By Chantal Robertson, Jubilee Church Wirral
broken and restored
As my name may well allude to, I am half-French. I was born in the UK, but when I was two months old, we – my Mum, Papa, older brother and I – moved back to France.
Sadly, my parents divorced when I was about eight years old and Mum, my brother and I then moved back to the UK, permanently, for various reasons. Despite this, my brother and I spent a holiday every summer with Papa.
My ‘Frenchness’ has always been difficult for me. Being half French/ half English, seems to be one of the worst combinations of nations, especially at school.
You get caught between two historical enemies and stereotypes on both sides. As I’ve grown older, in the UK, my ‘Frenchness’ has diminished from being fluent (and with a heavy local accent in both languages), to sounding like an English southerner in one language, and like an English person trying to speak French, in the other language!
In the last few years, God’s worked amazingly in many miraculous ways in my life, so I now have a wonderful, supportive husband, amazing stepchildren and a beautiful, crazy, miraculous four-year-old!
Since she unexpectedly came along, I’ve seen even more of my Papa (who lives in France still) than previously, and restoration and reconciliation (of the torn parts of myself) seemed to have been mending like one of those beautiful Japanese Kintsugi pots.
Our beautiful daughter!
My Papa with our daughter
Why am I telling you all this?
Well, we ALL have been affected by the pandemic in LOTS of ways, both good and bad and definitely challenging. For me, if it wasn’t for welcoming our gorgeous rescue Lurcher (we re-homed her just before the first lockdown!) into our family, having started dipping in the sea (with pauses during full lockdowns) and being an NHS key worker, I wouldn’t have left the house and my mental health would have taken a nose dive, after taking 10 years to be on the road to recovery (2008-2018).
It wasn’t until sometime during the second lockdown and having to cancel our trip to France (after obvious delays), that it hit me… it’s the longest time I’ve not been to France!
I felt I was swirling down a spiral, backwards, and torn, once more. On top of everything else: how do I feel? Who am I?
I’ve had to fully trust and look to Jesus. I AM A CHILD OF GOD first and foremost, and NOTHING can change that, nothing can separate me from His love and care and from Him knowing me fully and completely and being ALL that I need.
And this isn’t just for me, but for ALL of us no matter who we think/ know we are (good or bad), it’s for YOU! GOD LOVES YOU! Utterly and completely, right now! He doesn’t make mistakes, never has done, never will!
I pray this encourages you and that you may rest at peace in His loving arms.
A Japanese Kintsugi pot
Cashew, our rescue Lurcher
Chantal Robertson, Jubilee Church Wirral