Tuesday, 4 November 2014

How I awoke in a dangerous place, addicted and hurt but certainly not left to rot.

I stepped into a dangerous place of thinking I was home and dry. Or whatever that phrase may be. 

I thought the race was won. I had done it. And this was all me. What a mighty person I had become. 

And yet in a strange and awkward tension the affirmation of others became expectation on my being that weighed heavily on my heart. How was I to become all that they were hoping for in me?

And somehow God got sidelined. 

Not to make space for a mighty collision and dive into a mess but for trust to leave and so perhaps it was for exactly that after all. 

And when the search becomes less about Him and all about me do you know what happens? 


The words stop falling. And all I could wonder was why they couldn't come anymore. 

The thing is God is a space of a ton of I don't knows and impossibles to understand and confusion and frustration for one who wants control. But when we look at all that is falling away we think everything must be crumbling. And I stepped off of Him as the Rock and leant on my own understanding. 

And what a pile of yuck that brought me to. 

It's dangerous coming to this place of what I feel is safe. It's dangerous and risky and doesn't leave much space to breathe. Because if you just follow the rules, if you follow the routine and refuse to sway from your tried and tested path then all will be okay.

Out of bed I'd pull myself and into the usual, the norm, the oh so scary easy dangerous path. 

I don't know how I did it for so long without realising that I was suffocating. 

My own gasps for breath went unnoticed. Oh not by my friends, they were crying out for me, but did I listen? Not. A. Chance. Me, I just kept gasping with my eyes shut and my hands covering my ears. Oh I couldn't admit the truth of it all.  

Until finally the exhaustion got to a level like never before. And so I simply slept. And slept. And slept. 

And got back up again and joined right back in with all the madness. 

Because addicts don't stop. Addicts are blind to all that is ripping them to shreds and tearing them apart. 

May we learn to recognise the tell tale signs. May we learn to not let ourselves sit in the pits. May we rise. 

My expectations of God went unmet. Disillusionment clouded all my sense and self-worth. It was all I could do to keep up the repetitions. To go through the motions of a life so together, it was falling apart. 

And finally in a true God fashion, the night before I slipped away, He met me. He met me and He put it all aside to embrace me. He sat me right down and said it loud and clear. 

Grace, don't you remember. Don't you remember the label I placed upon you? You are loved. I give you permission to reclaim these words I am loved. Because it is time that you laid all that other stuff aside. It is time that you realised the simplicity of it all: there is only one label that I place on you and that is that you are loved. Stand in that. 

He is a rock. A rock of hope, of peace, joy, of fearlessness. A rock on which I stand tall and know who I am once more. 

I am loved. 

But this isn't going to work, and I don't understand why that happened, and why on earth does he think that it's okay to treat me like that. 

I am loved. 

But I can't hold it all up, I can't keep up with my own life let alone theirs too. 

I am loved. 

But how do I move on from here? How do I find the space and the grace and the hope to enter into the next season?

I am loved. 

When you've been tricking yourself into believing you're safe whilst in fact thrashing wildly. It's a horrible shock to realise the truth of where you've brought yourself too. 

And so I stand up. Because once you've collapsed to the bottom of everything you've ever become the only way to rise once more is to know that all strength comes from the King. Not just the strength for the BIG scary things, for the wildly inhuman impossibilities, but for the very rising out of bed. It is in Christ that I an do all things from the waking in the morning to the sleeping at night. It is He that places that in me.

And so I look myself in the eye again. And for the first time in sometime I see sparkle. The light bounces off. And I can see that throw-my-head-back-in-laughter look returning.

What a relief to be back in His arms. May I not get comfortable again. May I make this choice to trust daily. May I rise from bed and step out the door in full confidence that He is utterly with me on this one. 

He has got this. And all of it.  


Monday, 20 October 2014

I am thrashing

I don't really know how I feel about it. I don't understand this tossing. And it kind of hurts. Sometimes I wonder if I let my heart be swayed by the wrong advice. Quite often I am sure I did. 

And yet I still sit here. 

I gasp for air. I thirst for the reassurance of a God that never did let go. I lose all sanity in utter rage, turning my back, stomping hard and slamming the door tight: when all He has done is hold me close. 

But why did I go through all that? Why? Why? Why?

This cannot simply be for the sake of it. This cannot be the end. But as hard as I try to squint the fog remains in my view. 

What is beyond all this?

Showing up in this life now makes me ache. 

His grace is enough - for what?

To keep me alive. Or am I to thrive. 

And what does this thriving look like. And what does it look like to just trust. And how do we say yes. Today. And tomorrow. And again. And again. 

This thrashing only highlights the choice we all have to make every. single. day.

I think really it is to be learnt again: this is a process. 

And sitting back is hard. And frustrating too. But it allows for a whole lot of noticing.

I wonder at his motives behind his advice - and then I wonder at mine. 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The space breaking point opens for God to move into the mundane.

Last week I hit breaking point. Twice. 

That point where your rational brain hits a wall, your emotions overflow and your body simply collapses. 

I don't like it when it happens. I like to be my own tower of strength. I like to hold the control and to feel like I have a handle on everything. 

And yet there I was completely falling under the pressure. 

How easy it is to mix falling and failing and to feel like a failure. 

Today I went back to my day in day out job. I went back to the making coffee, the serving: the same 6 questions. And the smiling. 

I went back and I found release in the repetition: in the mundane. 

But more than that I went back and found my eyes opened to Jesus at work. Because as depression takes yet another life I see each customer as who they are, I see the possibilities of the statistics they may fill and then beyond that into the ultimate truth of who their Creator says they are. 

And for me. For me I remembered how to pray again. I remembered the care that Jesus has for this very moment here: for the mundane. And I bend my heart towards Him and ask Him to step in as we have targets to reach, and food to sell. 

I didn't try to prove His existence, I didn't try to bring someone else to Him, I simply let Him in on the mundane repetitions of making coffee and selling food, and I can say for sure that He stepped in. Because though customers weren't in their thousands the paninis were flying off the shelf and by the power of the Holy Spirit I believe God moved in that place. 

Because yes there is a bigger picture, yes there is more to this story, but ultimately when God's child remembers again to turn to Him and simply asks for the paninis to sell, He really does have the choice to make that mountain move. 

God doesn't want us to get to breaking point but when we do He knows how to change it for good. How to use it to bring us back to Him and how to let it remind our hearts of who He names us.