Where is home?

Took some down time and watched 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Spoiler alert: During a lull in the battle, Jack asks “why can’t I go home, why can’t I just go home and stay there?” and the reply he gets from Rone is “warriors aren’t trained to retire Jack”. This movie is a true story and at the end Jack calls his wife and tells her that he is coming home for good.

It got me thinking, why do we need death to remind us of what’s important and where our happy place really is? The ‘grass is greener‘ syndrome is pandemic!

Tradegy is a game changer. Whether it is death or illness, natural disaster, famine or war. It is a catalyst for inner reflection. Why? Because, I believe, we realise that life is finite. So suddenly we have a mind shift. Quality over quantity. Happiness over profit/power. Time over money. The little things over the big things.

However, as with most things it’s a T-junction. It can go either way. You can fully embrace the little things or ignore them and persue the big things. You decide where your focus is headed. It never seems to be a case of having it all. There is a cost somewhere, be it financial or sacrificial! I will save the “why can’t we have it all?” for another time. 

I used to be a self proclaiming aethiest, until I realised that by definition I acknowledged God’s exsistence in my denial! It was illogical and indeed an irritant – thank you Mr Spock, so I refrained from using any lables. But – it made me think a lot about why I am here, what the point was and where did I belong? I embraced the YOLO lifestyle, but can honestly say it was unfulfilling.

Then my Dad got sick and he was gone. It all happened so quickly.  So death started my journey on reflection. Well more honestly, the reluctant church going did, because my mum didn’t want to go alone. I stood at my t-junction as the Sundays came and went. I decided that a job that made me happy was more important than a job that made me money so embarked on a career change. That was a short lived year thanks to the oil crash and my redundancy.  Silver linings though, namely some new life long friends and the next career phase. It has allowed me to explore our planet waters and get paid to do so albeit poorly in comparison to career paths of old. I was happy, for the most part.

So 2 years of living the dream have passed and I’m physically home at the moment waiting to  start a new job, but, my heart longs for the sea. I am asking myself the same question Jack did! Because I am home, I’m just a teeny tiny bit restless.

Does that mean I’m not home? Where is my home? Is the grass greener anywhere but where I am? Questions I do not have the answers to, frustratingly.

Then tonight at prayer gathering I was reminded I am exactly where the Lord wants me to be. I also remembered the recent book I read, the enemy will throw trials at you to stop you becoming who you are meant to be in the kingdom! The reasons for anything that brings you down in life may not be evident in the moment or the immediate future but it is a T-junction. We could focus on that trial or tradgedy, and become negative, self-pitying or disheartened for example; basically focused on it dominating our lives in tiny miniscule detail. Or we could use it as an opportunity to grow our faithfulness in God. To give thanks for the growing process of our heavenly gifts and blessings. Give Him the glory, trust Him and be obedient. Remember the bigger picture, and focus on that instead.

Geography is irrelevant when we embrace that He is home. Need reminding? Read the Book of Job 36:15 

Good night from Scotland WordPress x

Bon Fire Light

Last night we as a church family walked up Brimmond hill in Scotland and had our pick of firework displays all around the city.  It didn’t matter which direction you looked we could see a display!

The kids loved it as did the big kids. It was pretty cold! But really it was perfect weather conditions to see the splendor of the city celebrating Guy Fawkes night!

 The walk to the top only took about 25 minutes and some other savvy people were at the top too. We lit the way with glow sticks, glow in the dark balloons and fairy light lanterns. We were also lucky enough to have a wee camp fire and toast marshmallows !

A huge thank you to everyone who helped organise the evening, donated supplies and helped me carry the sleeping bags, wood and of course set up the evening!

Sparkler Selfie on the hill
Mini Firework over our city

One of the fun things we did aside from traditional sparklers and hit chocolate was paint with light! Hope you enjoy the photos! It’s not always easy to write backwards! Here are some of our light paintings – enjoy!

Light artists
The SBC light artists
Shedding some light, shame the g is back to front :)
SHEDDing some Light ! Haha

Jesus is our light, he said so himself! As christians when we follow him we never walk in darkness! 

John 8:12 Light of the world
John 8:12 The light of the world

Off Track..

When writing my blog posts, if I make a mistake I just tap away at the delete button and correct it. Simple.

If I am painting and I make a mistake I adapt that mistake and use it to evolve the painting. Less simple.

When fixing my car, if I make a mistake it requires more knowledgeable assistance. This is costly and complicated.

The key thing in all is acknowledging the mistake! Next comes evaluation, what to do with the mistake? Ignore it. Perhaps I should start over or gloss over it. Maybe use it?  And so action comes next. Erraddicate it’s exsistence or incorporate it or ask for help. The choice is mine to make. 

In any walk  of faith, mistakes happen. By mistakes I mean sin. Willful disobedience. If you are a Christian you know the rules, because they are laid out for you in the bible. And if you are a Christian, chances are you know when you have sinned. Acknowledging your sin, can be tough not to mention a bitter pill to swallow, but it is the first step to repentance. We are going through the  Set Apart series in church at the moment and it is exciting! It challenges you to evaluate you, without comparison.

When I neglected to trust I, I veered off the track and wrote the rambling below. I had started reacting to my own situation rather than trusting in God and His promises. 

Looking inward and assessing yourself is uncomfortable!! Searching within for the mistakes you called part of your character; for example: using your past as an excuse or letting current circumstance justify your reaction (“it’s just the way she is”), is the surest way I can think of to derail your faith.

Letting your mistakes define you is the ultimate mistake. It exposes and weakens you. The enemy constantly lies in wait, you are tiring yourself out for the attack. You start telling yourself all kinds of lies and slowly but surely you believe them. Things like resentment, jealousy, apathy, fear, self-loathing, shame, pride and hatred start dominating your feelings. It is a heady cocktail for the wrong kind of vulnerability.

I know that I I said at the beginning how I cope with my mistake is my choice and even in sin that remains true. Sin and lie to yourself about it, see where that gets you. Sin and repent and see where God gets you.

Remember, God is faithful! But, it is a choice, a personal choice. If you stumble and fall or willingly divert cross-country style that’s ok, because devine roadside assistance is free and available anytime you need it.  His mercy is new every day.

No matter how much I try  

All I do is cry

My tears unrelenting 

My soul ever repenting

I fell so empty and hollow 

Where is the path I chose to follow?

The cycle goes round and round 

I’m troubled and bound,

I’ve deviated off the track

I can’t see a way back

The fear overwhelming

These myths need dispelling

I so wanted to be the change, 

To proclaim His wonder in the strange

To call myself His daughter

I’ve tasted living water

A voice within shouts “FLEE!”

Another whispers “Come back to me”

“Only I can see you free”

Shadow Boxing

Shadow Boxing

I recently mentioned I was going through the terrible twos in my What does God sound like? post. I faltered in my faith, and pretty much isolated myself ironically to try and minimise the damage it caused but really only amplified it.

I tend to scribble, a friend calls it poetry, to get the negativity out my system. I call it my ramblings. I ‘rambled’ during a service one Sunday during the start of the service and it is below for you to read.

What is mind blowing about this, is that what I thought it was about and what it actually was about were too very different things.  Sharing it with friends, they gave me their thoughts on it and I saw the hidden truth in it. I was disappointed with God!

I’m sharing it with you because, so often we fight with ourselves. Making mountains out of mole hills.  Believing the lies we tell ourselves over and over again. Going it alone, instead of with Him. The fight is already lost if you are alone! Fact!

I’m on my knees
My knuckles are bloodied and bruised
I see my opponents boots
Dancing in front of me

I strain to hear the bell
I just need some respite
To be safe in my corner;
I barely hear the countdown

I refuse to lose and heave myself upward
I stumble and collapse again
The count down continues
My vision blurs with black and white

Suddenly I’m standing
And, I hear the bell;
The relief is immediate
I stagger to my corner

I sit and gasp for water
Only, all I receive is a punch!

A warm trickle reaches my lips
I taste of iron and recognise it.

I’m dazed and confused, I can’t understand
I’m safe! I’m supposed to be safe
I haven’t heard the bell
I’m still sitting down

I glimpse the referee again
But he seems far far away
I see the next blow in slow motion
I’m knocked off my stool

I claw at the ropes to right myself
As I rise up, I realise I’m being helped
I squint into the face helping me
I look past their shoulder

I see my attacker
I’m shocked , and lose all strength
Attacked by my own inner circle; betrayed
The crushing revelation

The roar in my ear dulls
I realise I’m cacooned in black and white
I rest my head on that collar
Tears mingle with coagulated blood

No wonder I’m losing
Almost blinded by the fight
To the deafening count of defeat
No counter move to make

The bell rings loudly
I register this bout is done
Thankfully the referee called it!
I may have lost the battle
Only to discover the war is won.

Dropping the Mask

Two years ago I was new to the fold (again). My creativity was encouraged and put to use at several women’s events at my church. I created a masquerade mask, having spent time in Venice for Carnival a few years back it seemed logical to me the mask should be ostentatious, glamourous and secretive.  As I got involved in the aim and requirements of the gathering, the conception of the mask made me think alot about social media, about projection, about being real.

Below is the mask I created for the event. I specifically used peacock feathers for the bird has an element of pride associated with it. The pearls and diamantes have a deliberate fakeness about them. I picked copper to signify how malleable our identity is to change when we personify a chameleon who has no identity! It was also key for me to keep the eyes looking hollow, I hoped to convey the despair we see when the mask is firmly in place. This was my take on the masks we put in place to hide who we really are in the mirror. The eyes are the window to the soul -right?

Fasçade: what are you hiding from?

We all create our own masks, then we project it and live out the illusion. We cover up the scars and wounds that we think define us. Take that well known social media site where “likes” are said to validate someone’s worth; as they see it. I know that I have been judgemental of a friend who dares to be honest and  actually post how they really feel! Initially my response is caring acknowledgement and a ‘comment’ or private message  a of support. However, several real posts more and I get annoyed or “like” without actually reading the whole thing! Guilty! I don’t want to have to deal with it. By ignoring them I suspect I am helping perpetuate their hurt when I really think it’s in their best interest to not indulge their dare I call it self-pity.  For  the majority of people it is about projecting the good and great in their lives. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! I just question sometimes if it is an authentic or projected reality. And sadly that is because I do not have a friendship of depth with that friend.

Then there are the forward/repost if statuses! I intensely dislike them; A: because I watch too many TED talks on algorithms, as it’s probably a marketing ploy/phishing scam/something to increase my inbox, or B: because I find being told to do something or appear heartless (my perception) annoying and I would rather not be annoying to anyone else. So I scroll past. Yet again by ignoring the post I feel I am perpetuating rather than solving the problem.

I read somewhere, I forget where, that you shouldn’t ask someone how they are unless you are willing to hear the truth.  So now I don’t ask people “how are you?” Unless I genuinely have time to listen. I’m not sure if this makes me rude or aloof or both!?!? However I feel that I would do more harm than good if I encountered someone and made them feel worse just because I’m going through the motions of saying hello. Keen to know your thoughts on this; comment below if you have any.

I digress.  Back to the mask. The mask was designed to be an interactive piece. You can see the flip side below. So here is my logic: the words inside the mask disappear when the mask is in place. However, they still remain. Embedded in the skin. You can cover it up but you cannot remove it. When the mask slips, and it always does… be that due to the heaviness of the situation or the method used to subdue it (substance misuse) or a rare moment of reality or someone; then the scars become visible again. They hurt and diminish strength.

Fasçade: what scars lie behind your mask?

In those moments of weakness, desperation, it can go either way. You could get help or spiral further. The hardest of these is of course asking for help. Admitting you are vulnerable. But you need that vulnerability to get help. It is never easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. Authentic relationships need vulnerability. They need honesty. They need communication.

Help, in this construtive form, comes in many guises. Therapy, friendship, pastoral care, medical help and all because an authentic relationship was established. A trusting relationship that is a safe space.

Getting help with whatever you going through is incredibly brave. I salute you. But, can you imagine having peace too? No more residual hurt to upset or destabilise you? Being able to talk openly about it without shame? To not hate anyone who contributed to your suffering? Can you?

Well if you can’t the only tried and tested way I know of to heal, truly heal, is to be saved. If you can find a grain of sand space in your heart to let Jesus in then you can have healing and peace. It won’t be easy and it requires said vulnerability, honestly and communication.

Your true identity will be revealed to you in Him. No more masks required. No more hiding. No more fasçades. The scars will still be there. Be certain of that, but, they will only serve as a reminder of where you were and how far you have come. If you fall over and reopen a scar, worry not! He has got you! Just hold on tight to your relationship with Him for your life really does depend on it!

Thanks for reading this post on how my mind takes on an artwork with purpose. All thoughts and feedback welcome. Be blessed and take care of you!

Lastly, I’m thinking of and praying for all affected by and in the path of Hurricane Irma. Be safe, I pray all see God in the aid, volunteers, in the communities locally and internationally pulling together, in one another as survivors. I’m thankful the people I know in the area (4 couples) are safe. May help be given financially in aid and in prayer. Amen.

Grace

Grace

The church I attend has just finished running the Grace Course. I have been unable to attend any of the weekly sessions due to work commitments. I did however make it to the testimony celebration earlier this week.

It was humbling to listen to people share their demons and insecurities. It was also interesting to hear how common the enemy toolbox is. Shame. Isolation. Anger. Self-loathing. Guilt. Depression. Resentment. And on and on it goes.

It was also amusing to listen to how people initially approached the course. Their reasoning and expectations were just that, theirs, and by their own admission the Holy Spirit showed up and His intention and reasoning was revealed. His plan, the bigger picture, it might not make sense what has happened or is happening now but it will. Trust in Him, have faith.

We have all heard Amazing Grace‘ but what is grace? Simply put (I think): Divine Help. I believe that His grace is a blessing and as stated by some fellow believers “…grace makes the impossible, possible”. This help saves, it heals, it forgives, it comforts, it strengthens, it guides, it does whatever you need it to do. That is pretty powerful stuff!

These attitudes of gratitude are empowering. I could not help feeling joy for the people who shared their testimonies. It got me thinking and typing. Shifting your focus from the lies of the enemy to the love surrounding you is when you need His grace. Without it, the darkness is consuming. Asking for help is difficult, I know. I find it difficult to talk to people, I guess that is why I am on here!

I KNOW that there are people ready to listen, to offer advice/support, to pray for me, with me and still I push them away. Retreating inwards into isolation when I battle my own demons and insecurities. Do you feel that way too?

I’m positive you have people in your life too who are ready willing and able to help you too. Think really hard if you just disagreed with me! Thing is if you are anything like me, you will have built a sky-high fortress around you with no visible exits. So how do we, you and I, ask for help?

How do we free ourselves from this mighty stronghold? It is impossible! Right? Wrong! This is where grace comes in. God is available 24/7, everywhere and anywhere. Talk to Him. How He answers our prayers is infinitely different. It could be a friend reaching out, you reaching out, a sermon, maybe a testimony, a blog post or it might even be Him talking to you directly! Ask and listen – Just don’t miss it.

Each testimony closed with the following declaration over them: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.”

I declare Psalms 136 v 1 over your life and mine. I welcome your grace stories and thoughts. Let’s live the impossible through His amazing grace and give thanks! I am off to have a natter …

newproject_1_original-1

True Mirror

True Mirror

Just finished watching the TEDx Talk: The art of being yourself, by Caroline McHugh.  I am still thinking about her question: If you could be the woman of your dreams, who would you be?  I know it is not the woman I am as I type this!

Identity has been a theme in church recently and I have been reflecting on my own a great deal of late. Proverbs 27:19 is like the true-mirror in the talk.  From walking into church as a self proclaimed athiest to being baptised my identity has indeed evolved. Or has it!? I think not, keep reading.

The need for inward reflection I think is necessary, and it wasn’t until I was asked a question of belonging did I really focus on my identity.  I sought answers on the meaning of belonging, what it meant to other people, how they defined it.  This went on for weeks and the whole time I kept reflecting about where I have been and where I want to go… the woman of my dreams if you will.

It was pointed out to me that I have a history of not committing. Funny thing is, that since my baptism I thought I was. Committing to growing within my faith. Serving where I could, daily readings, surrounding myself with supportive people, even asking for a mentor.  Now I should point out I declined to belong, and that was okay. with the people who asked me. My inability to commit rearing its oldself again? Perhaps. I chose to think it is a perspective difference.

The thing is though, that since then, I have withdrawn. Evidently, it was not okay with me. And, as anyone who knows me can testify to, withdrawl is incredibly noticable.  I’m very accomplished at being an ex-friend. The numbers don’t lie. I have a self perpetuating condition, and the wake of people I used to know is nothing short of tragic. The worst part is the more care and attention given the further away I pull.

A leopard never changes its spots. We have all heard it before. I am the big cat that hurts people and pushes them away. I mean I can’t even maintain family relationships. Now geographically it is challenging, and resentment sets in every now and again. If they can’t be bothered, why should I? Why do I always have to stay awake for time zone differences?  Unless I contact them we have no contact. And so it goes.

Everyone is busy, I know this. I decided I wanted my family in my life so if I have to do the chasing then so be it. I would make time because I deem them important. My life would be richer for it.  I still sometimes wonder though, with time spent for all to see on social media, gaming, television and other people, do I really mean so little to them? Then the resentment sets in all over again. Sometimes a “like” just isn’t enough. Then I remember, I want them in my life despite the distance.

My friendships have long been compartmentalised. Mostly because of the perpetuating self-fulfilling prophecy of betrayal, abandonment, judgment and fear. Basically: ‘hurt or leave before they do’. Hence the ex-friends. The only lasting friendships have been maintained because I am not a constant in them. Again, how tragic! I value these friendships more than any riches, and of late I am trying, really trying to be inclusive and involved.  I am just terrified the leopard will ruin it all.

So, now that I have said it all out loud, I think my relationship with my ego is pretty clear. Thing is, this week I have pushed people away, people who care , people who are more family than my own blood. I am highly ashamed of my behaviour, but it is not the first time I have lashed out at these same people. Twice bitten, twice shy or even unforgiveable (understandably).  Sorry is not enough in my eyes. I can’t even promise I won’t do it again. I know that who I am right now is not who I want to be, it’s more nightmare than dream.

A wise lady told me that is exactly why I need Jesus. And I agree with her; relationships are a chink in my armour to be exploited by the enemy. I am born anew in Christ, so I can change! I am sorry for pushing and hurting, I truly am.  I always am. In the past my apology has not been accepted or even heard, and this time may be the same – a consequence I accept.  So, Im going to apologise and continue my walk, and just maybe the woman of my dreams will become a reality and I will be more like Him.

If you struggle like I do, therapy will help but only God can heal. Will you let Him ?

As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart.

Shut up and swim!

image

Had a chat with a new friend this week who gave me the title for this post! It is a Greek saying. It made me smile, it rings loud and clear at this moment in time.

Just like my initial journey during the Dream Chase; I am at a place where quitting seems like the best option for the team and me. I have a habitude for conflict and discord. I am intolerant of people’s behaviour. I abhor conflict, so would rather remove myself from it. Dealing with it head on is my preference, but I keep thinking that would solve nothing. So here I am ranting on WordPress.

Now these are all my flaws!! They are all about my perception of the evolving situation. Perceptions change,  and it needs time to. I CHOSE to chase the dream and to be here in Greece; yet, again I find my internal conflict reoccurring quit or ‘shut up and swim’.

The last time I was in these shoes, I chose to ‘shut-up’ and it worked out despite the hurdles. Last time, the conflict went away. The relief was immense. I didn’t have to decide. This time there is more at stake. My livelihood for one. My fledgling career I. Yachting, my career development, my sanity and the list goes on.

But the stupid thing is :- I am not a quitter. I am no martyr either. If anything it makes me more determined. Why?  Because I remember that I give people the power to  make me feel inferior (Eleanor Roosevelt said that). And that is just idiotic on my part. Did I mention I am intolerant of them too?

I pray most days for patience and tolerance. So naturally I am faced with the situation to practice these qualities. That rocking sense of humor from above. I am missing home and my fellowship time. I have digital connections to home, it just isn’t the same.

It’s easy to be at home and be a good Christian. It’s not so easy here, alone. 3000 miles is a long, long way. My faith is not in crisis,  but my dream is. The invictus games reminded me “teamwork makes the dream work”.

One of my colleagues described my faith as a weakness. I disagree, and can see how I would indeed have less conflict in my life without it but I remember why I can back to God and I feel peace again, therefore still strongly disagree with them. The problem is not my religious belief it is the values and standards I hold dear and expect in others.

Yes I will have bad days and type out my resignation. Yes I will have great days filled with laughter and enjoyment. In 6 months time, I will wonder at the end of my Greecian Summer why I wanted to go home at all! I know I can’t control the behaviour of others but I can control my own.

I need to learn how to stop wearing my heart on my sleeve. Vulnerability is a good thing,  however too much makes me moody and unapproachable.  I ostracise myself from the good people and things in my life.

I chose to be a member of this team, I chose to be more tolerant and patient. I chose to try daily to try to be what a Christian should be. I chose to live by the standards and values I learned to live by but importantly to be less judgemental! And I make no apologies for the person I am but I do apologise for shutting down, and for being a ‘mare’ when I can’t be all the things I chose to be.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5&6

Down and not out…

Down and not out…

Today it certainly feels like prospects are diminished but I need to focus on the positives. There is a chill in the air – just like the one that comes in the twilight… before the dark.
It’s just under a week until my dream job starts and I am uncertain as to whether or not Im actually going to start. Waiting is the worst! I cannot ignore the possibility that I may not start because i just had surgery. I cannot stop thinking about the dream I have been chasing, about it slipping away. I’m trying to focus on the positive that I had surgery, it was successful and caught in time to prevent it the complete evaporation of the dream. But I’m down, emotionally and physically in the twilight, where the light seems to be fading and it is infuriating. Im on the tipping point of Rage!

Neo discovered it was a glitch in The Matrix (in my top ten of films), changes and not the good kind! A long time ago my heart was completely focused on a desire to serve Queen and country. It was within reach, I cleared every hurdle and had a start date at Cranwell. Then events out with my control delayed it. Dejected I went to plan B, the deferral, I made the conscious choice to use that time waiting productively and joined the reserves. Whilst on basic training, I got injured and there ended my full time military career on medical grounds. Call it stubbornness or determination; I grabbed hold of the reserve career as part-time was better than nothing. 
I went through numerous operations and repeatedly injured myself after months of remedial fitness training to avoid medical discharge. The damage of this madness has had repercussions, but they are not integral to this rambling. I moved into oil and gas and wanted a career in QA and got it for 9 months before the redundancy took it away. The point is, this week I developed a lump in my leg that required surgery and now my career [granted to me] is in danger of slipping through my fingers again! 

Last Sunday I was basking in the light. Squinting in brilliance of all its splendour. Warmed by the joy and happiness radiating from within. A friend who had recently been baptised, told me to be vigilant, by becoming a beacon for God I instantaneously put myself as a target on the enemy radar. The exact words were “the enemy will try and rob you of your daughter inheritance”.You can see why I am so angry right? Why would God put these things within my reach and take them away? Why would He plant those desires and have me invest every fibre of my being into making them a reality and then prevent me from achieving them? Why do I have to settle for second best? This divine comedy just twisted into sick -right?

All these questions with no answers in sight. Just the incoming chill of darkness. Reading the word only made my heart heavier…Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is: there you heart will be also. This scripture for me is about sailing. The scripture speaks of our hearts desires and those desires speak to us about Him – applicable to each unique soul on earth. Psalms 20:4, 37:4, key is Philippians 2:13 – The desires of your heart and the treasure we seek was put there by Him to fulfil his purpose – be his beacon in the dark to others. And then I remembered what my friend said about the enemy.

When you choose to become a light [Matt 5:14] you willingly open yourself to spiritual warfare. I think this is why we constantly face trials and tribulations. Fear and anger turn us away from our chosen path, which is exactly what Satan wants. He wins if we revoke our declaration of faith, of trust. Now I do know that right now as I type the anger is dissipating. I know that the questions are merely a tool to discourage me. I know that ‘the glitch in the matrix’ comes because of the eternal war between the good and the bad. Jesus was sent to save us, he was persecuted and suffered his own trials and tribulations, that doesn’t mean to me that as a christian that we have to suffer they way he did but it is evident the enemy has power and that He uses it.   

I found sailing through my alternative military career, the surgery may have prevented repeated necessary treatment and surgery saving me from painful and extended recovery time, because it was found so early. I know I found great friends who helped me go after the dream job in my QA career. I know that sailing is in my destiny – of course I hope and I pray [please pray too] it is centred on the course I am on, but if it isn’t then the disappointment will pass but I wont be deterred. In His will there will be a way. John 13:7 !

I know that I have friends and family praying for a speedy recovery because they love me and have faith. I am drawing strength from their faith, to uphold the commitment I made 6 days ago. I thank them for the encouragement and reminders. 

1 Peter 5:9 Resist him, standing firm in faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of suffering.

Divine comedy

Divine comedy

Dante I am not, but i do like Divina Commedia.  This is not a critique of his epic work, but the title is in homage to his work.  I think God has a sense of humour, usually at my expense, but a funny one none-the-less. He uses it to nudge, ok push, ok ok shove me in the right direction at times, and with hind-sight I usually see the funny side too. You don’t have to read the other blog posts to understand this one, but if you are following my walk, it might help. 

 So I made it south into the Shire*, you see I willingly jumped in the car and reluctantly drove +300 miles at 3am. My heart was calm but my mind raced around in circles of “do I or don’t I?” The questions: Do I explain myself in full? Do I need to? Now you should know I searched the internet to the best of my ability to find a flight, train, even a bus for my mum – all to no avail. Humour failure No.1 
After decades (no exaggeration) a family was reunited inside a Travelodge reception area. And, it was happy! I was surprised by that emotion – given history and the reason we were there, but, I cannot tell you how much it meant to see their faces after so long. There was still trepidation within me, explanations and apologies were looming. Reality was not suspended just because I was glad to see them. Humour failure No. 2
The six of us spoke over each other catching up on snippets of this, that and everything. But the time ticked on and actually because I was cheap and only paid for an hour of parking, we headed off to the hospital. The reason I had been awake for 10 hours already drew near. Apprehension joined the party. I got a much needed caffeine boost thanks to my uncle but the spot it needed to reach was unreachable. Humour failure No. 3.

As footfall increased through the main door at the hospital it was clear visiting hours had begun. Tears silently rolled down my face. There just seemed to be an unsurmountable mountain of history to climb over to get to where I want to be [baptism]. Again the questions started, mostly in my head, but a very special lady spoke to me and told me whatever has happened in the past is irrelevant now, because all that matters is that I am here to do the right thing. Then a special man gave me a ‘Dad’ hug and prayed for me. Inviting the holy spirit to take over was the only choice I ever had in all that was happening because I was never going to be able to go it alone. There was a change and calmness, resolve to do the right thing and courage to carry it through. And for the record I did. 

When faced with any adversity, christian or not I’m willing to (bet) guess most people question God. Also, when faced with inexplicable/heartbreaking pending loss, christian or not we ask God for just one miracle and promise the world in return, oddly enough not our souls (I Digress -talking point for another time perhaps (?)). I think when God enters the equation, the logic is instantaneously removed. Why? Because ……you are acknowledging God has a plan and you don’t like it! Isn’t that Divine Comedy?

 Remember these are my ramblings…I also think that because His plans are not in alignment with our own plans, at times that we suffer these sense of humour failures and resent Him. Thus it feels like Inferno [Dante]. The enemy has a job to do, so the wee nudge in the right direction [when you knew it was the right thing to do in the first instance] that happens to make the creator laugh, is for the greater good in your life. 

This infinite equation only becomes an absolute when a constant is added. Faith. Faith lets us trust in Him and His plan. You need to have faith to take that leap into the unknown, like so many people of note in the bible did. It gives you the bravery required to do so. And when you do, He will guide you. Worth noting here that when you give-in/accept, wether it be reluctantly or willingly you slowly start to see that all the hurdles you faced slowly dissipate. I am not saying it will be easy, but ultimately you will His message in your own journey. My journey thus far has shown that unconditional love can broker peace here on earth. His love can give you everlasting peace.

*Shire – colloquialism for England in my own made up dictionary of meanings. It is meant as an endearing term and by no means an insult to England, her citizens or residents. Reminds me of Tolkien and that is a compliment.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.