Saturday, 6 July 2013

Letter to the brave

Dear brave one,

Remember that verse that you read all those years ago, that one that was read at your baptism and has been written out in pretty much every notebook you've owned since then? Joshua 1:9 "Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don't be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go." I want you to know that you live that, that you are brave. Far braver than you think. 

Remember that time when things were so painful that you poured out your hurt through your arms instead, because tears themselves just weren't enough. You were scared and lonely and you hurt so much, physically and emotionally; but you kept going, putting one foot in front of the other. Remember the friends who called you brave then? You just shook your head and looked away, because who can possibly be brave when they are making so many mistakes. But I want to tell you, sweet girl, that you were brave. Maybe not on your own but certainly with God by your side, and you never let go of Him, no matter how bad things got or how angry you felt, and you knew, deep down, that He never let go of you. And maybe that's the bravest thing of all, knowing that you couldn't go through it alone, knowing that there is no way to do life without Him.

I want you to know that bravery comes in all shapes and sizes. It's not just rescuing babies from burning buildings or being a missionary to an unknown tribe in the depths of the jungle! More often than not bravery looks like the single mother working hard to put food on the table for her kids, or the person battling a chronic illness who just tries to make the most of each day. It looks like the office worker, or the stay at home mum. It looks like the person hiding at the back of church, or the pastor standing at the front.

Maybe bravery is not stopping when things get tough. Maybe bravery is feeling scared yet doing it anyway. Maybe bravery is not only adapting to your circumstances but learning to love your life within them too, to be content in all circumstances as Paul says. But I think most of all bravery is knowing you can't do this alone and clinging to God's hand and believing, trusting, knowing that He will lead you through.

I'm linking up with Sabrina over at Just Keep Singing as part of the 'Letters to' series. This weeks prompt is Letter to the brave so head over and check it out!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Letter to a stranger

Dear stranger,
I only met you twice, I think, or was it three times? I forget now, but you weren't there long. What I do remember is that I was scared and desperate for answers. I was fed up of being labelled a hypochondriac for seeking answers about what was happening to my body, so I changed doctors and I met you. You believed me, the first time anyone in the medical profession had. You saw me shuffling slowly, and painfully into your office, exhausted after a short walk and having trouble concentrating and you agreed that this was not normal for a previously active 19 year old. You referred me to a rheumatologist, but you were only at that doctors temporarily and I didn't see you again after the rheumatologist appointment. I wonder if you ever thought about me, if you ever wondered what I was eventually diagnosed with. Would you have still been so supportive after I was diagnosed with such a controversial illness? I like to think so.
I don't think you'll ever know how much it meant to finally be believed, to have someone backing me up and starting the process to finding answers. Of course I didn't realise that this was just the beginning, or know how tough this journey would be, or how much I would have to fight for the help that I need. But that doesn't matter, you gave me my first glimmer of hope. Hope that I would get answers, hope that I wouldn't always have to fight, and hope that there were some doctors who were on my side, who wanted answers for me as much as I wanted them for myself. And for that I will always be grateful.

I'm linking up with Ruth's letters to series which will be every two weeks with different prompts. Today's prompt is Letter to a Stranger, the link is open all week so head over and link up if you want to.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

A word for the year

Today marks 3 years of being ill. Anniversaries of this kind are hard, 3 years is a long time to be ill! It means I am in a completely different place to where I had envisioned I would be but that doesn't mean it's wrong. It just means that God is taking me on a new route.

I've read a couple of blogs in the past few days where they have picked one word for the year. This challenged me a lot and so I decided to think about and pray for a word of my own. So this year my word is going to be TRUST!

Proverbs 3:5-6 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Trusting isn't something I'm very good at. The verse above asks me to trust in the Lord with all my heart, yet there always seems to be a part of me that wants to hold a little bit back just in case. It seems so ridiculous to write it! Just in case of what? That I'm right and God is wrong?!
I no longer want to hold onto part of my heart. I want to go from knowing in my head to actively all out trusting in God, no matter what the outcome.

This year I need to trust in God for my healing. I need to trust that He knows best how and when it is going to happen because I certainly don't. I need to trust Him whether He says "yes now" or "not yet". I want my prayer to be "It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees" (Psalm 119:71)

I need to trust God with my future. I need to trust that He has my best interests at heart and I don't need to be anxious about anything.

I need to trust God with my degree, with my finances, with my living arrangements, with my family. I need to trust Him with my life, my heart, my everything.

I'm not saying that I'm going to get it right every time, I know that I won't. My prayer is that I will get it right more often, that it will strengthen my relationship with God, that it will encourage me to depend more on Him and less on myself. I know it will probably be a journey far different to how I envision but I hope that I can look back at the end of the year and say that I said yes to God more often than I said no and trusted him with the outcome.