Reflections of Grace

 

 

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I recall sitting and waiting patiently for the gas man to arrive. The boiler had decided to go to sleep, clearly it needed a rest. I don’t think it was being sensitive to its demand on such a cold and wintery night, but needless to say a cold night was on the horizon. All wrapped up, with candles on, playing classical music in the background (I love classical music) and a mug of what was becoming my favourite herbal brew, chicory tea.  

Those who have visited my apartment know how cold it can be on winter nights. My apartment is an old build with poor ventilation, but quaint in every other way with traditional features. The architecture is why I fell in love with the property and although awakened to the downfalls of unbearable hot summer nights and smoggy cold winters, it was a ‘small’ sacrifice I was prepared to pay. And, to be honest, several winters had past where it became manageable with the aids of onesies, electric blankets, hot water bottles, candles, and hot brews. Lol – we made it work. Isn’t it funny the lengths you’ll go to when you want something to work desperately.  Until that one ‘horrid’ night; a cold apartment even when the heater was on,  provided mediocre comfort. 

To my utter amazement I felt more warmth that night than I usually did on most nights. Looking back on the events leading up to that boiler breakdown, I could easily understand the reasons why.  You see life is a series of decisions. We can choose to suck on the lemons or decide to make lemonades out of our lemons. Don’t know about you, but I prefer to settle for the latter. 

I was going through a 31 day challenge of writing down the things I was most grateful and thankful for in my life. And as I looked around that beautiful decorated front room, I instantly felt tears of gratitude stream down my face. I recalled the nights we slept in a hostel, the many nights I was travelling with my young son looking for shelter because I was in desperate need to escape our current nightmare. The memories of temporary accommodations that weren’t fit for purpose, the days of living through a suitcase; all these memories came flooding at me. And at once, I was fuelled by a surge of warmth, one that came from within, not without.  Admittedly it was a very cold night. London was  7 degrees with a 70% chance of snow. It was freezing to say the least.

But as my mind escaped, so did my perspective. I have a shelter, a bed to sleep on, clean, running water (indisputably cold) but nevertheless, running water. I sat there for almost an hour, smiling and thinking up all the many blessings I was grateful for in  my life and how far He had brought us through. 

For some of you there is a dramatic shift that is going to take place in your life in the remainder of this year, if you will simply know hot to rest in the storms and the not so convenient weather changes.

I learned first hand that the sure-fire way to see the change that is promised, was for me  to change the position of my heart. 

This week whilst journaling my heart to the lord, I heard these words”take your eyes off  your circumstances and current situations, they will cripple your faith. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” ‭‭JOHN‬ ‭15:7‬ ‭AMP‬‬

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You have no idea how timely this message was for me this week. I recall a time when I’d stay parked listening to john 15 in my audio bible. Desperately crying to the Lord to help me to remain. What does that even look like, I used to wonder? In chains to every spoken word, I refused to be unshaken and undisturbed in my pursuit when my desire is to remain in this word. My desire for change has been a desperate one, fed up with poor life choices and stagnancy, wishing my ‘aha’ moment would finally come. I’m sure we’ve all experienced such moments. Imagine driving to a destination, clearly getting nowhere fast. Desperately looking to get back on track only to realise you’ve been driving in a circle all along.  

Once on the right track you’d do what ever you possibly can to prevent yourself from getting back off track. You could liken this analogy to my  hunger to have this word being glued, permanently tattooed on my heart. To do whatever it takes to get it out there, and join the many clouds of witnesses that came, not only saw, but also conquered. The many that refused to allow their story to be written for them. The many that refused to have life keep them down. Despite my many knock outs, I’m convinced that with each blow Ive gained new muscles. Muscles I never realised I had before  and granted I don’t know how many falls I’ve taken, but the one thing i’ve never done is allow them to keep me stayed down.  My desire is to remain because everything else  means nothing to me. In this place, I’ve found living. The temperature in my apartment was unquestionably cold. But the heat I felt that night, and would love to have continually on the inside of me  is blazing.  

img_0841More and more I’m realising the power of this moment. The power in the now; right now. I see so many of the things I once hid my face from. Now this journey would allow me to sit in a place that others cannot, I see this grace at work, in my life, proving to be sufficient for the roads  I am to travel. 

My prayer for everyone reading this, is know that He sees you, you who is desperately seeking a safe haven. You, on your journey to finding restoration and craving for change. I pray that you are established and planted so deeply in Him. That regardless of your current situation and where you may find your life at today. Be assured that your story is not over because of one cold night. There is promise in tomorrow. I pray you find him on this journey, if you seek him with all your heart. And that you trust  the process and allow His word to build you up. Let boldness and courage come over you today like never before. That you might ask  whatsoever your heart desires, and when you delight yourself in Him.  Soon and very soon, you’ll experience your hearts desire. I’m on the same journey…

Signed, 

Finding my way 

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Running my race 

 

Hey friends,

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, thinking and most importantly resting. Some seasons demand more of you. You see, when you understand your race, you prepare differently. You plan strategically. You ensure that you travel light.

Carrying excess baggage on a road trip can cause unnecessary breakdowns. Baggage isn’t always luggage. Just saying! Happy it’s the weekend. Can summer come already. It’s so cold…

Running my race was birthed by a conversation that me and my best friend were having about life and the current demands it places on us. As she approaches 40, single, unwed, and without child. Life may seem somewhat unkind. Often neglecting the remarkable blessings that are happening around us daily, we revert to complaining and wanting more. But theres nothing wrong with wanting more, surely not! I guess wanting more because the Joneses seem to have it altogether is considered the wrong way of wanting more. After-all tiresomely seeking after something that others have, is the worse type of pain to induce on yourself, the burden of trying to keep up can be all too exhausting. Running a race in another man’s lane, with another mans shoes on. The sheer thought of it, spells folly.

(Isaiah 40:31 ) Listen it is so easy to be like Jacob in this scripture whining and complaining. Some seasons it sure does feel like God has lost track off us. It can almost feel like He doesn’t care about what happens to us, or even knows anything about our lives. Like really, has He even been listening to our cries?

If that’s you, be assured. God hasn’t let go of you. I LOVE this bible promise that talks about how Gods hands are not too short to save us. If you are anything like me, visual. I see this HUGE enormous God who holds literally everything in His hands. Loosen your grip on your life and experience true victory and peace in knowing that He guides and holds us with His right hand…

I really hope someone gets blessed by this and encouraged to get back on the tracks of their life and begin to run in their lane again. Far too many people are simply existing and not living. This is not the way it was supposed to be, and having gone through it and wasted too many years of my life that I will never get back, I refuse to relax and allow others to do the same.

 

Run your race at a steady pace
See the goal but don’t make haste 
Because you’ll need your fuel
To face;
The turbulent and unsteady places
Your eyes transfixed 
Don’t lose your focus 
You WANT to fulfil your God-given purpose 
And get to YOUR finish line  
To hear the words ‘well done good and faithful Servant’. 

Listen, you have to get your running shoes on. Set your eyes on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. Live YOUR life, and run YOUR lane using EVERYTHING you have because it’s going to take all of it to get to the finish line – your finish line.

Let us continue to be each others cheerleaders.