I am continually surprised by life’s hurdles..it often feels like one hurdle to jump over then another comes up so fast!
Some people call these stages and trials in life ‘seasons’, yet in England our seasons are not so clear cut as Spring,Summer,Autumn,Winter! We can have all four seasons in one day. Today on one walk to the station I got totally smashed in the face by wind and rain, then walked back 2minutes later (missed train) in sunshine!? So I feel like life’s challenges can come in like our seasons do, British Weather!
I have been through a long winter season with a lot of pain when I slipped three disks in my back, but at the same time we had a leafy mix of pressures and some bright sunshine in parts of Gods kindness. I have felt in the lowest season of exhaustion where I needed rest (Elijah Rest Blog) and even within that time I saw glimpses of spring as I saw Hope of what was to come and felt the gentle breeze of Gods whisper calling me on.
More recently I have had the full colours and beauty and fun of a hot summers day as I have become a mummy and felt the joy that has burst out of me and surrounded me! Such a precious place to be and I am so thankful for this gift.
Yet there are bits of every season that manage to pop into my summer. There are days I feel old seasons creeping in to bring me shivers. The worry of what is to come, what days are ahead, seem to cloud me most recently. There is so much unknown, so much that could happen but might not, so many roads we could walk down yet I so want to choose the one God has for me, I only ever want to walk where He is.
To not quite know what that looks like, I have strongly realised, is my worst nightmare! I can be very together and plan and do my best if I know what will be happening next month, in 6months,next year..I would so love a 5year plan that I can stick to! Yet in my current ‘British weather’ day I just don’t have that.
This is typical of me. For example if I was led to a surprise and told to close my eyes-I would peek..I would just sneak a quick look so that I just quietly knew what was happening. Then I can enjoy it. This happened when I got engaged! I saw the ring box in my fiancée’s pocket and was so pleased because I knew what would happen so could relax in knowing and just take it all in!!! For most people the surprise would be the best bit..but for me it’s the quiet knowledge of something that means I can calmly wait and look forward. To not know however, fills me with all kinds of anxiety and everything in me is unsettled.
Yet Jesus asks me to follow Him. He doesn’t tell me specifically where to, He wants to keep some things a surprise! His desire if for me to Trust Him. To deeply and completely, without borders..Trust. More and more I am understanding this word (& I don’t like it much!)
When I battled strongly with anxiety attacks, one day I was in the car & feared even more because I knew my head would knock back. I wouldn’t be looking straight at the road the more erratic my breathing became it would knock back. Which made the anxiety worse and on a busy motorway I was in the middle of a panic attack..literally fearing for my safety & that of cars around me. I called out to God to help me, “Trust me” I heard.
‘I do God, I do but I’ll be late for work and it’s so dangerous to have an attack in the car’
‘I do I do’
This time it was a strong feeling all over me and a deep, in my gut knowing that God was calling my whole body to Trust Him truly.
So I told him that in order to calm down and Trust Him I would need to be at work on time, even though traffic was terrible, it would take 20mins at least and it was 8.55am. So I spoke outloud ‘God will get me to work at 9am, I will be ok’ Over and over again like a child so that peace came and I was ok.
The situation didn’t change, I was still stuck in traffic and was for a long time. Yet I refused to look at the clock, only at the road and repeated my calming statement ‘God will get me to work at 9am, I will be ok’. A good while later I got to work, parked my car and walked into reception..the clock said 8.59am! I double checked with Lucy on reception and honestly could not believe it! I shared what had happened with friends at work and was overwhelmed by Gods miracle and goodness to me. (Next time I set off earlier,I don’t rely on this!)
You see in that situation I had to truly hand it over to God. Praying about it after, I felt God revealed more;
‘If you handed your dad something important and asked him to deal with it, you wouldn’t keep pestering him. You would just trust him to take care of it. When you give me your hurts, your worries, your cares, your secrets, your desires..really Trust me to deal with it..I’ll exchange your Trust with Peace’
In this 4seasons day I am having. I am loving being with my baby in summer, watching life change as leaves of autumn, feeling the unsettled worry of winter as what lies ahead is uncertain..I heard a song this morning that has been the beautiful first glimpses of Spring.
A reminder that despite the changing seasons..we Trust in a Steady God. He never changes, He does not grow weary, He is Faithful to lead us into the unseen, his hands are steady & I look forward to our Wide & Spacious place …