By Annmarie Miles
(From the January - March 2019 issue of VOX)
HAPPY 1Oth BIRTHDAY VOX!
It has been a pleasure and a joy to be involved with VOX Magazine. I’ve been around almost from the beginning. (I missed the very first issue but have been here ever since.)
I remember wondering how I could say anything of any interest or importance. “The only way I can do it,” I thought, “is to be honest from the outset and just say what’s on my mind and heart.” It’s where the Feint Saint title came from. I’m an imperfect follower of God. If you get that, then everything else might make some sense.
I’ve been looking back over the last ten years of this column. As things have changed in my life, I’ve been able to share some of it with you. At lot has happened…
In 2009, I finally got my degree.
In 2010, I wrote about recovering in hospital after my cornea transplant.
2011 saw Mr Feint Saint and me struggling through a time of financial difficulty.
My favourite story from 2012 was about a mix up in a Cypriot airport when I was crying having said goodbye to Richard for three weeks. The airport staff misunderstood me when I said, “I’ve just left my husband…”
In 2013, I shared about the heart-breaking hilariousness of living with my dad for a time.
2014 was about loss for me. I lost a dear friend and my dad within weeks of each other.
2015 was the first year of becoming a Pastor’s wife, or should I say, the husband becoming a Pastor.
In 2016, I visited my cornea donor’s family in the US and got to thank them face to face.
2017 saw me making real changes to my diet, exercise and general health.
In 2018, I continued to share about the changes I’m going through, both physical and emotional.
That’s just me. One person. One faulty follower. I can imagine you, dear reader, could write a similar list of the trials and triumphs of the last ten years.
And Ireland herself is almost unrecognisable. The Celtic Tiger lost her teeth somewhat, and the memories of the difficulty of eighties Ireland were resurrected. Austerity became the norm. There were religious scandals, political storms, not to mention the dealings of some bankers and builders being brought out into the open. Pretty dismal reading.
“Hey!” I hear you cry, “I thought you were supposed to be the chirpy one around here…”
Okay, here comes the chirpy bit. In the last ten years, God has been where God always is... on His Throne. Watching over us through the storms and the sunshine. Caring, providing, leading, guiding. Building His church, stopping the gates of hell from prevailing against it.
As we head into 2019, the last year of another decade, we do so as the children of God. None of us knows what’s ahead, except that we’re on our way home and God will be with us every step of the way, as He has always been.
Thank you, VOX, for helping us to gauge the spiritual pulse of the nation over the last ten years. Thanks for letting me throw my tuppence worth in. Thank you, readers, for reading and dropping the odd encouraging comment my way. I pray God blesses each and every one of you; that He will be ALL you need.
With love, from your ever-Feint Saint x
Annmarie Miles is originally from Tallaght and now lives in her husband Richard’s homeland, Wales. As well as VOX articles, she writes short stories, and is working on a book about her journey with food, weight gain, weight loss and God. Visit her blog at www.auntyamo.com. On Twitter she is @amowriting.