What if Twenty Seventeen wasn’t Your Year?

These last couple of days I have noticed a lot of my Facebook friends have been sharing all the good things that have happened for them over the last year. All the things they have achieved, all the hopes fulfilled and new adventures. The kind of posts that social media was made for. The kind of posts that make you ninety percent happy and ten percent jealous. (Or was it the other way round?)

Maybe you are of the generation that still sends and receives Christmas letters full of tales of A-grades and picture perfect children. How can their lives just keep on getting better and better every year, without even the smallest trouble?

What if your twenty seventeen was nothing like that? What if your twenty seventeen was was just average, or a whole lot worse? What if you’re leaving twenty seventeen just as confused as you entered it?

Maybe you are scared to hope that this year will even be just okay.

What I am not going to say right now is that this is a new year, and it will be better. Because it might not be.

I’m not going to tell you that if you have the right attitude, eat the right food and wake up two hours earlier you will achieve everything you wanted to. Because even if this was true, I know it won’t last beyond the first page of a new calendar.

What I am going to tell you is that I am slowly starting to realise that this life is less and less about what we do, what we believe and more and more about be still and Knowing God.

Not just knowing about God, but actually truly knowing him. Life is about running into his arms and bowing at his feet and just being in his presence. And everything else flows from that.

Being a Christian doesn’t safeguard us from trials, it actually guarantees them. But when you Know God, you can find a way through even the hardest times, without becoming hard. You can face hopeless situations with out losing hope. You can be crushed by the pressures of this world but never break. You can be persecuted and abused, but you never forsaken. You can be struck down but never destroyed.

I am sure to a lot of outsiders it looks like I am entering into 2018 in much the same way as I entered 2017. That maybe it is taking me too long to move on from a painful marriage and out of my parents home. I know that some people will be confused by the decisions that I have made, but I can honestly say, for the first time in my adult life, that I know I am right where God wants me to be. My life may not be what I imagined it would be, but that doesn’t matter.

This kind of knowledge doesn’t come from anything other than learning to slow down and dwell in God’s presence.

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This Moment

IMG_1002Most of the time we spend most of the time worried about what we need to do, or worrying about what we didn’t do.

One foot in the past and one in the future and our head full of worry and confusion.

The sick thoughts of mistakes and what ifs, the questions for tomorrow and the fears for the future take over and we forget to actually live today.

Right now. This moment. You can take your mind of the worry and you can find peace. Continue reading

A Basket-Full of Worries

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This is a story I wrote a while ago about letting go of our worries.

She was tired. She had been walking down this road for a long time. How long? She couldn’t be sure, which in itself was quite worrying. But what was confusing her most was that now she seemed to be carrying a basket.

She definitely didn’t have a basket in her hand a couple of minutes ago. Where had it come from?  As she looked at the basket she realised it was full of stones.

As she continued walking, she became aware of footsteps beside her. It was a man. “You look worn out,” he said. “Maybe we should stop beside that tree and have a rest.”

She should have been surprised, but wasn’t. She recognised his voice. It was one she had heard in her childhood, when she felt scared. She hadn’t heard it for a long time, though. Something about the man made her feel safe, so she agreed to rest with him.

When they reached the tree, the man turned to her. “What’s in your basket?” He asked.

“Just some stones,” she replied, feeling foolish.

“I can carry them for you,” he said.

She was about to agree. But then she looked down at the basket. The stones really were beautiful she thought.

As she picked one up, a picture of her home appeared on it.

“Let me take that stone from you.” Said the man, lovingly.

“No, this is important, it’s my house.”

“Give it to me. Your burden will be lighter.” His voice was kind, and she trusted him, but she was scared.

She thought of the time she had spent choosing things for the house and decorating it; making it beautiful for her family.

“You do not need to worry about where you live, I will provide you everything you need. I will be your home now, forever.”

It was hard, but she handed the stone to the man. She felt lighter.

She picked up the next stone, on it appeared a picture of the place where she worked.

“I can take that one form you as well,” said the man. “Your burden will be lighter.”

She thought about her work, she always felt so important and in control when she was there.

“Trust me. You no longer need to find your worth in the work that you do. You can find your worth in me.”

It was hard but she handed the stone to him. Again, she felt lighter.

That evening, as the sun was setting, she handed many stones to him. Soon there were only two left in the basket.

She picked one up. On it appeared a picture of her family. She could not possibly give this stone to the man.

“What’s on that stone?” Asked the man, although she sensed he already knew the answer.

She felt tears running down her cheeks. “It’s my family, I can’t give you my family.”

The man said their names. “You can trust me, I know them and I love them too. Give them to me and I will take care of them too, I will keep hold of them. You do not need to be afraid.”

With pain like she had never felt before she handed him the stone. She really did trust him, and knew that he would take better care of them than she ever could.

“This last stone is the hardest one,” said the man. As she picked it up she a picture of her heart appeared on it. “Give me your heart, and I will give you a new one.”

She felt her blood pumping through her body. How could she give him her heart? But she trusted him.

“Allright,” she said, expecting to feel pain, like she did with the last stone. She didn’t. She felt joy like she had never felt before. She felt free.

“You are my child now,” said the man, taking hold of her hand. “I will never let you go.”

Suddenly a spring appeared next to to them.

“You are thirsty,” said them man. “Go and take a drink.”

The water was the sweetest thing she had tasted. It was like she had been thirsty her whole life, but just hadn’t realised it.

The man spoke to her again. “You need to continue your journey. You won’t see me for a while, but I will always be with you. You do not need to be afraid of anything.”