s plan and that her death wasn’t the end, but just the beginning. She didn’t want to leave us, of course, but she wasn’t scared. She was astonishingly brave, and just kept on going. She believed that heaven was waiting, and so what is there to be afraid of? 

I turned my back on religion for about a year or so after mum died. I felt so let down and couldn’t even contemplate having a relationship with God. However, in the last few months, my heart has opened up again in many ways. I feel lighter and less alone, and more open to the idea of exploring my faith. Perhaps, I will feel more connected to mum if I at least try? Or maybe, I won’t even give it a go. Or, perhaps, I might just find my own path with God – just like mum did 30 years ago. 

One Response

  1. Beautifully written! I was so sad to hear about your mum – she was a wonderful lady. I always remember her homemade cakes, her fluffy dressing gowns and your spotless kitchen! Whilst it’s quite a different situation, I’ve sometimes wondered how my mum (and dad) have held onto their trust and faith in God over decades of illness.

    Anyway, you may like The Chosen – the first season is on Netflix.

    Much love xx

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