Monday, 30 April 2007

Best laid plans and all that...
The last few weeks have been a real lesson in dealing with plans not going quite as planned. During the school holidays I got sick, the cat got injured, the car broke down, we had to shorten our holiday, the motel we booked was not what we expected, the car broke down again and now the cat is injured again.
Hmmm, when I list it all like that it is no wonder I feel a little uncertain, as if the rug has been pulled out from under me.
What is suprising about all of this is it has all been random and unforseeable events which we could not have prevented. In a way that is comforting because we couldn't have done anything about them. But that is also scary because we have had to realise again that we have very little control over our own lives and so much of life is at the mercy of things going to plan.

It has been a real test of my ability to let things go and accept what has happened rather than what I had wished for. It has also reminded me that I really am totally dependent on God and that any illusion that I may have that I am the author of my life, is just that, an illusion.

It leaves me wondering whether I should just sit back and let life just happen, since so much of it is out of my control. But that doesn't sit right with me. God gave me a brain to use and made me a bit of a planner so I think I should use those gifts, however, as soon as I think I have power over my own life, that is when things get messed up. It is so much harder to deal with the unpredictability of life when you are living under the false belief that you should be able to predict the future and be ready for it. There is wisdom in being prepared for the unpredictable but the fact is that you don't know what it will be. It is unpredictable.

I am the kind of person who gets scared about life quite easily. I feel worried and insecure. I worry about doing the wrong thing or not hearing God's voice and "missing" the right path. Thought intellectually I know that is not how God works, it still is something I struggle with. But the last few weeks have shown me I can cope with life being its messy self and that sometimes it is quite a relief to realise how helpless I am. It means I can lean on God and throw my hands in the air and say "What now?" without thinking I am supposed to know all the answers. It also reminds me of how awesome God is and helps me to see all the ways he constantly provides for me.

I need to remember that God holds my fragile life together, not me. And I have a feeling that the life he wants to hold together looks quite different from the one I had planned.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

I have had a sad week. My cousin took his own life earlier this week and yesterday I went to the funeral. I was not close to him but he was the kind of guy where just catching up every few years was meaningful and felt like you had just seen each other the other day.

There are so many thoughts which run through your head while waiting to attend someone's funeral.
For me this week I have been thinking a lot about how scared of going to funerals I am.
I am afraid of the outpouring of unpredictable emotion, of seeing people who have been the strong adults in my family, broken by grief. Of hearing about the person who has passed and losing control of my own emotions. But yesterday was actually a relief.

It was a relief to be with people who were all shocked and hurting, who wanted to remember the man who was so special to them. The church was packed to the doors and people were openly grieving. I appreciated a chance to cry with others and not to question whether I was close enough to him for it to be valid. It was good to have an occasion to try to begin to let go.

What amazed me the most was the way his close family were able to care for others and share their grief with others. I really pray that over the next weeks, months and years that we will be there to comfort them. For me the funeral was a closure but for them it is just the beginning of realising what the death of their son, brother, friend will mean.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Oh my goodness I am back!
I thought this blog had been lost in the ether of time. I just stopped posting when I started my new job and never came back.
I guess I felt that my blog was not being read, that I knew of, and it was becoming a bit of a burden rather than a joy.
But randomly I got an email to reactivate it so here I am.

Reading over my posts from over a year ago is pretty weird. I have changed so much in the last year. I don't even know where to begin!

So here is a quick rundown:
  • same school but didn't manage to avoid big responsibility. I am now in charge of learning support and loving it. I think I have found my new passion, even if I feel like I just don't know enough yet. I am managing to actually enjoy my job and not let it rule my life.
  • have moved house and now have a garden and a cat. I love my domestic bliss! It is amazing how your surroundings can affect you.
  • have moved church. We are now at a large evangelical anglican church. I never thought I could enjoy a big church but I love it. It is a relief to not have to be there every week and I love the music. I will have to post more about my changing views on church.
  • double income - we are on it. And it doesn't stretch very far especially when saving for a house!

So that's my life at the moment. Well a snap shot of it.

I think the overall change has been my letting go of having to be critical. I think it really is the culmination of my recovery from doing a BA. Don't get me wrong, I loved doing my degree, but I am so much happier now being more open and less judgmental. It is amazing how when you approach the world with an attitude of grace, you actually experience grace yourself. If anything, that has been the biggest lesson. Being gentle with others and therefore with myself.

Be back soon,

Hopefully not in a year!