Ugh, just had one of those days today….
You know when you need to rant, shout, get angry at God and then consume vast amounts of chocolate, wine, or better, both.
These days don’t happen often. In fact it’s funny because today we were discussing a ‘strengths test’ we had done for work and my top strength was ‘positivity’… yeah well not today. Today is a shout, drink wine and eat chocolate day.
And I’m not one of those people who will post a cryptic ‘need chocolate’ or ‘crappy day’ status on Facebook in order to gain sympathy or get people wondering. Come on, everyone has FB friends who do that and I’ve got to say it’s soooo annoying, and often not to mention, not particularly Christian in it’s content either. But on the other hand I feel the need to express my irritation and frustration, so I’m blogging it. You might say that’s not much better than FB, and perhaps that’s true, but I kind of see my blog as an outlet where I’ve always been open and honest and it is a way of expressing myself when I need to. I’ve never written in order to gain followers, sympathy or friends, I’ve always written for me, because I need to, so I am not going to stop now because I am worried about being one of those FB people…
And what makes it worse of course, is that I can’t actually say anything about why I’m feeling crappy and nor can I even post it on the relevant day (so by the time you read this, it may have been some time past…), so by just saying I am feeling pants leaves me in exactly the position of said FB users that I have just criticised…. oh the irony….
So, anyway today I feel pants. I am angry with God. Something I prayed about just yesterday (at length I should add!) and felt so enthused and excited about, is clearly not going to happen. I feel let down, I feel angry and I feel, yet again, like God is holding all the cards and not showing me a single one of them. In fact more than that I feel like he’s allowed me to believe I know what some of the cards are, even when he knows I am completely wrong, like some kind of divine card trick.
I chatted to my husband earlier and he started trying to placate me, I said “don’t try and make me feel better, don’t tell me it will be ok, just tell me,’ I agree it’s all crap’ and then I’ll be ok”… so he did. Sometimes in the heat of feeling pants you just need someone to stand next to you, rather than someone trying to get you out of it…
So there we go.
Pants pants pants pants…..
So I’ve been looking around at new blogs in the last few weeks. Followed a link to one, then on to another and so on and so on, and I came across this Wednesday Hodge Podge idea so I thought I’d give it a go… You answer some questions, share them and then see what others are answering… These are this weeks questions and you can find out more here…
1. Picture postcards were first printed back in the mid-1800’s and deltiology is the official name for postcard collecting. When did you last send a postcard? Receive one? Do you save postcards sent to you? Do you collect and/or send postcards when you travel?
Hmm. As a child I collected postcards (encouraged by my mother who collected lots of random things like milk bottles with adverts on, stamps and yes, postcards, to name a few). They were never that exciting or that old and the only ones I kept long term were of VW Beetles (which I still love – the cars not the postcards which have long gone). Every birthday when my husband asks me what I’d like, I say an old bug… Anyway digressing… A friend who is a writer has had some short stories published on postcards and I’ve received a few of those recently which is kind of cool. Send some to grannies on hols but otherwise not really. Just thinking though, maybe it’s an idea that could be reinvented… put thinking cap on….
2. What treat do you most like to indulge in while on vacation?
Just doing nothing… that simple. Maybe read a trashy book or two… oh and a bit of red wine maybe… Oh and playing guitar with my hubs. He plays all the time, I don’t really have the time except on hols.
3. Are you good at hiding your feelings?
Sometimes. Well I say that, but then I did manage to blub whilst leading the service at church on Sunday which was sooo not what I had planned, so I guess not…
4. Does your town/city/county still deliver telephone books to your home? Do you check the yellow pages when searching for a local business number or has the internet replaced the phone book in your home?
Yes they do and the last 3 are still in the cupboard in the plastic wrapping! Google is the way forward for everything in our house…
5. Would you rather be first or last?
Depends. First in the queue for chips or for the toilets at gigs when the queue is huge. Last when it’s for the dentist or worse… (what could be worse…?)
6. July is National Park and Recreation Month (in America, but everyone can still play along)…where and when were you last in a park? Did you participate in any recreational activities while you were there?
Different kind of park, but today. We live in a village and the local park is the hub of the village especially for those with kids. We go whenever we can, after school, weekends for a kick about and so on. Today we ate ice cream and chatted to an artist selling her wares…
7. What was one of your worst ideas?
I’m a real ideas person so there have been many bad ones over the years and many that never got further than me telling my husband… I am going to be the next T-shirt designer (never got past 2 pages of sketches), I’m going to start a ladies cricket team (this I did), I’m going to go into business (and this also), I’m giving up my job (did that too), I’m starting a charity (actually I did do this quite recently with some friends but not the original idea), I want a cat (yes), let’s get lots of animals and have a mini farm (never really happened), let’s not book a holiday and go for something last minute (the latest current dilemma), let’s be spontaneous (result = one daughter)…
Not sure what the worst ever idea would be. My husband would say it was me whacking a great big hole in the wall of our old house as I was convinced there was a fire place underneath. There wasn’t… But I made my husband fit a fake one anyway!
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I’m meeting a friend tomorrow to chat in Spanish. I haven’t spoken Spanish for years but really want to brush up on it. I’m wondering if I’m going to make an idiot of myself or if it will all come back to me. Also thinking where on earth is the Spanish dictionary and why am I doing this? and should I look some things up tonight and thinking what is ‘baking’ in Spanish… and so on… oooh perhaps I should write a blog in spanish…
This is my new favourite song, got it on repeat on the ipod. Just so beautiful…
As usual am posting the notes from my talk today, and as always I will say they are my notes so may not make 100% sense!!
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.
So this weekend our Pastor preached on the Vine and being pruned (John 15). I’ve got to be honest and say that I wasn’t massively enthusiastic about the subject, I rather arrogantly thought ‘I’ve heard the whole pruning talk before’ and actually I think I’ve even heard him preach it before, and on top of that I’ve very recently been through a season of pruning and I know what it’s all about. Well, as our God likes to, turns out I was humbled, it was actually a great talk and it seems, very timely for me…
As most of you reading this will know, I am now working for the church, before beginning ministry training in September. This is most definitely a steep learning curve and there isn’t a day when I don’t think, ‘man, I am so not equipped for this’, and ‘why God?’ and ‘really there must be better people for this than me’ and so on…
Two years ago I was asked to come on board and so some voluntary work in the church. At the time I wasn’t working and I was really excited at the prospect. It was a great year, I learned a lot, in fact I learned soooo much. I gave my first preach, led services and ran groups. Then I was offered a paid post. I jumped at this, I had known I really needed to get back to earning some money and yet I wanted to stay in the church, it was an absolute answer to prayer.
And then it all changed. Then, the person I was working most closely with left (I knew this was going to happen when I started), then 2 other colleagues left in quick succession, all with good reasons. And suddenly I was left feeling rather isolated. Not that my other colleagues weren’t great – they are, but I think these were the people I felt that I gelled with most and I had learned so much from them. I guess I had this picture of what life in this job would be like and then all of a sudden it wasn’t like that at all…
It took me a while to get my head around this and in fact it was a word from my husband that got me to pull my head out and get on with what God wanted me to do. So then I thought I had a handle on what I was doing, where God was taking me…
And then…. we started a process of looking at the future vision for our church which has been, well pretty tough to be honest. Exciting, necessary and inspired, but hard too. So then it took me a while longer to think about where God was taking me. Just got my head around that and then….
I had some, well…, trouble, with choosing which college to study at (see previous posts…) and on top of that, a friend I had hoped to go to college with, didn’t get selected. And, so, again I was thinking, what is it you want me to do Lord….? It was like just when I got a handle on where I was headed and with whom, just starting to feel comfortable, then the rug was pulled from under my feet.
I know now and I knew then that it was a season of learning about trusting God and I do feel more peaceful and calm because of it. But it was pretty hard all the same.
Then just a few weeks back we learned that some very close friends were moving away from the area. These are people who we love dearly and see pretty much daily. I knew it was going to be tough. But I don’t think I realised until last Sunday just how tough. On Sunday, I was leading the service and the Vicar came up to say thanks to these friends who were leaving and to pray for them. All of a sudden it hit me how much we were going to miss them and how much they mean to us and, here’s the biggie, how much I still had no idea what God’s plans are for me. It’s like the key people in my life in this season, were gradually leaving, and this was the toughest by a longshot.
So then a little while later the Pastor began his talk on pruning. I wanted to shout at God, ‘I don’t like this any more, I don’t want to be pruned any more’… It’s funny because I’ve always been an independent type, always thought I would be fine on my own, I can stand up for myself, I don’t need anyone else, and yet over the last few years I have really come to rely on people, to love people and to want to share life with these people and gradually one by one they are being removed from our lives. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know I am not being abandoned, I’m not having a woe-is-me moment, actually none of this is really about me at all. People have their own lives and reasons for moving on but it has been a really tough season and in all of it I realise that still, I haven’t got a clue where God is taking me. And I think what I realised on Sunday is that, I think probably that will never change, and I’m not sure yet how I feel about that.
There have been a few tears this week that’s for sure and of course that is partly about our friends leaving, but largely it has been about being in a place of huge uncertainty. And yet at the same time there are many certainties and but one most important certainty, that wherever I go and whoever with, the only one I really need to know is there, is my God. And if I’m totally honest I’m not sure that I’m ready yet, to be in the place of just relying on him alone…