I am a woman who often gets it wrong. I face fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, stress, irritation, impatience and more on a regular basis. I face it and on many occasions give into it and many times I don’t. Yip, you and I are just as vulnerable as the next person trying to make a success of their life, sometimes we get it and sometimes we are just horribly way off. The wonderful thing about living this life is that we have grace to fix the things we get wrong, and those moments form the lessons in our lives giving us insight when faced with the next set of circumstances. That is if we are paying attention to the lesson presenting itself in that moment.
I think what has particularly helped me shift my perspective is my need and desire to grow and to be someone better than what I was yesterday. I don’t want to stay the same, I don’t want to face the same obstacles day in and day out. I want to overcome the challenges and move on, yes, often to a whole set of new challenges, but the point is just that, to move on.
When I started writing this blog it wasn’t really about putting my life out there, because let’s face it I may share my lessons but not the background in specific detail, I am still holding back on to that one, I am not sure I am ready to share all the gritty detail just yet. It has really been about sharing my lessons, the mistakes, discoveries and the victories.
Robin and I also didn’t feel like putting our dream on platter for everyone to pick at, giving their opinions and tell us where we were going wrong according to them and what we should try or what hoop we should jump through to make things happen. There wasn’t much specific guidance or advice for people who were in our space or who had been through it already and if there was I couldn’t find it (and I am not talking about the Bible – we had that and we clung to the scriptures that gave us a great deal of encouragement) but we just sometimes needed a “if you are in this situation do this and try that and we have been there before and it is going to be okay” type of input from somewhere.
Raise your hand if you know what I am rambling on about – yes, I see your hand – nodding involved – you are with me on this one I see. So that was the idea behind putting my lessons out there, in the hope that somehow my personal enlightenment through this journey of hope, disappointment, challenges, grace and victory would give someone in a similar space the a spoonful of hope and just enough encouragement to keep pushing forward.
The wonderful thing is that blogging for me is like my cyberspace journal and it has given me so much more perspective on my moments, good and bad. Now, I am more often than not, considering what I need to learn from this place I find myself in instead of getting down and weary by the things that are going wrong or are not following my perfectly laid out plans. I am thinking about what I can learn out of it and why I am in this space to start with – asking God what He wants me to discover and where he wants me to refine the edges of this pot – being me – in His hands – being potter.
I am exposing often sometimes with cringing, exposing my weaknesses and failings and dreams, not with the aim of getting advice (although advice is also not something I shy away from so it is always welcome) but to hopefully inspire and encourage anyone out there who may have been feeling like me, sometimes wondering if God could possibly still have my number or if I was the one person who’s number He lost when He did His upgrade from a Blackberry to the iPhone as I hear it is a heavenly device… (weak analogy but it made me smile) I know I am not the only lone duckling feeling this way – there are thousands of us out there feeling like this – fighting the lie and the emotions that go with our human state of rejection and fear of abandonment and failure. Quacking away to get a result, often terrified by the possibility of failure.
Now this is why I write about all this, because I know someone needs to tell you that you have not been forgotten. That it is okay to be afraid and to sometimes feel a bit sorry for yourself as long as you don’t allow that feeling to grow into your truth and pull you into a muddy pit. Because the truth is you are not forgotten or alone as real as that feeling may be right now. You may feel that you will just never fit the mould but I don’t see that as a negative – I don’t fit in so many spaces because I have realised that the mould wasn’t made for me – it wasn’t made for you either and the beauty of being me and you is that God made us to be completely and wonderfully unique. Think of that little ugly duckling – where he was and how he felt, the journey his little webbed feet took him and the incredible outcome of the journey. You and I are not far off from this little tale.
Right now in this space, what we are believing for either irritates, infuriates or confounds many people around us and I know many people are saying, “Well it’s taken so long now isn’t that a sign to move on from this?”
No, giving up is the only way we could possible fail on this journey – faith does not grow in idyllic circumstances. I know that many around us are seeing this place, and perhaps the place you may be in right now, as an impossible victory and you know what… it’s okay because it isn’t their vision and it doesn’t require their commitment or sacrifice. It is all about you and what you believe about where you are that counts. It’s okay that Robin and I don’t fit – I don’t think we were ever intended to – I think we were all meant to remain a little out of our comfort zone because that would keep us trusting in God and not in ourselves, our own strengths and abilities to bring us peace and contentment
Life, I don’t believe was ever meant to be a walk through the park on a sunny afternoon, rather it was meant to sometimes take us through some tough desert spaces, high, icy mountain climbs, turbulent, stormy ocean waters but also some quiet peaceful trails through the deep, rich forests and languid trips down lazy rivers with the strong possibility of being met with white water rapids on the other side of the bend.
All of these stages of the journey intended to grow us and take us from novice traveller to explorer. It is preparation for what lies beyond life, the eternity we choose. For me the greatest failure would be if I chose to stop growing and settles on a space in my life where I thought I had arrived and plonked myself down never to move again – set up my picket fence and watch the daisies grow around me.
I so want to keep on keeping on and I want to encourage all those who read this blog to reject the lie that tells you it’s hopeless and that you are not worth God’s time or interest. Reject those thoughts right now, fight fear with faith and press on even if you have to do it afraid.
You are never going to feel true victory if you don’t have any doubts, fears and anxieties – the victory is pushing on despite them and that is what it means to overcome. That is when you conquer fear and doubt for that day. It will rear it’s mischievous head again the next day or maybe even the day after but you just need to keep on – you can’t do it without faith and every time you get up despite your misgivings your faith grows.
Faith requires exercising – it’s like fitness – you don’t just decide one morning that you are going to be fit – you have to work at it on a daily basis, you have to be disciplined in working out no matter how you feel, no matter what the weather or your levels of energy. Faith works in exactly the same way – it requires us to be exercising it no matter what is going on around us or how we may be feeling at that moment. We have to ignore our emotions and trust that truth is not based on the fluctuating levels of confidence. We need to get ‘faith fit’ and it takes discipline, and expect some discomfort too as those faith muscles take action.
The bottom line is that you can do it. Whatever you are believing for, whatever space you find yourself in – you will get through it.
Speak life and victory over your situation, prayerfully consider your next step which sometimes may just be to wait. Put your hope in God and not man, breathe and believe.
Our Adonai says, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”
You may feel like He has, but don’t rest on those feelings, now is when you need to exercise your faith to believe that despite how you feel and despite what you see around you … God is at work and you are going to be more than okay, you are going to be victorious.
Keep exercising,keep believing…you are not alone
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