Walking up the Aisle…

credit: http://bashertweddings.blogspot.co.uk/

As the music played, sun beating down and people upstanding, she glided up the aisle, her Heavenly father looking down at her with joy. At the alter stood her intended, cheeks twitching trying to hold back the tears as his bride made her way to him.

This past week I had the honor and privilege to be part of my best friend’s wedding in Nevada. The wedding was gorgeous and the day STUNNING. Aside from the beauty of the bride, the love of the couple and the happiness of their friends and family, the day was glorious (I have the deep tan to prove it). God’s presence was tangible and His blessing everywhere.

As much as I was so happy for both K & A, I can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness that I have yet to experience the love they have for each other. I also can’t help but draw a beautiful parallel between the love of a man and woman and the love of Christ and His people.

I can’t help but believe that as a person approaches the day that he or she makes a decision and knows that Christ is Saviour, that God, like a groom, fights back tears of joy as that person “walks up the aisle.”  And just as the people in attendance at a wedding cheer, cry and clap as the groom kisses his bride, so do the angels and those already in Heaven celebrate when a person accepts Christ as Saviour.

I can’t wait until the day I, dressed in white, walk up the aisle to see the love of my life holding back tears…but until then, after that and into eternity I will join God and the population of Heaven in tears of joy as one more understands that God, King of kings and Lord of lords, sacrificed all for each and everyone.

The lonely road of dreams…

 

Tho’ I keep searching for an answer,  I never seem to find what I’m looking for , Oh Lord, I pray, You give me strength to carry on, ‘Cos I know what it means, To walk along the lonely street of dreams, An’ here I go again on my own, Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known,  Like a drifter I was born to walk alone.  An’ I’ve made up my mind, I ain’t wasting no more time 

–I NEVER thought that I would be quoting Whitesnake on my blog…but I guess there is truly a time and place for everything.

There are people who have dreams and then there are people who are dreamers. I believe that there is a distinct difference in these kind of people. Dreamers live in their own reality; a dream world. They imagine life as it could be, thinking about what may happen and never do anything about it.

People who dream take action. They have dreams inside of them which need to get out. These aren’t ideas just something to think about but vision, goals and aspirations that are felt from deep within and these people are inspired not to make their own lives better but to help others.

People who dream can’t help but feel like there is more to life.

People who dream are never quite satisfied with what they’re doing.

People who dream understand that they can’t achieve these things alone.

People who dream get emotional at the mere thought of what achieving this goal or vision could mean. 

People who dream have passion.

I was walking down the street yesterday when the song “Here I go again” by Whitesnake came up on my iPod. It was one of the moments where I felt like I was listening to the soundtrack of my life. The lyrics that hit me particularly were the following “An’ here I go again on my own, Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known…”

That’s always been my life. I have been known to make decisions that others think are foolish or a bit out there. I am constantly thinking of new things I want to achieve and how I’m going to get them done and I feel like I’m likely never going to stop feeling this way because I really believe that the dreams and aspirations that I have on my heart are from God. I have already achieved some of them and others…well, let’s see what happens next, shall we?

Because these dreams are from God they are big, crazy and they’re going to help others…but mainly they’re probably only ever going to get bigger because we serve a BIG God who wants to show the world His BIG and amazing love.

I love how we’re taught in church that we must always keep Christ and the church the centre of everything we do. I must admit that it has taught me to frame how and when I pursue what has been put on my heart. I try evaluate the “why” I want to achieve something, how I can do this and what it might involve. As well, I want to ensure that it will never take me away from the main thing: God.

I write this today because I need to remind myself and want you to know that if you have big dreams, big goals, big vision…go for it…be who you were created to be…

Don’t be a dreamer…dream BIG.

I only want to be strong

I may not look like that right now but I can hang like that…

I was 16 years old and I laid in bed with tears falling. They were tears of sadness mixed with tears of determination. I chose that moment to stop being weak.

You see, I was in high school and very close to a size 26 (US sizes). I wasn’t unhappy, depressed or sad. However, I had just been to South Africa and for the first time ever in my life I struggled to close the seat belt. I remember sitting on that plane, at the beginning of a one month trip across the world, wondering if the tiny planes I would have to eventually sit in, would be too small.

I knew I would be going off to university in two years and I didn’t just want to be the “fun and bubbly” Michelle. I didn’t so much care how I looked but that I could pick whatever clothes I wanted and most of all that I would be strong one day.

So the journey began…

I stopped eating sugar, cut out soda and just started being that much more active. I don’t believe in quick fixes, pills or surgery (until you really need it). Although it’s taken me many years and I have plateaued through the years I have learned many valuable lessons along the way. Now, today I have gone down 14 dress sizes and this week at the gym I was able to do a whole lot of pull ups on the frame. I’m stronger and slimmer and healthier than I have ever been. Best feeling ever when the gym junkies stare at you and their jaws drop! I have even ran a half marathon and considering doing a full one next year. Oh! And air plane seat belts? Loose…

I don’t write this because I want to brag about what I have done. Trust me, I have still a ways to go and I know that I’ll get there. I write this because to each of you reading this that has a goal; I encourage you to start today. Whether that means you need to lose weight, or eat healthier. Whether it means getting out of that abusive relationship or studying really hard to get into the school you want. It may be that you just simply want to save the money and travel around the world for a year…you can do it. I’m living proof that when you put your mind to something you can and will see results and accomplish what you started. Like me, it may take you longer than you wanted but I personally have learned so much along the way. I have zero regrets.

Recently, in the middle of feeling broken hearted, I looked back and remembered crossing the finish line after running 21k and with that thought in mind, got up and went…sure my heart hurts now but it will get stronger again. With determination, self-control and a lot of passion you will do anything you want…

so, what’s stopping you?

 

I’ve still got about 3-4 dress sizes to go but I’m getting there…

Rollercoasters and Imagination…

 

The very last place that I expected to be on the Queen’s Jubilee weekend was sailing down a giant slide on a carpet with a guy I’d met a month earlier…in Sweden. Instead I thought I’d be…well…elsewhere…

My Jubilee weekend was spent avoiding rain storms, watching a marathon, meeting new friends, relaxing and running around like a 15 year old girl being talked into riding the scariest roller coaster of my life (I still think I hate you for that Simon!)…and although this weekend was literally worlds apart from what I thought I would be doing 5 months earlier, it was really one of the best weekends I had in a long time.

Sitting alone, watching the rain pour down yesterday, I sipped a cup of coffee and quietly thanked God that His ways are far better than mine. Does that mean that a part of me still misses what I had, yes, of course…but it also means that when you abide in Him, He really does abide in you. God cares about every little detail. No, maybe He didn’t plan this exact path but He sure allowed me to feel safe, at peace and genuinely content with where I am now. I’m so thankful that we serve a God who is interested in every aspect of our lives. He rejoices in our happy moments and comforts us when we are sad.

And as I sit at my desk, knowing that my life is about to change yet again I can wait, in peace, in rest, in the comfort that even if I expect the next season to look a certain way, that even if it doesn’t, it will be the best I ever had. And in those moments I will sing, rejoice and thank God that He knows WAY more than I will ever know…

Because… (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

 

I’d prefer not to be a pillar of salt

“I wish that i could stop this wishing and just say my last goodbye”

Two weeks ago I sat down at my computer and wrote an email. I wrote that email to my ex. I wrote every last thing I was feeling, I edited it, I cried and prayed over that email and then I hit save and hid it from my eyes. When a dear friend of the family lost her husband very suddenly and couldn’t say goodbye her therapist told her to sit in front of him and just say everything she wanted to say to him. So she did…And when a friend of mine had to deal with the pain of his past he wrote his father a poem and never sent it.

Goodbye, Adios, see you later.

I was listening to music at my desk today when Wishes by Superchick came on. I immediately stopped and thought…WOW you’re singing a song I could have written.

The saddest thing is you could be anything/ That you could want We could have been everything /But now we’re not /Now it’s not anything at all/ The hardest part was getting this close to you/ And giving up this dream i built with you/ A fairytale that isn’t coming true/You’ve got some growing up to do/I wish we could have worked it out
I wish i didn’t have these doubts
I wish i didn’t have to wonder just what you are doing now
I wish i didn’t know inside
That it won’t work out for you and i
I wish that i could stop this wishing and just say my last goodbye

After all the things you put me through
Tell me why i’m still in love with you
And why am i, why am i still waiting for your call
You broke my heart
I’m taking it back from you
And taking back the life i gave to you
Life goes on before and after you
I’ve got some growing up to do

I wish we could have worked it out
I wish i didn’t have these doubts
I wish i didn’t have to wonder just what you are doing now
I wish i didn’t know inside
That it won’t work out for you and i
I wish that i could stop this wishing and just say my last goodbye

It’s time i said my last goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye
It’s time i said my last goodbye

I wish we could have worked it out
I wish i didn’t have these doubts
I wish i didn’t have to wonder just what you are doing now
I wish i didn’t know inside
That it won’t work out for you and i
I wish that i could stop this wishing and just say my last goodbye

It’s time i said my last goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye
It’s time i said my last goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye
It’s time i said my last goodbye

Closure is incredibly important, whether it’s the end of a relationship, a sudden death, a move away from where you lived or a step forward in a new role. Saying goodbye draws a line in the sand and allows you to move forward. For whether it was good or bad we are told to look forward and not back in life. In Genesis 19 Lot’s wife looked back and was turned to salt…Isaiah 43:18-19 reads “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Job 17:9 states, “The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.” (NLT)

We are to keep moving forward in life. What is it that you need to say goodbye to? What doors do you need to close and not look back on? Let’s move ahead and look to the future with new plans, new corners to uncover and new people to reach…