Tuesday 28 June 2016

Coming Through the Hard Times and Making Space

There is nothing boring about being a Christian, just as you feel happy and settled I find that the Lord has something new in store for you and bang, along comes a new challenge! It’s good of course but it does make for some interesting times, ones that are not perhaps comfortable and not even very welcome.

My husband and I have been having a really challenging time of late, from mid-April to mid-June was particularly awful. I won’t go into all the details but suffice to say we felt at the end of our tether and had to cling on to each other and to the Lord very tightly. It would have been all too easy to just shout ‘No, I can’t go on’ but of course we can go on. He is our rock and we must turn to Him.

“He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:2 (NLT)

Things are looking up now, we are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and we’ve even booked a summer holiday for us all to look forward to. Truth be told after the time we’ve had we needed to do something different to give us a positive future focal point.

A friend reminded me today that it is in our tribulations we experience the most spiritual growth. It is not when we are sat happy and content on the mountain top that our character evolves and matures but when we are at the bottom of the pit and we are placing our faith in the Lord and saying ‘your will be done’. I can definitely see this for my husband, some good has come from a horrid situation but of course it is harder to discern for myself, so I can’t tell you that I’ve changed but I do trust that good will come.

“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:7

What I do know is that God is changing things for me. He is clearing the decks and opening up space for the future. I have to admit that I feel a little lazy right now, like a lady of leisure. The only thing I can sense God asking me to do at the moment is to connect with people and to be there for them. It is very nice having coffee and time with lots of different people but it also feels a tad decadent, like I’m slacking off. But I suppose it goes back to the message that God has consistently been giving me for over a decade now – to be and not to do.

Of course in just three short weeks the school summer break will be here and then I’ll be busy with my three children and it is definitely right to focus on them and to make sure they are supported and encouraged over the summer. We have lots planned already and at least two or three weeks with nothing at all. I do throughly believe that kids need the space to break through the boredom barrier, this can be when some of the most fun times happen. JJ will be 13 in the Autumn and I want to ensure that he still acts like a child this summer and has some crazy fun with his sisters.

People keep asking me what I’ll be doing once the summer is over and I have no idea. God has asked me to step back from volunteering at the conference centre where I live, I’ve finished life coaching (for now) and you’ll have noticed I’m blogging far less. So there is time available, I have space to take on new ventures. Just this weekend I am training with TLG follow(Transforming Lives for Good) to become a coach working with a child who is having a tough time at school. I feel so encouraged that from September I’ll be able to help at least one child explore their behaviour and improve their level of learning but that is only a couple of hours a week.

There are plenty more hours in the week to fill but I do feel that it is not my place to do so. If I fill my time just for the sake of it, God won’t have the space to allow His (perfect) plan to work out and thus what I’ll do in September is sit and wait. I’ll take steps to exercise and get outside so I’m looking after my physical wellbeing. I’ll read, pray and soak so I look after my spiritual wellbeing and I’ll invest in my important relationships so I’m looking after my emotional wellbeing. If I manage to do all three of those things in good measure I’ll be looking at a balanced life and a productive and happy Mich.

It sounds good.

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