It has been almost a year since I last wrote a blog post. It’s a year ago this month that my friend died and often I’ve written drafts but nothing felt right to post- death can do that I think. Throws things into perspective and makes it hard to get past. The longer I’ve gone without writing, the harder it is to come back to- it has almost felt like writing a blog is like a lake I used to love to swim in, then after that last post, it had a layer of ice come over it. Then the longer I’ve left it, the thicker the ice has become. So today I’m just going to bring some thoughts, an update on this year and smash the ice so that I can come and take a dip whenever I want again.
I find it interesting that my last post was called Get Uncomfortable. Since writing that post, a lot of life became uncomfortable- though not for the reasons I’d expected/felt challenged into. I thought I was about to change the world by mobilising my church to reach the poorest- the alleyways/brothels/anywhere that we knew Jesus would have hung out- especially if it made us feel uncomfortable!
Yet, what I didn’t know then was that I was pregnant! So I became uncomfortable in a very different way! I found the real challenges of being a church leader, how you turn from being just a human to people expecting so much more from you. Certainly another reason my blogging stopped- judgement over what I write felt bigger. I’d always just blogged what I felt, suddenly that didn’t seem as easy.
I absolutely loved leading our church site, it felt like I was walking in what I had been made for. I loved the partnership of other site leaders and the wisdom of those around me. I loved making decisions and helping build teams and community. I felt so full of it. I am now on maternity and yet still am full of it and have already had a few ‘check-in’ meetings with my gorgeous maternity-cover leader friend.
Yet being the leader was uncomfortable. Being female leader was at times uncomfortable, especially as I lead. My husband supports and is with me- yet he has his job & this is mine. I didn’t find many other women in this position- if you are one please holla! So there was a lot of times I felt ‘different’.
Pregnancy was beautiful. I really did love it and felt so thankful to have this experience. Yet as you grow you definitely feel more and more uncomfortable!
Then the end of pregnancy was just scary. With pre-eclampsia and then reduced baby moments and a difficult delivery, I was tired. Then I was ill and not long after, at 3wks old my baby was very poorly too. Everything got shaken up and was certainly uncomfortable- to try and feed when she had a cannula in, to wait and wait on results from the lumbar puncture. The whole thing was more than uncomfortable!
During this time things got uncomfortable in our church as moves happened, buildings changed, across sites, people were looking for where to be and what does church look like when the building I was used to has changed. Either it’s gone or suddenly there are loads of new people in mine! I often think about how we feel we’d love to see revival – yet if revival came, it would mess with our buildings, our service times, our familiar & it would be very uncomfortable! So do we really want it if we can’t handle the small uncomfortableness of now!? I hope this has been a testing time that is a pre-lude to revival, to many coming and shaking up our churches, our lives and a great move coming.
There are so many crazy things that have gone on this past year. Too many to blab on about here. Yet it certainly has been a time of shifting, of change, of being moved out of comfort. Yet I think this guy has said it right:
“I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”
― C.S. Lewis
I have found that often my faith does make me ‘happy’, though not in the normal sense. It brings me a joy and peace that make things easier to deal with. I don’t want comfortable. I want the challenge and to grow. My little Lion boy stood under raindrops dripping from a roof today because He said
“I need them to make me grow like Daddy, I need watering”
I want to grow, I don’t want pain and I do not believe that God caused the harder things this year to happen. I do believe He will use them for my good. He was showering me with strength when I needed it, with peace when my heart was anxious, with Love and people around me who supported and prayed through all with us. I want to grow big like my Father.
A small key that I found in these last few weeks. As I am now at home a lot more and have been in pain with back problems, with a crying baby with colic/intolerances etc. To pray for others. To choose to give my time to ask God who is on His heart today. Who needs some encouragement, a kind word, a listening ear. Doing this and seeing how God has used that has been so beautiful and through those time I have been so encouraged. To see someone say that was just what they needed at that specific time shows me His care and how well He knows people-which in turn means He knows me that way too.
So, in this new, again different, time. I want to still grow. To be listening and walking in line with Him. I don’t always get it right-far from it, and I spend a lot of time watching crap tv. Yet what I really want are moments of uncomfortable that reveal His glory. He has done it before and He will do it again.
Now the ice is smashed- I look forward to sharing some of these moments with you!
(My baby girl is doing really well and tests have now been given the ‘all clear’ – just seeing the consultant next week to confirm that! So she miraculously well!,)