Tag Archives: plans

the empty hand

I am not incomplete

I do not feel like part of me is missing

I know that I am loved

And the One who made me

Made me enough

On my own

But sometimes

As I walk along

And my hand hangs by my side

And there is something missing

My hand needs another hand to hold

‘It is not good for man to be alone’

We are made for community

But more than that

We are built for relationships

Intimacy

I know that one day

My longing will be met

My hand won’t be empty

but treasured

held

and later, maybe,

smaller hands

will cling to mine

and call me home

But until then

I wait

and trust that it will be

worth the wait

for the hand made to hold mine

Normal service now resuming (hopefully…)

IMG_0384

First of all, apologies for no posts in nearly a month… A lot has been happening!

Three weeks ago I started both a new job and a new course. The job is a part-time admin position, mainly taken so that I could afford to do the course. It’s been great fun so far, but as with all new jobs there is a lot to learn!

The new course is a Masters in Integrative Theology with the London School of Theology. Again, it is part-time and for me is being done entirely online, which is very new, hi-tech and exciting! Three weeks in, I’m starting to get used to what I need to do each week, and finally getting the idea of what the course is about (it’s the first year the course has run, so there wasn’t a great deal of information before we began!) In future posts I’ll hopefully be able to outline a bit more of what I’m learning and where the course is taking me mentally, but I’m still trying to get my head round it a little bit, so watch this space!

I’ve also been battling a demon cold and trying to re-establish a social life in the town I grew up in since I’ve moved home, so it’s been pretty full on the last couple of weeks. I’m settling into a new church where I already feel I am challenged and growing, and I’ve met some really lovely people. I’m looking forward to getting involved and serving the community there.

All of these exciting things going on means I find I now have less time for writing for fun, meaning I am afraid for now I will only be able to post once a week for the foreseeable future, and may miss some weeks entirely. I hope that things will start to settle down as I get more used to the rhythms of work, study and social-life-ness, and that will mean I’m able to post more often again. I enjoy writing this blog too much to let it go, especially now I’ve paid for a domain name!

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope what I write inspires, challenges and encourages you, it certainly does me as I’m writing it! Please continue to travel with me.

My #Next5

2014-08-29 22.05.55

 

I’m part of a pretty awesome online community, that is constantly challenging me to dream bigger and to chase those dreams down. (You can read more about what this group means to me here).

This week, another member of the community came up with a great challenge, and is encouraging us to spread the word.

Before I go into too much detail about what #Next5 means, let me fill you in on what I was doing right before I heard anything about #Next5. 

I had just sent off an essay and a written interview as the second stage of an application process for a Masters course. In Theology. This is something that I have really wanted to do for a long time but something always got in the way. Even as I was writing the essay, my mind kept asking me: “Are you sure you’re clever enough to do this? Do you even understand what you’re writing? Better to give up right now…”

I feel like, when I let other people tell me I can’t achieve my dreams (or I assume they will tell me I can’t achieve my dreams, so I smother the dreaming and try to be sensible) they are just agreeing with what I’ve been telling myself all along. I’m my biggest enemy. But no more.

Kevin Buchanan, of livingoutmyjourney.com, has challenged us this week to dream big, and imagine what we want our lives to be like in 5 years time. Now, with the way things have gone in the last few years of my life, I’ve given up on making any long term plans, but I was really encouraged by his video and blog post (available at the bottom of the page) and the subsequent photos my friends posted on Facebook, to come up with a few things I would like to have achieved by this time in 2019.

2014-08-26 21.01.36

Actually, I took this photo on Tuesday, and I think I want to dream a bit bigger now. But anywho. The point is, I know with a bit of hard work and hustle, I can achieve these things (apart from the man of my dreams one, maybe…?). It won’t be easy. It may not happen. But I’m going to do everything in my power to make these things happen.

So my challenge to you, dear reader, is the same as Kevin’s: what do you want to have achieved over the next 5 years? Write it down, take a photo, share it with the hashtag #Next5 and then stick it up somewhere to inspire you. Mine would be above my desk, if I had one…

For Kevin’s original post, go here.

And you can watch the video below…

 

When a ‘No’ feels like a win

I officially finished my job yesterday, meaning today I am officially out of work.

At this point I feel like I should be crazily job hunting and widening my search for work, but actually I am relaxed. I have options and I have time. I’d rather have the ‘right’ job than just any job.

Last week I had a preliminary interview for a job that on paper seemed like a brilliant opportunity. It was in  church youth work (my field) and included training at the local Bible college. The staff and elders from the church whom I met at the interview were all lovely, and friendly and put me at my ease as soon as I arrived. They asked all the right questions, and listened to my story without judgement. They appreciated and understood what I had gained from my life experiences and how that influenced my work. The answered all my questions with what I wanted and hoped to hear from potential employers, and from a church family. The church itself was a lovely building, recently refurbished, with great spaces and equipment for the youth work. In all it ticked nearly all of my boxes of what I’m looking for in a job.

But I left with the feeling that it wasn’t the right opportunity for me, though I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. When people asked, I said I wasn’t sure that the village location would suit me (I’ve realised now that I am definitely a city girl at heart) but there was more to it than that. It just didn’t feel right.

I had a call from the church leader in the evening after the pre-interview saying that they would be taking up references that week and shortlisting for the formal interviews and would be in touch at the end of the week. I thanked them and said that although I was still interested in the post but would appreciate having a few days to think about it.

In my heart I knew that I wouldn’t be taking the job, but practically in my head I told myself I needed to think more about it. Because, without a job lined up, could I really afford the luxury of turning down a job?

So as the week went by I grew more sure that I was making the right decision, but was really nervous that the church would call and offer me a formal interview and I would have to turn it down.

But when they called… the church leader said that they had really enjoyed meeting me, I came over really well in the pre-interview and ticked all the right boxes in terms of what they were looking for… but… as they had talked and prayed about it they felt sure that it wouldn’t be the right situation for me. I was so relieved, I was over the moon. I explained that I had been feeling the same way, that I was really impressed by everything I’d seen and heard but just knew it wasn’t right for me.

So here’s the thing. Here’s the takeaway – God knows what He is doing. And He tells us. We just have to listen. The Holy Spirit speaks to everyone and there are beautiful moments where what we think God is saying to us is confirmed through what He is saying to other people.

I may not know right now where I am headed next. I have ideas, and they are exciting and I am waiting to see how the opportunities in front of me play out… But I have no definite answers right now. But I have hope. God knows where I am going, and He is at work, behind the scenes, preparing the place for me.

I’ve given up making plans for the future. I have ideas, dreams of what I want for my life, and I know God has an amazing plan for me that will let me achieve those dreams to His glory.IMG_0034

“And I will lead the blind

in a way that they do not know,

in paths that they have not known

I will guide them.

I will turn the darkness before them into light,

the rough places into level ground.

These are the things I do,

and I do not forsake them”

Isaiah 42v16

It is not me

It is not me

that has the plan

or needs the plan

I have dreams

Let me never settle

for less than Your dreams for me

Such big ideas

Of where I want to go

Of what I want my life to be

And You see that

Because they are dreams

which You gave me

But that’s what I love about You

You speak – things happen

Ideas into reality

Nothing becomes something

Not just something

Something AMAZING

You are not done yet

I am a work in progress

But Your Word always wins

You always know

What I need to hear

To keep me believing

 

IMG_1115