Ask Me A Question….

How many times have you opened your mouth to say something to a loved one but have been unable to force the words from your lips? You’ve felt too awkward or embarrassed to make public what may have been sitting on your heart for what seems like an eternity. So the unspoken thought or emotion lies dormant within you never to see the light of day. It’s a frustrating, infuriating feeling right? You are bursting at the seams but unable to seize the moment. And another opportunity meanders by. Another day is lost and important words go unspoken.

I have often bottled up my emotions and allowed them to fester and spoil within me. They eat away at you from within, like acid working on your stomach lining. Why is it so hard to speak the truth when lies seem to drip so effortlessly from our lips? Why do we stumble over proclamations of love when words of hate and ill feeling fly from our mouths like flocks of crazed crows? We cannot practice what we preach unless we first practice how to speak lovingly, truthfully and without fear.

So today I’m going to suggest an exercise. I want you to ask me up to three questions. It can be anything. Something that you’ve always wanted to ask but have held back. It might be trivial, it might be silly, it might be deep and spiritual. Whatever it is I will answer you truthfully. But it will be a special kind of truth because it will cross the ether and unlock your own truth reservoir. When I have answered I want you to speak to a loved one later today and tell them how much they mean to you; how much you appreciate what they do for you. You can even mention the dreaded ‘L’ word if you want. That’s love by the way not laundry.

You do not have to participate if you don’t want to but I hope that you do. It could be the safest of steps for you or it could be a gargantuan leap into the unknown. Either way I hope releasing words of love and kindness from within you will start a tiny tsunami of positivity that spreads throughout your community. It could fizzle out or it could start a chain reaction that results in permanent, concrete change within damaged relationships and brittle friendships. Call me naive but I hope and pray that this is so.

So it’s over to you. Are you up to the challenge?

Start asking….

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

68 thoughts on “Ask Me A Question….

  1. “Why do we stumble over proclamations of love when words of hate and ill feeling fly from our mouths like flocks of crazed crows?”—–how true! Love this!

    One question I’ve always wanted to ask is how old you are? LOL. I get it, you may not want to answer that but I’ve always been curious.
    On a more serious note…..when did you become a Christian? What opened your eyes?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Ha Ha I’m a young 47. I became a Christian almost 5 years ago. I didn’t like the direction my life was going in and the impact my actions were having on others. I got dragged along to church by a friend and that was that really πŸ™‚

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Interesting. I always seem to think that it takes A LOT of encouraging for a grown up to become religious. But you seem to have this ability to just choose to do something (or choose to stop it) and it works! I guess that’s where your obsessions come in.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok, here’s a trivial one… What is your favorite color?
    How long have you been a Christian?
    And finally, I have wondered about this for a while – what do you do for a living? You don’t talk about that much.
    I will for sure hold up my end of this challenge! You are so right that people don’t say they love each other enough.


    1. Ha Ha the colour question is actually the hardest of the three. I’ll say black because that’s my surname. Fionnuala and I have been Christians for almost 5 years. I am a Deputy Senior Investigation Officer for the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. Google it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I agree with the above commenter. What *do* you do for a living? I’ll bet you’re a detective of some sort.

    Ok, my next 2 questions are: what attracted you to American football, and how did you become a Redskins fan?


    1. Close Barb. I’m a Deputy Senior Investigation Officer for the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. British television started showing the NFL in the 1980s and I loved it from Day 1. The Redskins had a good team then so I chose them. It’s been all downhill ever since but I’ve stuck by them πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes born and bred in Northern Ireland. I just try to lead a normal life. I have a wonderful wife and three great kids who motivate me to be the best person I can possibly be. I talk about my problems now as opposed to keeping them bottled up. My writing and running also help me.


  4. I haven’t got any questions cause I think you have asked a pretty massive one already ..

    “Why is it so hard to speak the truth when lies seem to drip so effortlessly from our lips? Why do we stumble over proclamations of love when words of hate and ill feeling fly from our mouths like flocks of crazed crows?”

    I think questions like this are great way to start some really important conversations around why we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and the importance of being slow to speak and quick to listen.

    Good post, thanks for sharing

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Love the idea. I’d try it but I’d be worried I’d never get to all the questions. So my first question is “How do you find the time to write such thought provoking posts and answer all the comments as well every day?”

    My second question is “You have mentioned you have OCD, What was it that made you realize you had OCD?”

    And my third question – “:If you could give your wife any flower in the world, what flower would you give her on July 7th?”

    Thanks fro the opportunity to delve deep into your life!


    1. Fionnuala’s favourite flowers are lilies so that’s an easy one. I do most of my writing on the daily train commute to and from work. It was Fionnuala who researched OCD online and suggested I might have it. This led to me seeing my GP and being formally diagnosed.


    1. I’ve thought long and hard about this all day and can say my first true love is Fionnuala my wife. Our love has persevered and got us through so many tough times. It hasn’t been pretty at times but it has always been real.


  6. Community is so important in every sense. It is through discovering our differences that we get to truly know ourselves. I think that you have answered a lot of questions about yourself on your blog πŸ™‚ But I would like to ask you to reveal something that we don’t know about you. Like what is your favourite food? What do you appreciate most about your wife as your partner and not as a mother? Has your writing changed over the years that you have been writing? πŸ™‚


    1. I eat most things put in front of me. Ha Ha. But I like Chinese food. I appreciate Fionnuala’s strength, courage, loyalty and huge heart for others. I’ve only been writing really since last May so it’s still too early to answer your final question but thank you for asking them all.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a great idea. I think we should remember to do this despite the lies that seem to just drip from our mouths. Some 3 questions that I would like to answer, if you can are:

    1). Why is it so hard for Christian youths to stand up for their beliefs in a world that focuses on the outward appearance and monetary value of things?

    2). Why do we as Christian men seem to fall so easily to the traps of sexual immorality and pornography?
    3). What is it about the name of God and Jesus Christ that immediately starts turning people off and away from the Source of Truth?

    I just thought you would like to know these questions. Once again, I think this is a very smart idea and I will try and do this as often as I can.


  8. I have some questions for you, how did your family and friends react to you finding your faith so late on in life? Also you have had a lot of turbulent times in your life, as have I, do you wish you could turn the clock back and erase it all or do you think experiences shape a person into who we are and we shouldn’t regret anything? My personal opinion is I regret the hurt I caused but not what happened as it did shape me into the person I am today. Also how do you have the courage to write such personal blogs daily? I find when I write a deep and personal blog I often either take a break for a few days because I’m worrying what people are thinking, delete it or check my stats constantly trying to work out who if anyone has read it!


    1. I’m quite shy about my faith in the real world so don’t really proclaim it. The people around us at that time were largely Christian so were by and large pleased for us. My mum was pleased. I do wish I could back and erase it. I carry a lot of guilt and shame with me don’t you? But I accept your point that our past does help shape who we are today. This blog is my release, my escape, my therapy. Hardly anyone I know in real life reads the blog which also helps. You sound like me re: the stat checking πŸ˜‚


      1. That’s good that you had a lot of people really pleased for you when you needed it. Same, mine shares to my Twitter and a few people close to me read it but not many. Yes it’s bad, some posts I’m not so fussed about and will hardly check but others I’m checking all the time! πŸ˜„


          1. No I don’t. For many reasons but growing up none of my family were religious and still aren’t, I mean not a single one, so it’s just not something I have ever thought I needed or was encouraged to do. I think this could be a very long conversation so I’ll leave it there 😊


  9. I have a very dark question for you. Feel free to deny answering… Did you grow up in the area of Belfast? Did Fionnuala? If so would you mind sharing with us at some point how it affected you? You know with the conflicts happening 20 years ago. Or didn’t it? I’m really interested… Hope you don’t mind me asking. I love this post and how open you all are…


    1. Fionnuala grew up in West Belfast whereas I grew up in Omagh. We both have experience of The Troubles first hand. I’ve heard bombs explode and shots being fired but thankfully never lost a loved one. My father was also a part time police officer. My job now involves helping bereaved families find out the truth about the murders of their loved ones. It is demanding but rewarding work.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love all the questions everyone has been asking but didn’t read all the way through so I apologize if I have a couple repeat ones πŸ™‚ 1. Have you ever traveled outside Northern Ireland if so to where and what did you think? 2. What was your favorite subject to study? 3. What is your favorite book/author and why?


  11. Hi Stephen and the rest of the Blacks! My admiration for you all continues to grow as this post has made me think of so many things; questions to ask myself and some of the folks nearest to me.
    And I have come up with my three for you:
    1. Did you know that you were to have a special needs child before she was born?
    2. What other athletic endeavors did you try before finding out distance running was for you?
    3. Are you still searching for a church to call home?
    PS: I would welcome three questions from you as well!


  12. How do you write so much and so often? Do you ever struggle with your faith-what part? I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland-If I did what is something you would suggest a Christian newby do in the country?


    1. Your first point struck a nerve. I spend too much time on the blog and need to cut back. It’s all part of my obsessive nature. I struggle with most aspects of my faith lol. There is so much to do in Ireland whatever your beliefs. Coming from Northern Ireland I’d recommend the Causeway Coast and the Fermanagh Lakes for beautiful scenery. Belfast is a great city with something for everyone.


  13. I love this exercise but don’t have this problem, not with those close to me. I’ve lived a long time, long enough to have many regrets. Enough of that. My loved ones know how I feel, because I tell them, often.


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