The why behind And then Amanda
I've always kept a journal. Penned love letters. Jotted extravagant shopping lists.
I suspect it's because my mind always feels like such a tangle of thoughts: the only way I can make sense of the knot is to untangle it with pencil and paper.
Needless to say, the bigger the topic, the bigger the tangle! So when it came to something as big as faith, I was going to need more than pencil and paper.
So who is this blog for?
Look. Who am I to dictate this? We are all so, so different. We are all contradictory. Those I think will relate may not, and someone who is seemingly opposite may nod along with vigour.
To help you decide if this is for you... I became a Christian as an adult.
Naturally, this means I formed (often strong) opinions that did not align themselves with Christian beliefs. But what happens to these opinions once you become a Christian? In my case, I couldn't just let these ideas go because I had become a Christian: they formed a part of my very identity. How to do you consolidate these views? Can you even do so?
I didn't have any (known) Christians in my circles.
So I hardly knew where to start. And so I didn't. It wasn't until I fell in love with and married a Christian that I felt safe and comfortable enough to talk about Christianity as an adult. Even then, it took five years of reading and 'discussing' and brooding and attending a course at a local church that I could no longer defend not being a Christian.
But not everyone has this path. What if you don't have someone who you can speak to safely and openly about becoming a Christian?
You might have questions you're afraid to air because you're scared you'll be judged, or ridiculed, or even outcast. You might worry you'll offend or hurt your friends or your family. I'm talking about the kind of stuff that we're taught to keep private. But these are real barriers.
I am here to shove those barriers out of your way. I want you to feel safe and respected at all times. This doesn't mean that the topics won't be hard to think and talk about (that's the point!), but I will always conduct myself in a gentle and loving manner. I've put together a comments policy to help everyone understand what will and won't be accepted.
What sort of topics will you cover?
Basically, they're topics that bridge the gap between being curious-but-confused and becoming a Christian. Subjects often considered taboo (homosexuality/abortion/euthanasia/sex before marriage) to more everyday ones (money/family/friends/work) are all fair game. I will also cover topics that come up from discussions with you.
Again, remember that I'm writing from the perspective as an adult becoming a Christian. An adult with already fully-fledged ideas about life. This might be you, too.
Why also write about craft and food and other personal things?
Both of these things are a huge part of my life. And this blog is personal. The Great Blogging Manual will instruct you to stick to one topic or you will confuse your audience, but I've a penchant for breaking the rules (!), and I want to share me with you. These posts will help us with our personal relationship.
There will always be people thinking about Christianity. So I will always be here to support you.
I do not profess to be an expert on anything, and I want you to question everything I say. I can't wait to hold hands and jump into this abyss together.
In gentleness, Amanda x
PS What does 'And then Amanda' even mean?
Every 18 months or so, something happens. A change. An upheaval. A disaster. Something of huge significance to my life. Rather than resist the change, I'm going with it. I'm calling it And then Amanda.