Hindsight is always 20/20

“Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”~C. Ten Boom

When Joseph was sitting in prison he didn’t see the future that was ahead of him. When Ruth told Naomi that she would stay with her, that she would worship Naomi’s God and follow her back to her people, she did not have a clue who Boaz was. When Esther was born, how could she have ever known that one day she would be chosen to be Queen…

Like those whose lives we read about in history  we can also look at our lives much the same way…

  • The summer after university little did I know a chance meeting with a girl in a Starbucks in Niagara Falls would lead me to living in London.
  • Last February my darling friend didn’t know that the guy we invited over to play charades would be the man she would be married to not even 12 months later.
  • I never thought that the man I met at a picnic would be my first love.
  • A set up one Christmas break led to my beautiful friend meeting her husband.
  • A quiet chat with a very powerful woman in social justice led not only to a friend of mine moving to Africa to live out her dream but eventually to meeting the man she would marry.

“Little did we know…” 

Although I’m still unsure of the fact that God sets up all these meetings, I do believe that He uses everything to His purposes.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose Romans 8:28

There’s a fab song from Newsboys called Entertaining Angels…It’s about how we don’t know who we’re meeting, it could be an angel that we’re speaking to.

I’d like to take that one step further. Each day, each person we meet, each task we’re given, each situation we go through God can and will use. That’s why I challenge myself and you to look at each moment and take care of it. Honour what is in front of you.

Do not despise the days of small beginnings (Zechariah 4) and in all things value that which you are given…you never know where it will lead.

 

 

 

10 steps forward and eight back, letting God…

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].  Romans 12:2

I sat down with my director yesterday and she asked me if I was okay. I had to look at her and admit, no, I have not been okay but what you see is a girl finally dealing with what is going on in her head and heart rather than pushing it aside. Truth be told, within 7 months I not only have had to grieve the death of a family member but also of my relationship. When dealing with loss of any kind you are going through stages of grief. And grief, I have learned again and again, is a process. Through this process I have learned a lot about myself, both healthy things and unhealthy and there is change needed.

Someone wise told me that when dealing with grief you will often take 10 steps forward, then eight steps back and you cannot get yourself down. Instead you have to remember that you are on a journey and as long as you are moving forward you’re going the right way.

I don’t know about you but I like resolution as much I like confrontation. This is to say, a lot. I want to deal with the situation and move on, in my time. I don’t want to stay hurt, sad, angry, confused, frustrated or in a state of not alright.

What I have learned most recently is that in fact, I cannot do this myself. I firmly believe that God uses every situation to teach us something about Him, show His love to us and ultimately enable us to use that to show His love, grace and mercy to others. However, if I do not take the time to fully heal, grieve and learn the lessons, allowing my character to grow and change, I will not be transformed. Equally, if I try to move on myself I will likely figuratively “push the dust under the carpet” and the same character flaws, issues and problems will arise again in the future.

We need to allow God to renew our minds and transform us into His image. With His grace we can be transformed without striving but in the comfort of His love and grace. This post is probably written more to me than anyone but let’s stop trying to fix ourselves and let the greatest healer do the work.

Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another. Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord. Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of God’s people [sharing in the necessities of the saints]; pursue the practice of hospitality. Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits. Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good. Romans 12:10-21


Fighting instant gratification or limiting your future

I sat in NYC last week with my dear friend, getting over a break up I lamented that my options had changed and she looked at me and said “But now they’re limitless, you can do anything.”

It got me thinking about what I want to do and what I was doing to get there.

I have already written about our purpose and making a difference, but this time I started thinking about the choices we make on a daily basis, looking at the short term versus the long term. When I’m making decisions today; am I thinking about the short term, immediate gratification or am I thinking about how that will benefit not only me, but others, long term?

When someone says “A year ago you wish you had started today” what comes to mind? For me, it was exercise and learning a new language. It’s also starting my freelance career and being more than financially stable. If I chose to eat less than healthy and skip the gym today, what would be the consequences? Probably nothing major but what habits am I setting for myself? How are you setting up your life so that you will be ready when that moment comes? What do you have to put in place now?

Take it a step further, I’m sure you have big dreams…exciting plans, desires in your heart, a difference you want to make in the world. I think it’s equally as important to look at what is taking up the time, energy and resources (that which you want now) that may hinder you from getting where God needs you to be? Or where you believe you can best benefit others?

It’s my challenge today; how am I best setting up my future?

Live a life of Passion

 

It’s FRIDAY…the Friday of a short work week for those of us in Europe who get long weekends for Easter…

I  have had the privilege of meeting these guys & going to their concert a couple of times. They rock…and sometimes we just need to remember we’re young (no matter our physical age) and we can “Burn Bright and Set the world on fire”

So go out there today, live passionately and for something greater than yourself.

lots of love

mx

She Paused…

I’m back!

NYC was absolutely awesome and I must post pictures soon!

I was flipping through albums today on Facebook and one caught my eye. I took a moment, paused and looked through it. It was full of beautiful memories that I will always cherish. What struck me was that although I will not have those memories again I felt a sense of peace as I looked at them and subsequently marked them as private and moved on.

I read a quote last week that said “You can never write the next chapter of your book if you keep re-reading the last.” I want to write the next chapter, to see what the next season looks like and to live each day in the present. As my heart heals I can now stop looking back and look forward to whatever happens next.

What is it in your life that you keep looking back at? Is it your days in school? An old romance? A time when things weren’t so tough, or perhaps a time when it was so tough that you still remain in self-pity?

It’s time to pause, take a deep breath and start writing your next chapter…

Reflections

We are only responsible for our actions. At the end of the day I will be held accountable for that which I said, did, and the way I chose to live my life.

In a moment of “freaking out” a very wise friend said to me “but the people here know who you really are. Anything bad said about you only reflects poorly on those saying it.”

I want to be someone who can’t be spoken against…I understand we will always face resistance and we will probably always have unfair things spoken against who we are. However, I want to live a life, reflecting God’s abundant grace and love for me, so no one would believe it if they heard someone speak badly of me.