Failure – something that today’s culture will often hear. Yes, we may be living in a new generation, of high-percentage university graduation events, and climbing technology but in reality, we still find failures. Weakness. Suffering. And recently, I found myself discovering this important truth…
A few weeks ago, I failed my driving theory exam – I had never, in my whole life, failed anything before. In fact it still really shames me to talk about it. In my head, it’s something easy to pass, which makes you a complete moron to fail. I’m a little bit frustrated too – I managed to pass all the mock tests that I did! I walked out of that room so angry with myself, that I was silenced…
I wanted to hold onto that silence longer than time would allow, because within 10 minutes I’d told my Dad and was on my way back to college for the best Monday of my life – not. I had the worst day ever. I was tired, still frustrated, confused, and ultimately so upset that I no longer held a track record, of never having failed.
Now I look back, I completely failed at failing. I still do – in fact I’m kind of worried that I’ll fail again next time. It’s as if there’s a mental barrier against all hazard perception videos that exist. Even though I know I can do it, the surprise of failure has knocked me a little bit. It’s put me down in fear.
You see, if we take failure as the end of the world, we will continue to fail. If we revel in our mistakes, we will become so overwhelmed that we no longer remember the truth. I realise this now. Everyone has to fail something. It’s just one of those things. I definitely need to learn how to fail. How to laugh about it, so much that it becomes a joke. I need to learn how to have grace upon myself, at times when I really do need it – amongst my mistakes not around.
My Dad told me, “Well, you’ve got to fail something – it’s not the end of the world. Take it again.” My friend told me, “It’s harder than you think – a lot of people fail first time,” and another said, “Don’t worry about it.”
I initially refused to let any of these words sink in… I was stubborn and I still wanted to be that high achiever – but the thing is, I still am! Perhaps, I will have to try again, and perhaps yes it is a little frustrating but if we learn to slowly accept failure, admit our weaknesses, and persevere, then failure is such a great experience. I’m slowly learning to trust that fact. And I’ve booked my test again…
Be prepared to fail, try not to be frustrated and surround yourself in the graceful words of others. Oh, and pray for my next attempt if you please!
A journal entry from 9.1.16 – something I reserved for a gracious day like today.
Consumed. I’m so consumed. Consumed in the self-controlling, future-planning craze of heart. It’s as if this week, my heart’s been won. Won by the world’s idea of a wonderful life and deprived from the truth. I’ve had to fight exam pressure, make to-do lists, and strive towards new year’s resolutions…
I’m floating around, in this little foolish head of mine; the one that so easily forgets the importance of looking to the creator of all things. And the result? I’m dwelling on disappointment. Dwelling upon the frustration that comes with not performing as well as I’d hoped – as well as I have previously. Not to mention the impatience that comes with future university plans…
Today I’m living, almost as if I’m still waiting for life to start… Everyday brings a new addition to my future plan – I think I’m onto age 35 already and it’s not slowing down. My heart is displaced, looking to the future yet searching for a present moment. I’m forgetting the here and now.
The thing is, my life will never go to plan – nor will it ever go perfectly. In fact, the only thing that dreaming does, is convert your heart to the pursuit of self-glory. Where does this lead? It leads away from everything that I’ve built my life upon. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have desires, or look forward to things, but ultimately, place these in God’s hands rather than our own.
Foundations are vital – and they are to be in truth. Our lives are completely out of our own hands. I’m no more important than anyone else. Our lives are most likely to appear to be ordinary for at least 90% of the time. Truth means accepting this – and being excited anyway!
I’m still trying to get my head around this whole thing – again another thing that sends an initial wave of disappointment through my blood.
But I guess that’s it, right? God is the invisible God. A mystery. We will never understand everything and we will never be sin free. God sent Christ anyway! He sent him into the world, to reveal little bits of the mystery to us. And to make us holy through the cross.
God is faithful and God is good – always! So why do I feel so mid-air, half-empty? Because I’ve taken my eyes off the prize. I’ve forgotten what it means to truly live – to root myself in love, be thankful and trust my saviour…
I’ll never understand. I’ll never accomplish what I think needs to be accomplished. I’ll never see my dreams come true, which yes may kind of suck… But to know that my God knows my heart, and is going to fulfil things that I would have dreamt of, if I had known what He knows, is so much greater.
Christ allows grace to sink in, declares me as good enough and changes my heart to love the life that He’s given me, and will continue to grow. Living for God isn’t easy, nor is giving Him everything. But His love gives life to the full, and His spirit within me gives life to the full – and says yes to the immeasurably more of today.
Lord have mercy on me, a sinner – I love you, and wish to know you more today. You are doing immeasurably more than I could ever imagine. May my heart look towards this, and to where you have placed me, right now today.
Advancing church perhaps, sounds a little trivial – isn’t church just somewhere we go to worship? Or should we be taking advantage of our time there for growth, reflection and direction? If so, how exactly can we advance our Sundays?
I want to talk about a time, before Jesus, and a story that can be found in Nehemiah 8:15-12…
In the seventh month, all the Israelites came together, to listen to Ezra bring the book of the law before a great assembly. As He preached, they listened with heart, but not only this, their yearn for God carried a response – they began to praise God, and they bowed down to worship – they heard God calling them, and they surrendered to the next journey in their lives.
Whilst this was going on, the teachers of the law read from the bible (book of law) but also took time to explain it; they ensured that everybody was able to understand what it meant to follow God, and God spoke through these teachers into the hearts of the Israelites. In fact, when we think about it, if these teachers had not been alert, had not been paying attention to God within their own individual lives, then many Israelites would have gone home without responding. They would have fallen short. The attention of the teachers was vital.
But what has this got to do with advancing church? The Israelites didn’t just go to worship, they went to listen and respond – to advance church…
When I began to read this passage, verse 9 really stood out to me – “this day is holy, do not mourn or weep.” When we come together, listen and respond to God’s message, it’s so holy! However, often these responses can be outlining areas for growth, and it’s so easy to become overwhelmed by tears of guilt, fear and weakness; so much so that we stand grief-stricken. Yet this is not the answer – don’t let your human self blind you from God’s holiness, because in these moments, God is revealing himself through your weakness, leading you onwards and allowing you to encounter the God who made the universe! So be still, and don’t grieve – instead, rejoice, praise God, and celebrate what God has spoken to you either through your own thoughts, or the words of others.
Oh, and thank God for a new understanding – just as the Israelites, celebrated with great joy!
This story is such a great example of hearts, yearning, and seeking God in His fullness! The Israelites were together on the 7th month – nowadays, we get the chance to advance our faith, every single week! As well as daily through personal studies! Just like the Israelites, it’s important that each time, we reflect, respond and worship – a little rule of three. After some thought, I came to realise areas in my own church life, that I need to change/advance and so I thought I’d share:
- Listen with more heart – start having the intention, of response! To start to take notes in a service, prepared to learn something afresh.
- During worship/praise sessions, simply pray and ask God to come, and speak in me again – to welcome the Holy Spirit into my life, to provoke response and deepen my journey of faith.
- Stop focusing on “making myself better” and be still, focusing on an image, on the cross, or on the silence – leaving room for God to come and move.
- After church, review notes, close the door, pray, and reflect. Use the privacy to respond in heart – set a target for the week and fulfil it, hand in hand with God.
- Pay attention – God may be speaking, and asking me to respond by telling another, just like the teachers of the law.
There are so many ways to seek God more – these are the things God placed has placed on my own heart after reading Nehemiah. Go, pray and ask God to deepen your faith, help you to get more out of church, and ultimately say yes to response!
Last weekend, I took a road trip and in the car on the way home, I read my readings for the day. As I rode down country lanes in the dark, God opened my heart to something often found to be challenging. Why is it that people don’t always get the ‘good stuff’ that they ask for, and how can God be loving when many describe Him as angry? I encourage you to read these small sections, before returning to read what I’m about to say: Micah 2:6-11 and Romans 8:1-4, both in the message translation…
In the Micah passage, people were letting things get in between their relationship with their Father. They saw God as a good God, and so they prayed for better lives – wine, possessions, friendships. They saw God as a ‘reward card,’ and as a pit-stop in their search for happiness. However, they failed to realise that in God himself, they would find true happiness. To realise that God being a great provider didn’t mean new wine and highway reputations…
God is a provider, of spiritual health, success, finance and ultimately, love. He does answer prayers, but only those He knows will benefit us – those that are in his plan. He grants only goodness. You see, these people in the days of Micah (and unfortunately still today) were so caught up on materialistic happiness that it got in the way of God. How? It made them want more, and also, when it wasn’t granted, they became down – they began to doubt God’s goodness. This desire to live a ‘city grounded life’ blinded them so see the importance of being small, humble, and dependent on the Lord. They missed out on the true blessings, that were in Him.
This ‘search for happiness’ and ‘doubt of God’s goodness’ that still goes on today, makes God angry. But again, this anger is not a fire blazing anger that many view it as – no. This anger, is simply a desperate desire to be our father – a love so great that when we look elsewhere for happiness, God cries his heart out. Why? Because he wants us to have the best life, and we will only find this when we rest in his arms. The arms that formed us…
Besides, his loving anger is no longer – we live after Christ, whom in God’s anger, was sent as a bond of love. To die for all of the times when we’ve failed at things, and when we’ve gone the wrong way – this anger and sacrifice has granted freedom. For now there is no shame nor condemnation in Jesus.
God is good, and we can trust in him to feed us spiritually – to bring us joy, and fulfil his faithful promises. Material possessions aren’t sinful but are blessings, however, if they get in between our perception of God, and take our hearts from the true home of happiness, it can be extremely dangerous.
Stop searching for happiness elsewhere, ground yourself in Christ, not within the architecture of marketed city living. Be thankful for what you have, and help others who have no faith, to understand the wonderful benefits of walking with Christ.
Recently, I found myself in the company of a friend who simply wanted to talk; I listened. Perhaps at first, I worried, doubting whether I had the wisdom or not to pursue any thoughts…
As we sat, under the stars (quite literally within the borders of a camp site), fireworks shot into the sky, and after a prayer, many things were very lovingly and equally discussed. One of the questions? Who am I? What is my identity?
F is for frustration. Often, within ourselves, we can reach a state of confusion (especially as young adults) during our journey to find ourselves: our home, friendships, inner emotions, as well as those intimate foundations. Perhaps, a stimulus unearths a strange feeling that we struggle to familiarise with. Or, I ask, have you ever struggled to befriend somebody, and wondered why?
I don’t know about you, but I regularly become overwhelmed as I ‘search’ to discover more about myself and who I really am – I get frustrated! My perfectionist ways cause me to jump to conclusions; eventually I discover an opposite answer (or a few), hitting the wall of frustration once more…
The thing is, a couple of nights ago during this blessed star-gazing hour, God began to reveal such a beautiful promise to my sister (in Christ) and I…
As Christians, we have faith in an awesome God who created each one of us – we are God’s masterpiece! All of our traits, emotions, and purposes, He chose. He knows our thoughts before we even think them – never mind say them! In psalm 139, it talks about how God knows us, and formed even the most inner parts of our identities: God cares!
Perhaps that’s just it – God spent time creating every tiny bit about us whether we like it or not. We ourselves, chose neither our families, nor our features. Most importantly, we didn’t create ourselves and therefore, this may explain the long, continuous journey, of frustratingly, attempting to understand ourselves.
Think of it like this: when an artist paints a portrait, he studies every detail, he layers paint over the undertones, he labours, pouring love into his picture… The artist knows his intentions, and the times that he struggled to capture a certain light. But what about the viewer? They see the portrait as it is, and yes, over time, as they study it, they may gain an insight. However, unlike the artist, they don’t see everything: the pencil marks, the type of canvas, the emotions that the painter experienced whilst creating… Why? They didn’t create it.
In the same way, although we can try, we will never fully understand everything about ourselves. But God does. We don’t have to either – that’s what grace is for! It’s OK to feel frustrated, but know that God chose and designed everything about you: the things you understand, the things that hurt, the people you can associate with and those you can’t…
It’s beautiful, don’t you think? And as we sat under the stars, we began to smile – what a mystery God is! How wonderful are our unique identities, and (now that we have been reassured) how excited are we to continue, to allow Him to reveal pieces of these to us? For the rest of our lives!
So embrace the mystery of frustration, know that you’re chosen, and take small steps as you continue to discover who you are, in Christ.
What has God revealed to you recently regarding identity?
*disclaimer: the friend in this photo is not the same friend I chatted with.
Welcome back to the second part of the encounter series where we’ll be looking at Luke 1:26-56 where a young girl Mary has a life changing encounter…
I’ve always overlooked this bible passage, but recently, God has been revealing so much to me about bible passages such as this one. And since it’s all about an encounter, I thought I’d share it, along with the fact that I too have encountered, becoming inspired by Mary.
Linking with Zechariah, in verses 26-33, God was with Mary (a humble Virgin girl) and at the beginning of the encounter, Mary was scared. But, the angel once again brought peace along with a wonderful life-changing miracle. Mary was to have a child named Jesus who would be (and is) the Son of the Most High! This promised child reigns over all, and the promise was spoken to Mary during this remarkable encounter. Imagine an angel appearing and telling you that you will have a son, and that He will sit on the throne forever… I’d be mind blown!
Moving onwards to verses 34-38, we begin to see a common theme across the encounter series: doubt. Mary doubted for a moment, saying “how will this be since I am a virgin?” However, in contrast to Zechariah’s encounter, Mary does not allow doubt to silence her, but rather, puts her faith in God. She is reassured that the Holy Spirit had enabled her and that she lived under the holy overshadowing of encouragement and ability. The child that she bore was the Son of God, and with confidence in her relative Elizabeth’s (Zechariah’s wife) testimony, she quickly began to have faith in the word of God, spoken in this encounter. Unlike Zechariah, Mary submitted to God – despite her worry or humility, she trusted and allowed God’s plan to be fulfilled in her. The question is, have we submitted to God’s plan, whatever the cost? We know from Zechariah’s story that God has spoken words over our lives, but have you actually allowed that word to be established, in your free will, by praying, “Lord may your word be fulfilled and may I encounter you”?
Mary’s encounter with God wasn’t over. Verses 39-45: Mary had believed and encountered, but after the encounter she didn’t just revel in the light of it, herself – she immediately went to her relative, to testify and to encourage! As she shares in this encouragement, the Holy Spirit works through their friendship and reveals even more to them. The encounter is ongoing. In fact, Elizabeth begins to encounter God, as she is overcome, and she realises just who this child is – her Lord! In this moment, she praises God for his work, and for his desire to work in their family. But mostly, Elizabeth blesses Mary for her faith – a faith that God fulfills his promises. The thing is, we don’t just encounter God and that’s that, but once we encounter him, it changes our lives, and we continue to encounter him. Life in itself is an encounter, and it’s even greater when we go out and share, after each little, encounter along the way…
Finally, verses 46-56 really moved me. Mary was in so much awe of God – the Lord had revealed so much to her because of her faith and this made her rejoice. She realised how good God is; He thinks of and cares for his people – even lowly people. He notices us when we are not noticed by anyone else! Just as He transformed Mary, God lifts us up (calling us blessed) and does mighty things. God is full of mercy (showing compassion despite authority or right to punish) and this extends to all – old, young, past, present and future. All it takes is reverence – allowing our encounter to impact our lives. Once we allow Gods nature to impact the way we live, we step into eternal mercy and a family belonging. God even takes our pride which yes, may seem unfair, but God’s fills us with so much more – abundant, eternal riches! We are Abrahams descendants, and God wants you to encounter this, and also to know that He, is forever merciful!
Grab some paper or type in the comments, and honestly answer these questions for your own individual response.
Have you allowed God to fulfil his word for you? Do you want to submit to God and encounter Him, whether here for the first, or the fiftieth time*?How can you be impacted and move onwards from your encounters with God?
*if yes, please comment below or submit a prayer request so that I may pray and also chat about it with you on a personal level.
It’s official, it’s July and we are closer to the end of 2015 that to the start. For 2015, I set out to complete a giving project each month, in order to put love back into the community. Now that we are six months in, I felt that it was time to review the project so far, and launch project number 7…
The following review is not to boast about the giving that have been doing, but simply to follow up from the project launch and to give readers ideas of projects that they can get involved with. In fact, I very much disliked posting this review, and almost didn’t post it because I wanted to have humility. In the end, I decided to post it, in order to demonstrate the love that God is pouring into the community through this blog – not my works, but God’s – to hopefully inspire you to live a life of love.
January: bought cans of beans, and spaghetti, from a local store and donated it straight into the food bank. This was a fun first project, and the food bank is a very good cause.
February: launched the agape love challenge, carrying out raoks (random acts of kindness ) and encouraging all readers to get involved, sharing love. I loved how people got involved and made the valentines month, a month of true self-sacrificing love!
March: during March, I attended a World Share Moldova evening at a local church, all about the country of Moldova, and their issues with human trafficking. Moved by the issues, I donated the money that I would have spent on a giving project, towards the work of World Share out in Moldova.
April: following suit from March, within youth connections throughout the town in which I live, a youth leader decided to move permanently to Moldova, or at least for as long as God keeps him there. He goes to work for Operation Mobilisation in September. Many members of our community supported him with some money but also prayed for him throughout the month. Please join in prayer for his new life.
May: exams began in May, so I made up 14 little exam survival kits for my school friends and they went down really well. You can find the tutorial in the May archives!
June: a friend and I set out to the town centre with a bunch of flowers, where we handed out these flowers to people along with cards, telling them that it was a raok.
And so now July is well underway and this month I want to launch a ‘book of love challenge.’ The book of love challenge is simply to give a life changing book to somebody. This book can be anything from a novel, to a biography, poetry or even a bible! But the one rule, is that this book must be inspirational, full of encouragement, and given to somebody who really needs it!
So as we head into this challenge, with eyes open, I wish you the best! Instagram a picture of your book of love using #distinctivemodeBOL, or email to email@example.com with a caption explaining why it’s life changing to you! I can’t wait to see them all, and share them on the site!
The challenge runs from now, through until the end of August so get creative, find inspiration and share it with the community!
Over the next three weeks, here on Distinctivemode, we are launching an Encounter Series. Simply, each week we are going to be looking into three encounters in the beginning of Luke, between God and his people… The plan is to give insight, study together, share our individual insights in the comments, and mostly, to encounter God! In or out? Let’s get started!
Luke 1:5-25 tells the story of a wonderful encounter between God and Zechariah!
Firstly, take a look at verses 5-11. Here we see a righteous man encounter an angel – Zechariah encounters God in the temple, during worship. He was chosen, and as he stepped into the holy place (into God’s dwelling place) he immediately encountered God through the appearance of an angel! There was no-one else around – just him and God. This example gives so much to learn, but simply, it demonstrates how when we go before God, and invite him to dwell with us in worship, we encounter immeasurably more…
When we begin to talk about encounters with God, there is no doubt, that all of us at some point will begin to feel fear – after all, if an angel appeared in your church, service or bible study, you would definitely be nervous, even if only a little surprised! Encounters can be inexplicable and it certainly was for Zechariah, noted in verses 12-13: at the start of his encounter, Zechariah was fearful, however, this angel brought peace, encouragement, good news, and promise! When we encounter God, we are overcome with peace, love and grace, for God’s very nature is peace, love and grace. Just as it demonstrates, as much as we may fear an encounter with God, we can be confident and know that once we submit, and enter God’s presence, it’s not fearful at all, but wonderful, encouraging and peaceful!
But what was the purpose of the encounter? God spoke a promise over Zechariah, that his wife was to have a baby (v13) and that this child, was to be named John. God also spoke a promise over John’s life (v14-17) – God set his holy spirit in him and designed him for the wonders that he would later do; John was created for a purpose and this purpose was to make people prepared for the coming of Jesus. In the same way, God has fitted you for a purpose, and for an encounter(s) – to prepare one another for Jesus’ return!
Unfortunately, in verses 18-20, things begin to take a turn for the worse… Zechariah knew his weaknesses, and he allowed these the get in the way. He didn’t have faith that God could enable him (despite his weakness) and Elizabeth to have this promised child, and to bring him up. Zechariah doubted. Because of his doubt, Zechariah was left unable to speak – perhaps not as a punishment, but simply, because he doubted, he stepped outside of God’s presence and therefore, outside of the truth of God’s word? This may only be my interpretation, but either way, doubt hinders us, and brings us away from the truth, of God’s power to enable.
Ultimately, the promise was fulfilled and Elizabeth became pregnant. But the story isn’t over – Zechariah’s encounter with God relates to us all! God has spoken a promise over your life as He did to Zechariah about John. Through the holy spirit, God enables us the fulfil this purpose, for it’s God who works within us, and by coming into the presence of God (on an individual level) we can encounter Him in a wonderful way – this is where we gain encouragement, peace, joy, and promise. But most of all? In life, it’s so important that we don’t doubt ourselves; believe in yourself, despite your weaknesses, for it’s God who fulfils, and God who wants you to encounter Him! Don’t be silenced by doubt, but praise God in faith as He does immeasurably more!
How does Zechariah’s encounter inspire you? Share your insight in the comments – I’d love to read them!
Come back next Wednesday for the second in the series!
Recently, amongst busy life schedules, it’s when I pause, to read my bible, or jump into an important task, that I suddenly gain inspiration for a new blog post. I find myself writing in my thoughts, and become frustrated thinking, “Great, once again I gain inspiration, at the times that it’s not needed,” and I quickly open my planner, and jot down the thoughts, ready to write again later. However, whenever I return, I lose the train of thought and no longer feel able to go anywhere with such a post… I’ve done this a lot recently, and not just with blogging, but other aspirations have also suddenly awakened, and much to my dismay, I’ve delayed them, allowing them to fade whilst I ‘focus’ on what’s important. What has this got to do with faith? Well that’s the thing, sometimes God directs us towards things, and inspires us, at times that don’t seem to make sense, or perhaps it seems like a ‘distraction’ from what’s ‘important’ – but God doesn’t always work exactly in time with our individual plans. One thing’s for sure, He always works according to his plan…
Philippians 2:13 (NLT) For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
God is not distant – when we place our lives into his loving arms, and decide to follow Christ as Lord (as our King!), God comes to dwell within us. No longer are we ourselves, but we become a new creation in the spirit, which works through us, not just for works, but to enlighten our lives with love, happiness, joy and ultimately, the passion to voluntarily come to know God more! Do you see? Living for God is about living in spirit, and being obedient, and this obedience is not an offence, or a set of chores, but simply a bond of trust – obedience in spirit is about saying, “Okay God, I trust you – may I be open to say yes to whatever or wherever you may call me, and to truly live as a new creation.” Yet what is so wonderful, is that God is already working in us, and helping us to say yes to him! Ask him, and He will come! And it’s in this moment, when we find our passions changing, our inspirations awakening at the most inconvenient of times, and dreams that we’ve never dreamt, coming alive…
To put this into perspective, and hopefully to get across, what I’m trying to say, I want to use an example of my own experience: for years, I’ve had my life planned – education, university, job, and then family. I knew from a young age that this would be the plan, and for about a year, I’ve had fine art at Oxford University bookmarked on my web browser. I was convinced, that this was my gift, and also my duty; that as an ‘intelligent’ person, I should definitely go to university. I had to – it was what the world said was the norm. I had this mindset, that if I didn’t go, I’d be wasting my life… However, 6 months ago, I started to realise little, subtle changes… Firstly, I began to get inspiration for the faith category on here, and since then, I’ve found views growing. Then, I began to become passionate for a different future – a future without university. Suddenly, I found myself dreaming dreams, of gap years and over a period of time, God’s been putting encouragements, organisations and even prophetic words into random moments, perhaps (I’m not saying that this is definite) confirming that a gap year is the right thing to do. In fact, now that I look back, I can see God, appearing and random times, and working in my heart, giving me vision for his work, and the adventures that He wants to take me on! He began to give me inspiration for more blog posts, almost speaking into my thoughts, writing with me, and then the word ministry just kept popping up, into so many different situations – just last week, I received an email from YFC asking if they could feature me on their website… This blog began as a hobby, yet now, here is God, growing it. In fact, if I’m honest, it scares me a little bit, to think of the responsibilities that this blog is bringing about, but it’s a good fear – a knowledge, that God will move mountains, and that he will always fulfil his plans, even if at times I don’t imagine myself capable…
Who knows if I’ll go to university, or if this blog really will grow, but one thing I do know is that God works in ways that we do not expect – he does immeasurably more. And all it takes is faith! It’s not about works, its simply about saying, “okay God, this wasn’t expected but lets do this together.” And so, as I write this, I vow, no longer will I jot down my ideas, but when I receive inspiration, I will throw off all that hinders, and all focuses that perhaps seem important. For God’s plan is bigger, and not only this, but we can voluntarily go to God, in faith, through prayer, for advice – to seek his guidance, and ask for vision, so that we may begin to truly, live out each and every adventure, that He has planned.
So ask God to help you say yes, don’t ignore inspiration, and be excited, to change plans, and follow God’s own, unimaginable plan – run the race that God has marked out for you, towards the wonders of such heavenly joy! But mostly, be patient – for God will work when we least expect it, yet in perfect timing!
The year 2015, for me, awaits the arrival of many opportunities and mostly, has been spent anticipating the arrival of Summer, and the adventures that it brings. School for me, although enjoyable, and a great place for character growth as well as responsibility (holding the title of Head Girl), was a cause for stress during my last two years. In fact, looking back, I can honestly admit that the whole of Year 10 was filled with either stress related anxiety, or friendship strains. I was desperate to leave school, and move forward onto college life. However, over the past, final year, my stress has disappeared, my views changed, and now, whilst sitting the largest exam period of my life so far, I have not stressed once! Not only this, but through the past five years, I’ve become so close to many of my ‘classmates’, that actually, I really am going to miss them…
Two weeks ago, I sat an exam, and at the end, the whole year group was told to simply get up, leave, and only return for exams; my heart beat as the moment that I’d waited for, for years, came into existence. Yet, I didn’t feel satisfied… Why? Because as soon as the time comes to leave, we discover the impact of people upon our lives! Day in, day out, we come into contact with others – whether acquaintances or close friends – and our being thrives upon interaction. Even leaving a crowd of strangers would have the same affect; when we see other people day in, day out, we become attracted, to the flair, the conversations, and simply the appearances. Over the past two years, I’ve spent 8 hours a week with my science class alone, and we became a family, of jokes, encouragement, and most of all, the memories that we have together are priceless: never, in all of my life, would I have imagined laughing about our teachers’ experience at a convent school, or managing to blow up an experiment in the labs, sending glass flying everywhere! And it’s exactly this, that grips us the most – people form memories, and although we may all go separate ways, memories always sustain. There’s a beautiful remnant of each, and every interaction, here, whether with a stranger or a brother, and that, for me, is where heaven meets earth…
Having left my school, I return for each examination with gratitude, thankful for the memories, and the interaction once more; soon, prom will arrive and after a night of happiness, we shall all go our separate ways, but as always, the memories will forever be in my heart… And those memories will be of laughter, support and gratefulness!
So whatever situation you are in currently, focus on the people around you – make memories that last, and appreciate what you have, for when the time comes to move onwards, with the flow of life, it’s this companionship and interaction that will be missed the most…