Relying on God alone…

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…

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  • Reply
    Michelle Twin Mum
    July 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Hi, first time finding your blog. Thanks so much for writing this piece so honestly. I can really relate. We are in the middle of a big move away and feel it is of God but that does not make it any easier, the rug keeps getting pulled out. I'll be back, Mich x

  • Reply
    July 7, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Michelle and welcome 🙂
    thanks so much for your comment and hope the move goes ok…
    red x

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