My Journey to God – I’ve Been Scattered More Than Once

Every day I listen to a portion of the Bible with an aim to have listened to the whole thing in a year. I started on the 2nd of July 2021. I use the YouVersion Bible App+Audio. I can listen as I walk, or I can read along with the audio recording. The app is free to download and contains a vast array of Bible study tools and plans. I am following “Bible in One Year 2021 With Nicky Gumbel”. Each day starts with a devotional that explains that sets out a theme between the passages and then goes into them in more detail. It brings the word to life for me and puts it into a modern context. I understand how to apply it to my present.

The devotional on days 49 and 50 really struck a chord within me and they are the inspiration for this post. The New Testament passage is Mark 3:31 – 5:20 which is quite a large segment (but it is over two days), a lot is covered in this portion of Marks gospel but the parts that struck me most were the parable of the scattered seed, the parable of the lamp and the parable of the mustard seed particularly when listening to them in the context of Nicky’s devotional. They reminded me of my personal journey in faith and brough back a lot of memories some filled with joy, others more painful.  

I am going to do a post on each of these parables and how I feel connected to it in my own personal journey, how it resonated with me.

The Parable of the Scattered Seeds

This parable is discussed twice in chapter 4 of Mark’s Gospel. Jesus tells a story to the assembled crowd about a farmer sowing his seeds, he describes what happens to the seed depending on where it lands (Mark 4: 4-8), then when pressed later in private by his disciples he goes on to precisely explain what various parts of the story represent (Mark 4: 14-20).

As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

Mark 4: 4- 8 | New Living Translation

14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Mark 4: 14 – 20 | New Living Translation

My Interpretation of the Parable

There are three main components here: the seed, the soil, and the farmer. The seed is the word of the Lord within us, it is the news that God loves us, exists, and wants us to thrive. The soil is the conditions we find ourselves in when we hear the word, and the farmer is the source of the word at the time of sowing. I want to take this further and describe the time when I was sewn on the path, the shallow soil and where I have been sown now.

As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up

I see this as when I was really young between 6 and 12. My parents are not religious or spiritual and all of my education about God came from my aunt, and a close family friend. They bought me colourful Bibles and took me to Sunday school when they could. At this point in my life there was no groundwork, there was no soil for the seed to grow in and so it was lost. It didn’t have a chance to take root.

Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.

I was extremely lucky and attended a private school in England which had a chapel attached to the dining room. We attended chapel most mornings and on weekends. It was a beautiful building, and I was part of the choir. I felt a desire for what being a Christian would mean for my life. I thought it meant I would always feel safe. I thought if I were confirmed it would make it all work. I would be covered and never be alone again. I went to confirmation classes held by my biology teachers’ husband who was a reverend. Each week for several months I went to the headmaster’s lounge which overlooked the grounds and learnt about the word with a couple of other members of my year. This time I am the seed sown on shallow soil. I was so keen, eager, I devoted myself to my study. My parents did not understand my decision, but they didn’t oppose it either. I was confirmed when I turned 12. 

When I was 14 my parents separated, and my mother’s mental health began to become a serious issue. In the face of so much anger and abuse my faith withered. I renounced God and became a staunch atheist because I was alone and helpless. Despite the efforts of close friends and dedicated caring teachers my faith died. I buried it. When I think back on that time, I am brought to the brink of tears, not solely because my family disintegrated but because instead of running to the light, I chose to slam the door on it. I know I was a child and responded to the situation as a child, but I am so grateful that God sent someone to scatter the seed of the word in my life again.

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times

The third time the seed was sown by my Alpha course leaders, it landed on deeper soil. It has shot up and a year later is growing even stronger than ever, tended carefully by new and old friends, it hasn’t started to wither at all. I opened the door I had closed 17 years previously and welcomed God’s love into my life. I hope this time I have been sown in the good soil and I don’t get swallowed up by the weeds. Modern life is constantly trying to tell us what we should prioritise, and I am determined for nothing to overtake my faith. If I do this right the things I want, and my faith should complement each other. I’m trying not to worry too much about the future and to trust that God will provide what I need. I want to thank all the farmers that prepared the soil in the years before, I want to thank God for continuing to shower me in love even when I was determined to pursue my own path. I pray that in the future God will reap the crop of my faith and I will have helped spread the word to many others.

Admin To Finish

This article shares some really personal parts of my journey, but I am a candid person.  The images used in this article aren’t mine I found them on another blog written by Russ McCullin, you can find his original image here. As always, I welcome your thoughts, feedback, comments, advice, and most of all your prayers. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I urge you to be polite in your feedback even if you have taken great offence to or been angered by what is written. I am always learning and always willing to listen to those that state their point without hate or malice.

God bless you and keep you,


Converting to Christianity

Summer 2020

Lockdown was hard for basically everyone in the UK. I struggled, especially with the lack of physical contact and the sense of community. I require a lot of attention from different sources to thrive. Seeing friends and family at such distance felt like torture and would leave me feeling more anxious and alone. I needed to find something to occupy my weeks, to stimulate my mind and spirit. I could feel the beginnings of a deep depression setting in, something I have battled since my adolescence.

I have felt a constant emptiness, a missing piece that I have tried to rationalise. I am a scientist by education and training, and I always considered myself too reasoned and logical to believe in God. In the past I was terrified what people would think of me, that they would mock me but then I felt God’s love. I believe unconditional love was my missing piece, the love that can only come through God.

What would I ask God?

I decided to try a long-distance Alpha course hosted through my local church. I was coming in at best as a sceptical agnostic at worse as a close-minded atheist. The first thing we were asked after the much too cheery introduction video that made sweeping statements and gross generalisations was:

“If God was here in this room right now what would you ask?”

I didn’t need to think about it, as a woman there is something that causes me great pain and discomfort every month like clockwork.

“Why do women have periods?”

The poor Alpha leader was not expecting that. It’s important though, periods are a key ingredient to bring forth new life – but they hurt, they are embarrassing and, in many cultures and religions around the world, they are used as a stick to subjugate half of the population. So, I want to know – Why? The elderly gentleman leading our course had clearly not thought about this before and wasn’t able to give me an answer. It is a question I intend to come back to later in my journey – for now it has a pin in it.

Unconditional Love

As the weeks went on, I started to become more frustrated the videos continued to make generalisations, I continued to get hung up on points of intellectual debate and clearly, I was missing something – faith.

A constant topic was the unconditional love of God, but I have never (or very rarely) experienced unconditional love. On top of this they kept talking about The Father, another concept I cannot readily identify with. It made the whole thing seem unobtainable, mythical, almost non-sensical. I was beginning to despair.

At the start of Alpha I had begun to pray, really pray and to read the Bible. I prayed to understand, to hear God, to feel that love. I prayed for mundane things too and I could see those prayers being answered, but still I could not feel God’s presence. I still did not know what unconditional love felt like.

My Revelation

During a video towards the end of the course we were shown a painting: The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt along with the passage from Revelations:

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me”

Revelations 3:20

The image is of Jesus knocking at a closed door in the dark, there is no handle and so Jesus cannot let himself in to bestow divine light, I interpret that as love, on the occupants. I wanted desperately to feel that love. I wanted to open that door.

As the video progressed I prayed:

“Lord please send the Holy Spirit to guide me, so that I can open my heart you know and know the weight of your love. I am ready. I know I don’t need to understand anything please let me feel your unconditional love”

Immediately after that prayer I felt that love. An overwhelming crushing acceptance. I fell from my chair to the floor and wept with joy. I knew that whatever mistakes I may make, however broken and undeserving I thought of myself, I was loved. Utterly and completely. I was not alone, I did not need all the answers, I knew that something bigger than anything I can comprehend loved me. I could barely breathe. The members of my Alpha call were concerned for me and I went to see my husband in the kitchen. I expected him to freak out and be overwhelmed with worry and anxiety but he didn’t react like that at all. He held me close, stroked my hair and cracked a ridiculous joke turning my tears to laughter.

I knew from that moment I was a Christian. I didn’t understand much then and I still don’t, but I have come to accept that I will never have many of the answers. I was afraid of telling people, that they would mock me or assume it was something to do with my mental health condition, but I know the truth and over time they have come to accept that this is my truth and respect my outlook.

God Bless E.M.

The Light of the World – William Holman Hunt