Lessons Learned… Pt One

Two years ago today, I left Northern Ireland and moved to live in Glasgow, Scotland. I initially moved here to study for a computer science degree at the University of Glasgow, and now I am working with Christian Aid as a Youth Advocate Volunteer. In the space of two short years, so much has changed in my life. I’ve been in a reflective mood recently, so thought I’d take some time to share with you some of the things I have learnt over the past few years.

I found a hunger for justice.
God has broken my heart time and again for the poor and the marginalised in the world. It started in Glasgow, being challenged to love the people around me – the homeless guys, the Big Issue vendors, the drunks, the people I previously tried to avoid. Jesus in his most distressing disguises, as Momma T would say. I was challenged to really know them – not just throw a few quid at them. I’m still learning… I fail regularly. But, one of the dreams I have is to be missed by the homeless guys more than by my church. It moved wider through things like leading the social action group at uni, and wider still through Tearfund and other organisations. Now I have the privilege of working with Christian Aid to encourage & inspire young people to get involved in issues of justice & poverty.

I discovered that I’m a good photographer.
I still hesitate to call myself a photographer sometimes, it’s taken a long time to become more confident in saying that. Yet, I know I have some kind of talent in photography. One that will require lots more hard work to refine! I had a conversation with a very gifted musician friend of mine recently about how absolutely terrifying it is to put something you’ve created out there, for everyone else to give their two cents on. There are always those moments of criticism and negativity, no matter how good your work is. It was refreshing to hear those words from someone so successful. It’s exciting to see the doors that are opening up before me now, with a few potential trips in the next 2 years to shoot for charity and mission organisations.

I found community.
I joined an amazing church, and plugged into a housegroup. I met some fantastic people through university courses, CU and general bumping-into-people-randomly. I discovered that I have more influence when I blog than I thought I did. I learnt what it means to love, and to be loved. I learnt that I can only know myself as deeply as I allow myself to be known. I’m so excited by the people who surround me in this city especially, who challenge and inspire me to be more like Jesus every day. Thank you!

[More to follow…]

What have you been learning recently?

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7 Responses to “Lessons Learned… Pt One”


  1. 2 Rose September 16, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I would have to echo what you wrote! Moving to DC helped me to get better acquainted with the justice movement. I too am learning photography (images speak so loudly!) and the community here is awesome. I also learned how much family means to me, as I miss them so much…. great post here, Emma!

  2. 3 Lyndsey September 19, 2008 at 10:38 am

    what a class post. im so proud of you emmaboyd, you seriously challenge and inspire me loads, so ta doll 🙂
    coffee soon – montgomerys – be there or be a big square
    xo

  3. 4 emmsy September 25, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    thanks girls…

    @ Rebecca: I’m curious… how’d you stumble over my way?

  4. 5 David September 25, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    You are a good photographer. I like your work, it’s easy to fall into the trap of the hyper-real and somehow you manage to avoid this whilst still retaining a sense of the aesthetic. I reckon it takes lots of work too. keep on.

  5. 6 outofroutine September 28, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    I agree with a lot of the sentiments above. This is a belter of a blog post. I’ve learnt quite a bit recently (or maybe just the same lesson repeatedly), about the importance of actually getting up and trying to do things, rather than dwelling on all the shouda-woulda-coulda’s. Good to see you on Wednesday.

  6. 7 emmsy September 30, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    @ David: thank you. very cool to get encouragement… much appreciated!

    @ outofroutine: glad it made ya think. acting on our beliefs is so so important, and why I love the job that I am now doing… being able to inspire and equip people with tools to make a real difference in the world, to make a dent on poverty & injustice. social action team was such an important first step for me, please keep giving those guys opportunities to share their (& Jesus’!) heart with the wider CU/uni campus! good job last wed, was good to be around.


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