Arora Appleby

a journal of healing, learning + loving

Keep Reading

Church changed my life

I'm not religious but going to church changed my life


I look towards the not-so-out-of-bounds area, the candle man from earlier was there, sat on a yellow cushioned seat with his hands interlinked and his eyes closed. He looked so peaceful. I wanted to feel peace within my soul so I walked over and sat on the other side in a red cushioned chair. I bowed my head, interlinked my hands and tears started falling from my eyes, slowly, then all at once. I tried to contain my sobs as to not disturb the candle man but I soon heard his chair scuff and his footsteps disappear into the rest of the churches silence.

I wouldn't consider myself a religious person and I don't know if I felt obliged considering my surroundings but the voice inside my head started to pray, speaking truths not even I was aware of.  I listened to myself confess things I never knew I felt or thought about myself and my entire life thus far. It was an indescribable feeling to say the least. I knelt on the praying mat speaking in hushed whispers - prayers, confessions, fears, wants and needs started pouring out of my cracked lips and I was left sobbing on my knees in front of Jesus.

I confessed that my life is not how I want it to be, how I wished to change, how I am ready to be as ~normal~ as I can withstand, how I'm ready to not be consumed by the darkness of my depression anymore and how I want to be free of every fear and insecurity that plagues my mind. I pleaded to God for the job in Wales and begged to give me a chance to start over in where my family and loved ones lived. I asked for help and forgiveness and I sobbed apologies for only turning to God when I needed something. I repented my sins in-between cries and then a wave of clarity hit me and I knew it was time to leave. I knew it was in the universes hands now. I had put everything out there and now it was time for us to co-opporate and work together.

I don't know what compelled me to go, but I found myself outside the large doors of the town church. I walked into the foyer, my shoes squeaking on the tiles and my music playing softly from my hanging headphones until I turned them off and put them in my rucksack. I looked around, the church was dark except for random benches which were illuminated by sun rays streaming through the large stained-glass windows above. Churches seem to have a certain kind of smell; old and yet fresh, almost like my grandparents house, always clean but full of antiques. 

I wandered over to an illuminated bench and sat for a while, unsure of what I should be doing. The bench is hard on my bum and doesn't seem big enough, just below, there are kneeling pads for praying and little shelves which homed a Bible and a Hymn book. The bible, blue and dusty, caught my eye so I picked it up and flicked to a random page. The page described how a bloke called David was cutting off loads of other mens foreskins so he could marry King Saul's daughter. King Saul accepted him into the family with open arms then tried on many occasions to kill David.. I closed the book in confusion and put it back on the wooden shelf and sat in silence some more. It's strange how your mind tries to distract you and find some form of stimulant in silence; it's as though it's uncomfortable just being still. I tried to focus on my breathing but it made me feel anxious so I let my mind wander and tried to categorise my thoughts into 'keep' and 'discard'.

Footsteps echoed in the distance, gradually getting louder as the man makes his way down the isle towards the candle stand. I watched him in awe from my bench. He picked up a tea-light candle, lights it using the other lit candles and places it in an empty spot on the candle stand.
"I want to light a candle" I think to myself as the man walks off into a part of the church I assumed was out of bounds.

I watch the flames flicker for a while, an invisible weight attached to my heart, I conclude the only way to lift it is to light my own candle. I wander over to the stand and look into the tea-light box. It takes me a while to pick one, they were all misshapen and I figured this was meant to be a sacred act and so I wanted the best one there.

I pick up a discarded match and light it, transferring the flame onto my perfect tea-light I watch the flame rise in my hand before placing it next to its brothers and sisters in the stand. I stand and watch, mesmerised by the flames, searching for the meaning behind it all. The reason to why I'm here, in a church, burning candles and playing pianos. 

The next day, I received a phone-call from a job in Wales telling me I had set the bar so high no-one else could compete and that I had the job.  I started packing my life up straight after that phone call. 
I had nowhere to live in Wales but I knew I was going to make it work. And I did. I have. I still am, making it work. 

Form for the Contact Page