Put it down

“That’s not yours, put it down”

If I had a pound for every time I say that to my boys. They grab hold of everything, fighting over toys, books, magazines you name it. They always seem to want what the other one has, and rather than receive the gift, toys or sweets that I have kept aside, intended for them, they would rather clutch tightly to what doesn’t belong to them.

“Like mother, like son then” God whispered to me.

You see I am so quick to hold on to something that wasn’t intended for me. I may have grown out of holding on tightly to a toy or a teddy that I didn’t want to give up, but I have a hard time releasing my grip on habits that I should have dropped a long time ago. I cling to relationships that I cannot redeem and I continue to carry baggage that could have been unpacked a long time ago.

When we are holding something in our hands that does not belong to us, we are not free to receive what we do deserve.

God intended for me to be free in a bound society, to be full of joy in a negative atmosphere and to be a light in a dark world. Jesus died so that I could live life and live it to the full, (John 10:10) and the Holy Spirit lives within me to encourage and empower me. The God head three in one did not intend for me to be weighed down with worry, to be burdened with bad relationships or to be fearful of my future.

As a parent I urge my children to drop what they don’t need or what isn’t theirs so that their hands are free to hold what I want to give them. Our Heavenly Father operates in exactly the same way with us, His children. The burden of guilt or shame is not yours to bear, the weight of financial worry or wayward children is not yours to carry, the heaviness of grief and loneliness should not lay upon your shoulders.

It was and is all carried by Jesus on the cross.

I don’t for one minute want to assume that the Christian walk is an easy one, much less that you can click your fingers and forget all your troubles. But instead, can I encourage you my friend to lift your eyes to Jesus and lift your arms so that He take the load from you. In return He will place in your free hands His peace, His love and His strength, in even the most dire of circumstances.

Jesus knows what you are going through, He knows the muscles you have developed from carrying this unnecessary load over the years will not release your load without a fight. Jesus knows it is not easy to change your habits and start shedding the weight, but shed it you must, because when your heart is humbled and your hands are empty, it is then that God can place the greatest gift in to your hands; The Present.

And this is truly a gift to be cherished each and every day.






Time to write His story…

In my very first year as a Christian, a respected woman in my church (then Kings Community Church, Wolverhampton) prophesied over me that she saw a pen in my future. She could see me wielding a beautiful marble effect pen and she asked me if writing was something that was important to me. I replied that I had always loved writing from a very early age, penning hundreds if not thousands of poems and short stories, not to mention documenting my childhood in my much-loved diaries. However, at the time of receiving this picture from God I was a practising Veterinary Nurse with little time for writing, save for the medical notes on my patients’ hospitalisation charts. I thanked her for the prophecy, and endeavoured to make an effort to continue my personal journalling whilst quietly parking the picture and getting on with my life.

Ten years on I am now starting to fulfil the prophecy. This was quite a surprise for me, and came about after many twists and turns in my journey with God. The past ten years have brought me some of the greatest pain and greatest joy that I have ever known, and, true to form, I have chosen to share my story with you in writing.

I became a Christian in May 2006, shortly before qualifying as a Veterinary Nurse, after a painful relationship break up. Needless to say, where my first love moved out God moved in and He filled me with a love so strong, so deep and so unimaginably wide that it soothed my soul. I found that my faith in Jesus brought me into the family of Christ, the church, and I was suddenly inextricably linked to and with hundreds of like-minded people at my local church, not to mention the millions of believers worldwide. I had found a spiritual family to which I would belong forever.

Like any new Christian, my journey with God has not always been easy, as I faced overcoming nicotine addiction and some serious attitude adjustments, but I have never once felt alone or unable to cope thanks to the Holy Spirit and the network of Christian friends that God placed in my life.

Only two years after finding Jesus, I found my soul mate. David Edwards is without a doubt one of the most amazing people I have ever met, and not least because he chose to spend his life with me! His generous heart, discerning spirit and strong values bowled me over equally as hard as his dashing good looks and impressive 6’6″ stature did. I had prayed for a husband and my prayer was very specific. I love the fact that our heavenly father is so concerned with our requests that he answers them to the letter, and in my case he literally ticked every box on my prayer list, plus adding in a few bonus features such as being a Welshman.

Just two years later we were married and I was starting a new chapter in my career as well as my personal life as I left the nursing profession in favour of an administrative ‘9-5’ job working as an Executive Assistant. Suddenly I found myself immersed in reports, minutes and marketing, and as I revelled in my new role I rediscovered my passion for writing. Shortly after my first son was born in 2008 I began writing a blog. It started off as an online diary documenting my love of singing as part of the worship band at Renewal Christian Centre coupled with an interest in crafting and my adventures as a new mom. The blog has continued to evolve as I have dipped in and out of it over the years and is now in the present day format as my musings as a mom in ministry who loves Jesus and wants to share his love with anyone who will listen.

Following the birth of my second son, and after trying my hand at various self-employed ventures, a friend, Jess, from my old church in Wolverhampton (LifeSpring) happened to tweet about the fact that her editor was looking for freelance writers and would anyone be interested in the role. This was like a lightbulb moment for me. I felt my spirit leap and thought ‘I could do that, wow that would be a dream job for me.’ I replied to her tweet and she messaged me the editors details and I began writing articles for the editor the very next day! Such was my enthusiasm and eventual success, that I realised I could actually write for a living, and in 2013 my business Rachel Edwards Writes was born.

I have now been self-employed as a writer for almost two years and can honestly say I have loved every minute, writing everything from strap lines and songs through to website content and articles on subjects ranging from fragrances and forklift trucks to digital marketing and SEO. When I first began to write, my CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) Dave said ‘You should write a book’. I scoffed and said I had a long way to go before I reached that stage in my writing career, and besides what would I write about? Writing a book takes time and energy, something that was somewhat lacking in my busy life as a mom of two boisterous boys, running my own business. However something shifted in my spirit, and God whispered into my heart ‘You have a story to tell’.

So here I am, over five years since first putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys!) as a blogger, and two years in to my professional career as a writer, I am starting my first book. I feel that the phrase first book is rather ambitious as it suggests a second (or maybe even a third!) but the stories that are in my heart are not just mine, they are God’s. He continues to use every day situations to speak into my heart about his will for his sons and daughters, how much he loves us and how much he has in store for us. God has given me the gift, not to mention the amazing privilege, of writing that I might glorify Him, and I want to thank him and exalt him with it. So my first book is mapped out, the subject inspiration in my heart and God’s message downloaded in my head ready to pour out on to the pages.

Here goes nothing…..

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