Hi, I’m Sam. Grab a cup of coffee and let me tell you about me, my spiritual journey and this blog.
I write. I teach English. I’m from the UK but live in Colombia – where I moved just after graduating from Oxford University.
Yes, Colombia. I usually have to clarify that to anyone who only has certain stereotypes to go by.
And it’s worked out pretty well. I met my husband out here. He’s Colombian and for many reasons, which I go into in other places (like here), we’re an unlikely couple. Only God could have got us together.
I’m also a Christian, which of course is at the core of my identity. But I’ve been on quite the spiritual journey to get to that point.
My Spiritual Journey
For a long time, although I knew I was a Christian, I didn’t know how to ‘own’ my faith. The label sat uncomfortably with me … mainly because I had had a fairly bumpy ride when it came to experiences with organised religion.
When I was eight I watched as my parents, friends of my parents and other committed Christians left the church we had been attending, carrying deep wounds as they did so. My family remained committedly Christian but we didn’t attend church from then on. When I got baptised, aged fourteen, it was with just my family watching in a lake in the countryside.
This being so, growing up and all the way through university I regarded church and institutional religion in general with a lot of suspicion.
Then after graduating I moved to Colombia and became a church attender again. Why? I was as surprised as any but it all came down to one word … community.
In the UK, although I hadn’t been attending church I had always had a rich community of believers around me to support and grow with – made up of family and friends. When I came to Colombia, I felt something missing. When I did eventually find a Christian community I felt at home with I learned to appreciate it. I realised that being part of a healthy Christian body is a joyful, beautiful thing: one that nourishes and fulfils. I realised that Christian community is important.
For a more detailed version of my spiritual journey, read this post.
Is this Blog for You?
This blog is a community for those of you who are hungry for spiritual growth, especially if you’ve had bad experiences with or have bad impressions of institutional Christianity.
It’s tricky, but we have to find a balance. We have to balance the benefits of criticising what preachers or church institutions say with running away from the discipline and the well-worn truths many have to offer.
Of course, that can be difficult. Especially if:
- Institutional religion has hurt us.
- The impressions we’ve got at a distance of church and religious institutions are really bad.
Or on the flip side if:
- We’re afraid to break the habits of a lifetime and start criticising religious authority.
- We want to start thinking through our faith for ourselves but have no idea where to begin.
Which is why I hope you’ll hang around this blog a while as we navigate the boundaries between spirituality and religion and form a little community of our own along the way.
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