I Wouldn’t Start From Here

I have a confession: I am Northern Irish.

There it is.
That thing I have run so hard from. Tried to hide. Been a little bit disappointed about.

I spent the first 18 years of my life growing up in a land full of blessing and heartache.
And I’ve spent the last 5 years running away from it.

Growing up in Northern Ireland can leave you with a bit of an identity crisis if you’re not careful. Every decision aligns you one way or another, politically and religiously. It’s easy to get a little bit lost in the maze of politics, religions, ethics, scandals, and everything else.

But it’s also a place full of beauty; full of God breaking out and doing new things.
Like my friend Jude, and her dream: Tell It In Colour. Stories of redemption and hope in a land saturated with bad stories, dull stories, colourless stories.

I have so much affection for the little country, but I like to keep it at a distance.

More and more, I am coming to a realisation that I must accept the past, accept the places I have been, the experiences I have lived.

There’s an old story of a man asking for directions, for the best route to a specific location, only to be told, “Well, I wouldn’t start from here!”

That’s so often been how I feel about being Northern Irish. It’s felt like a handicap. Like something to be overcome. Like I shouldn’t start from here.

But I have started from here.
Northern Ireland is the context God placed me in, got me started in.


Now, I am starting to look for ways to see it as a blessing.
It’s my heritage.
It’s where I’m from.
It’s shaped me in more ways that I can even begin to imagine.

And not all of those are bad.

* Please don’t mishear me. I love NI. I just didn’t love growing up there. And I’m trying to find the good stuff in it now, and not run away from it. I’ve done that for too long.

** Also, this post has been deeply shaped by a blog post from Blaine, a conversation with Vicky, and my counsellor, Martin.

Once, Knew How To Talk To You

Part of me
Has Died
And won’t return
And part of me
Wants to hide
The part that’s burned

Once, once
Knew how to talk to you
Once, once
But not anymore

Hear the sirens call me home
Hear the sirens call me home
Hear the sirens call me home
Hear the sirens call me home

The Fringe

A few snaps from my short foray at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year…

Fringe Festival

Fringe Festival

Fringe Festival

Fringe Festival