Faith, Lifestyle

He who holds the stars

Are you a perennial planner? A self confessed striver? Busily plotting your life to the nth degree then panicking when things take a detour? Yup me too.

I like to know where I am headed, what I need to do to get there and how long it will take. But so often this doesn’t take into account God’s opinion on the matter.

Our future is something we obsess over, yet we so easily forget that the One who flung the stars into space has our life in His hands. We hope, but He HOLDS. We try but He TRIUMPHS.

We hope, but He holds. We try but He triumphs.

Funnily enough God has been whispering this into my soul over the last few weeks and months but today at church I felt like He sealed it in for good.

Our current sermon series is all about Peter, and today we looked at the last time he met Jesus after the resurrection. Jesus had told Peter that he would be the rock on which Jesus would build the church, yet Peter had denied Jesus three times. We pick up the story where Jesus is risen, but hasn’t visited the disciples in a while. Peter is sat in his fishing boat, heart heavy and head in hands after a long and unsuccessful night of fishing. He must have been thinking to himself, “What now? I thought I would be a great fisher of men, yet I can’t even catch a fish. I let Jesus down and everyone know it.”

It can be so easy to beat ourselves up when things don’t turn out as we planned. So often we get despondent and downhearted, but this isn’t what Gods wants for us.

There is no point trying to know every turn and plan every step. That is not faith.

There is nothing to gain when we do things in our strength. But God’s gets all the glory when we let Him take over.

We are called to follow Jesus, to watch where he walked and place our feet in those footprints. Why follow Jesus? Because we can trust Him. Our happiness is His priority and He will take excellent care of us.

He who holds the stars will hold our hand. He always has and always will.

So wherever this finds you today, won’t you stop and be still. Stop striving and start living, because Jesus didn’t die so you could find your future. He died so you could find freedom. And that my friend, is a gift that you can enjoy right here, right now.

R x

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Faith

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.

 

R

 

 

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Faith

Time to let go

I am an eternal optimist always searching for a silver lining, but there are days when finding the little ray of hope in your heart is like finding a needle in a haystack, even for me.

I know I am profoundly loved, I know that I am profoundly blessed. I know that I have an amazing network of people in my life who build me up, spur me on and encourage me to fly. Even so, as a thirty something married mom of two, there is still one whom I seek approval from. There is still one that has a permanent place in my heart, one that I want to please, to make proud, to find approval with, yet I fear that may never come.

It is hard to hold on to hope after decades of heart ache. It is hard to not lose grip when your knuckles are blanched and your cheeks are stained with tears. It is hard not to lose heart, lose your temper and throw caution to the wind.

But it is harder still to let go.

In my mind, letting go implies that you don’t care, that you are better off alone or that you think you can do better. This couldn’t be further from the truth, but sometimes letting go is exactly what we need to do, because in holding on to something with both hands we can’t reach out and grab the opportunities in life that are passing us by.

In holding on to a relationship that is not reciprocated we can limit our lives. In clinging to the coffin praying for a resurrection, we could find ourselves inadvertently buried too.

God didn’t create me to hold onto someone else’s coat tails or hang on their every word. He created me to stand tall, be who He called me to be and step out into my own God-given destiny.

Jesus didn’t die so that I could be held back by someone who won’t hold me. He died so that He could hold me in His own arms, so that He could take my hand and lead me through the valleys to the mountain tops.

Jesus’ love is like a balm that soothes even the deepest wound, however amidst my own sense of injustice I suddenly remembered that Jesus loves them as much as He loves me. He doesn’t take sides, He sees them through the eyes of His loving Father, He sees their hurt and heartache too, He knows every hair on their head and He wants to wrap His ever-loving arms around them as tightly as He can.

Love isn’t easy and it sure isn’t pretty. I am called to love and love is what I will do as long as I live, but loving doesn’t mean limiting myself. Loving means forgiveness and the liberty to move on, regardless of whether your loved one chooses to follow suit.

I wrote a song this week and here is a snapshot of the lyrics that poured out of my heart;

After all this time, you’d think I’d realise
After all this time, you’d think I see the lies
After all these years you’ve brought me tears its true,
Now the time has come, I’m done chasing you.

(Chorus)

But oh, I still want to make you see,
The woman you made in me.
The one who holds her head up high, The one who looks to the sky,
But oh, now I know, its time to let you go.

I will never ever stop loving, and I will never ever stop living in hope that things will one day be different. But until then, I need to let go of what won’t hold me and reach out to the One who will.

Thank you Jesus that You will never ever let me go.

R

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Faith

Should old acquaintance be forgot…

So tomorrow is New Years Eve. When the clock strikes twelve and we ring in 2016, each of us has the chance to start afresh. We can’t wait to recreate ourselves, promising to be better, fitter, or more committed. Just like getting a brand new diary with fresh crisp pages that we cannot wait to fill in with our very best handwriting, we enter the New Year with heady expectation of promise and potential, filled with excitement and awe at the possibilities that 2016 might bring.

But while we are very good at welcoming the future, we are not so competent at forgetting the past.

Should old acquaintance be forgot… the old song sings of forgiveness and forward thinking not bitterness and reminiscing.

2015 has been something of a miraculous year for us personally as God has provided us with our very first home – something that was a physical impossibility for us in the natural but God ordained it and engineered it in the supernatural. My husband and I have grown hugely in our relationship with each other and with God as we have navigated new territory in pastoral care at our church Renewal, and I have been blessed with some of the very best friends that a girl could wish for. They truly are a support network like I have never known and we have shared laughter, tears and tantrums (our children’s!!) over the past 12 months.

However 2015 has also brought private pain, loss that has cut deep in to my heart, rocking my very core as I have questioned my identity and worth while struggling to hold onto things or people that no longer want to hold on to me.

I have had to lay down gifts for a season and pick up new batons, I have had to learn to hold things loosely and understand that God is working through each and every season for a reason.

I have had to accept that I am not in control, nor can I control others, I must leave them in the hands of my heavenly Father who loves them more than I will ever know and sees them in a way that I cannot right now.

So as I sit cross-legged on my sofa, tapping away onto my laptop while my hubby watches Top Gear, I am contemplating tomorrow evening as my little old clock strikes twelve and we commence that age old tradition of singing Auld Lang Syne. Will I truly be able to let go of the old acquaintance of  abandonment? the despair of disappointment? the heartache of not being held? the wonder of what else I could do to make myself more worthy?

Then, once again I am rocked by the revelation that Jesus loves me just as I am.

That I don’t need to do or say anything to make Him love me more than He does right now.

And that the gifts He has placed within me will be grown in due course and give glory to God and God alone in His perfect timing.

I don’t know what you have been through in 2015, nor are facing for your future but I know this: My God has a plan for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

Because of His love I urge you my friend to take a cup o’ kindness and not bitterness as you raise a glass to toast the New Year.

So why not let this years old acquaintances be truly forgotten and grab hold of the promises of prosperity, of hope, of love and of faith in your future.
R

 

 

 

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