I’ve never been a big believer in destiny: when your life is full of ups and downs (with not many ups), it is hard to see how that can be God’s plan. Was I really supposed to be in this situation? Single mum, struggling financially, in and out of depression… I had to trust that God knew what he was doing; sometimes that was pretty much the only thing stopping me from running away from it all.
Lately though, things have been coming together in a way that I guess it’s easier to accept as His will. And as things improve, it becomes more comfortable to look back and appreciate the necessity of events and hardships that have shaped my life.
Those of you who were in church that day (and many that weren’t) will be aware that Sunday 3rd June was the day I led the service. I don’t think I’d been that nervous since standing up to give testimony when I was baptised last July. Once I started though, a strange kind of calm came over me. The nerves were still there, but it was like I felt I was in the right place, doing the right thing… Hard to explain really.
Thank you to everyone for the positive comments following the service. All the support meant a lot. I’m not saying it is something I am now itching to do every week; but the experience has added a considerable amount of weight to my feeling of being called in at least a Local Preacher-y direction. We’ll see…
After being a stay-at-home-mum for the past six years; I applied for a job this month. In my mind I just saw it as good practice at filling in application forms; intending to start looking properly for work in September when James is finally at school full time. So when I got an email offering me an interview, it came as somewhat of a surprise. An interview… More nerves, panic, sweat (it was a HOT day!) but somehow – don’t ask me how – I ended up being offered the job the next day.
For something that I only did for practice, it has all come together so easily. There’s still obstacles in the way; I need to pass a medical, wait for references (and pray that Richard’s nice to me in his…) and do a CRB check (nothing to worry about there, at least), but I’m looking at a start date somewhere early in August.
Right now I feel comfortable with my life. Church has played a big part in that. Since joining the congregation last January, I think I have definitely found a home at High Street. Being able to get involved in things and contribute to church gives me a boost of self-worth that I struggle to find elsewhere.
And now other aspects of my life are starting to reflect on the comfort and security that I feel from church, and it’s not a coincidence. If I hadn’t joined High Street, I wouldn’t have known of a job opening at the council. Without the Longs and Byasses, we wouldn’t have enjoyed three lovely camping weekends in the past year. Friends from another church have just informed me this morning of a lovely house that we might (possibly… God willing) have a chance of moving to in a few months.
As hard as I still find it to accept that God plays a role in the ups and downs of our lives, I can appreciate how the shaping of my life can be attributed to His hand. If my life hadn’t taken the ‘wrong’ turns that it did, if I hadn’t made the mistakes that I made, then I wouldn’t have ended up in a place where I felt so lost and alone that Church seemed almost like a last resort. I never dreamed my life could change in so many little ways or that one BIG change could feel so natural.
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR JULY 2012 MAGAZINE