Hello and Welcome!

giwizziGiwizzi, aside from being a fun word, is also the Old High German for knowledge, wits, or mind!

My name is Emma, or sometimes Giwizzi, and I’m the person behind “Soul in Paraphrase”, a blog combining theology with discussion of mental illness, biblical exegesis and historical information. The aim behind it all is to inform, to assist, and perhaps even to inspire.

The title of the blog comes from George Herbert’s poem Prayer (I), where he describes prayer as, among other things, “The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage“. This blog is girded by prayer, and the expression of my soul, of the things that are important to me.

About Me

Born and brought up in the North of England, though have also done stints elsewhere in the country. I have an undergraduate degree in theology, and came to faith in my fourth and final year of that degree. I’m an active member of the Church of England, currently ‘between jobs’, and contemplating higher theological study.

I have bipolar disorder (type II), which from which I’ve been fortunate enough to be in remission for a decade. My illness was always mostly depressive in nature, and it was during that first episode of depression that I came to faith. I was to have a further two episodes of depression before my illness went into remission, and my depression also included episodes of self-injury. I firmly believe in a God who brings good out of bad, and my experiences of illness have changed me for the better. I now have a heart for those who are hurting, and for those who are or feel different to others. I have lived with the stigma of being ‘mentally ill’ and want to see a world where our illnesses are seen in the same way as physical ailments – not with fear or prejudice, but compassion and understanding.

My interests, aside from mental health, are millenarian cults of the 19th century, the witch trials in early modern Europe, the Gospel of John, the Saints and, more generally, dogmatic theology. I also enjoy art, and have a slight stationery obsession.