Get to Know You: Fiona

Tell us about yourself.
I am the youngest of 5 girls (well, ladies), and have grown up with an appreciation for dogs and swimming in cold water. I’m spending most of my time this summer at a desk hunched over a thesis dissertation in the area of human rights and criminal justice,  however I also occasionally go to work in a homeless hostel for men in Dublin city centre. I like fresh air, blue cheese, having a laugh with friends, German and my husband, Matthew.

Has there been a time in your life where you have experienced God in a real way?
I feel I experience God in a real way quite often. When praying I have often experienced a funny sense of timelessness and comfort, which I can only describe as God. I have also experienced times when I feel compelled to be somewhere, make a particular decision or talk to a particular person. Examples of this are things like what college courses/jobs I have chosen, people I have been brought into contact with who have seemed “perfect timing”, times I have prayed for friends and seen them get to know God, and times God has relieved personal struggles and stresses. The result of these experiences is that I can see that God has been walking with me through my life and knows where I am going (I’m glad someone knows!).

What impact does your faith have on your day-to-day life?
It used to be a case of praying regularly and knowing that God was near which really affected my daily life. Although this is still the case, more recently I have been affected by how much God cares about people. I have found God cares deeply about justice, and about the things that happen which we intrinsically know are not supposed to happen – things like addiction, broken relationships, accidents, depression. God cares deeply about people and their circumstances and has shown that these things are not ok. The fact that He does not want people to live with sickness, pain, tears, gives me tangible hope as I face the hurt in the world.

What are your dreams or hopes for the future?
I hope to have a little cottage by the sea where I could read books and drink tea with my lovely family. Ah no, I wouldn’t really like that in the long run, I’d only get bored! We don’t really know what our futures look like, but my one hope is that I come to know God more, because life with Him is a joy and an adventure.

What does grace mean to you?
I knew a girl who was hoping to be confirmed in her church. In order to do so, she had to sit a little test. As she was quite a conscientious german girl, she studied really hard for a whole week. She knew bible verses off by heart and a great explanation of the trinity. On the day of the test, she arrived at the Priest’s house. He came out and shook her hand saying, “congratulations, you are ready to make your confirmation.” She dismayed saying, “but I haven’t sat the test yet!” “That’s grace” he replied. She was raging…! We call this “grace” amazing?! To me it is a fresh lesson learnt and re-learnt. The penny drops again and again that what God has done means we can’t prove ourselves, he has already accepted us. If only we would accept him. It therefore means what others think of us and what we think of ourselves doesn’t actually define us – and there is serious freedom in that. Amazing.

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