Tag Archives: plan

Trap or Treasure?

Ever since I can remember, I have felt “called” into a specifically “christian” ministry. I toyed with the idea of being a singer and actress for a while, quickly dismissed the idea of teaching primary school children, rejected the idea of nurse because it involved science etc etc.

All the ideas I considered were never really more than that. Just ideas. Because from the age of five – I’ve known that I have a job to do. I had no idea, of course, of shape and name at that age. But I wanted to be a missionary, a preacher, wanted to work for the Church which I loved so much.

Indeed, the calling got me through my GCSEs and A-Levels. When I wanted so badly to throw in the towel, the knowledge that I needed qualifications to get into LST meant that I carried on.

It has been a massive encouragement and blessing to me, to have an inkling of where I’m headed. God has been incredibly gracious in prodding and calling me on in the right direction, in promising me a future when I was lost in the past. I have treasured my calling.

And yet.

Recently it has begun to feel like a trap.

Because this is hard. This life, is hard.

It takes so much energy, to be the person I feel called to be, to lay my story out for people to poke, prod and question.

And sometimes, I wish for a different life. I wonder if a different life would be less painful. Less all-consuming. Less of a sacrifice?

Because what if I walked an easier road? A comfortable job that didn’t involve the questions?

What if I could feel, for once, like a twenty-two year old instead of a forty-two old?

Perhaps these feelings are some kind of long forgotten and neglected rebellion?

Perhaps, it’s just been a long week.

But the difficulties of this life, this one where I’m called to bare my soul and speak of my vulnerability, this one which uses the pain instead of burying it – it is, after all, the path I chose.

For all my sense of calling, I chose to say ‘yes’. I chose to write and speak about those things which most scarred my soul.

I choose the light instead of giving into the lure of the darkness.

It is a choice I would make again. And again.

And so I guess, this is the price I pay. It is not, in perspective, a very high price. I gave up my “right” to give up on life. I gave up my “right” to give up on God.

I have been through too much to give up now.

I need reminding of that, today of all days. I can see it as a burden, a trap.

Or I can be reminded of the grace it took to get me to today.

 

So I choose to be reminded of grace – to see the gift, instead of the trap.

 

It isn’t easy.

 

I trust that it is worth it.

 

Single

Some friends of mine sometimes refer to Jesus as ‘sneaky’. Today, I had one of those ‘sneaky Jesus’ moments.

I’ve been struggling with singleness for a while – how to enjoy it, how to cope with being surrounded by loved-up couples, whether wanting a partner is a bad thing, struggling with the green eyed monster which I find can emerge if I dwell on things too long.

So last night, I picked up my Bible and began to read from the Gospel of John. I had one of those moments when a verse appeared to fly off the page and hit me square between the eyeballs! John 5:30 reads ‘By myself I can do nothing. As I hear from God, I judge, and my judgement is true because I do not live to please myself, but to do the will of the Father.’

Anyway, when I read this verse, something in me clicked. I’m not meant to be living to please myself. Jesus certainly didn’t live to please himself. Rather, I should be living to please my creator. The creator in whom I claim to trust – and therefore should trust with my love life!I can do nothing apart from Him and I have to trust that God has the right person, at the right time. Or that God will continue to do a work in me that will make me ‘ok’ with a call to singledom (still a work in progress!)

It struck me that I am priviledged enough to have at least an inkling of a calling, and that for the moment  – I’ve got a clear idea of the kind of work God wants me to do. Just perhaps, part of that work will be more easily done whilst I’m single. And if I’m focussing on the God I serve, the call He has placed on my life and the people I love in my life, there will be less time and energy spent on thinking about what I don’t have.

And so, to the bit of this story that makes Jesus seem sneaky (in the best possible way). Two of my friends announced their engagement and I was able to feel completely happy for them -no sense of regret that it wasn’t me, or a twinge of jealousy – just joy that two people whom I love are deciding to spend their lives together!

I love how God works through His Word to reveal His character and plan, to put minds at ease and hearts at rest. It makes me want to make the most of the life I lead and the friends I have while I can give my attention more fully to them!