I realise it’s been much too long since I’ve blogged… so long that I had actually ran through my website subscription haha OOPS! I was wondering why people were beginning to ask me if I still plan to blog, which I do. I am just changing things up a bit.
As you may have noticed, I gave the blog a “facelift”. Nothing fancy, just a change. New year, new blog. So much change has happened in our family’s lives since May (my last blog post) and, of course, since we first moved to Edinburgh. We’ve changed individually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I even made a month long visit back home to Canada and that was when we really started to noticed our family’s changes, all for the better. With that being said, my husband is also going to help tend to the blog with me now and again. It’s not just my journey, it’s ours.
We’ve known all along that this pilgrimage here for our family is not just for Chris’s education, but also for me, and for our girls. God called us out and we were obedient. Sometimes crying and kicking through the process but I am so grateful that we did this and are still doing it anyway.
At some point I will catch you up on what we’ve learned in our first year but, today there is something else that’s been on my heart to share. I’ve started journalling a bit more, which is also why perhaps I’ve been lacking on here some. I believe with every fibre of my being that our family is here in the UK for a purpose. God has been equipping us and preparing us for years for this and always see bits of pieces of why. We have a call on our lives. There is something that Chris brings with his intelligence and vast array of knowledge in Theology, and he has a way with people that is inviting, he can relate and make people feel welcomed and loved. His heart is for teaching and we are starting to see that how we thought he’d be teaching is possibly starting to look a bit different. I’ll expand on that another time. Chris is still learning and figuring out God’s calling as he still works towards his Ph.D and we know that will be revealed with time.
More recently, God’s been revealing to me that mine and Chris’ vocation is in ministry together, as a team which I always had a hard time seeing before because we were just walking at a different pace spiritually….and we always will. This is probably because God is teaching us and walking with us differently because Chris and I are not the same and we each bring something special and different into our ministry, but now things are becoming bit more clear as to how God is planning to use us together and we are so excited. If you are unaware, for those who may be newer readers, my ministry is leading worship.
One day I’ll get into my testimony regarding my past, but I never let my past define who I am. I learned that God will use us, including our mistakes and make them into some good for the future. I’ m not defined by my past, but I’ve been shaped through it. The hard part about getting to that realisation is learning through it and allowing God to make the positive changes happen which also means facing the demons we once held or were holding us. We are being taught how to use our experiences for God’s glory. However, this type of teaching is an ongoing, forever thing, for as long we are here on this earth. We are constantly evolving and changing and so do our circumstances which means you might have been taught the same lesson a few times, but eventually we catch on.
Over the last couple of years I was feeling that the Holy Spirit was asking me to give up parts of myself that connect me to the painful parts of my past. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve lived an incredible life, I grew up in a strong, loving, Christian home. I thankfully grew up knowing Jesus, but being that strong willed and stubborn person I am, I was always out to prove myself, to gain attention, and to seek the approval of others. This way of living came with its consequences and got me into trouble along the way. Whilst trying to win everyone over, it wasn’t Jesus whom I was after. I’ve always been a very bubbly, happy, outgoing, life of the party kind of girl, but that “happiness” was not real, it was temporary, it was a mask I put on to ignore the real pain I was feeling. Deep inside, I was angry, I was so sensitive and empathetic that I didn’t know how to handle that. I suppressed the realness of my anger even to this day. It is the one thing in my life that keeps poking it’s fiery head out and I believe is what continues to set me back at times. You know, that feeling when you take many steps forward then suddenly are set backward and start the process over again. Such a vicious cycle that I think we can all attest to.
Before we moved to Scotland I felt that God was telling me to properly deal with the pain of my past and get to the root of issues I had been struggling with for many years, in order for me to fully live out my calling. I needed to find the answers, connect the dots, pray about it and give those problems to God. I started seeing a professional and trusted Christian counsellor. Those few months of intense therapy sessions broke me, for the better. I started to feel freer, happier, and in ways empty, but then I needed to start filling those voids with the Holy Spirit, with the word of God, with the love of Jesus. I learned how to let go. I became a whole and new person. But this this kind of healing isn’t just a flick of the wand and you’re healed forever, the healing part actually comes from maintaining it as a lifestyle, training your thoughts and actions when under the pressures of life that are unexpected. Anger is my Achilles’ heel. I am aware and I hate it and honestly, its embarrassing to even admit, but I know I am not lone in that.
Last week our church had an EP launch worship and healing night. It was so nice and much needed that I got to be there to focus on myself and Jesus. I stood alone and felt completely together and surrounded in the presence of God, so much that I couldn't keep my shoes on my feet. I was on Holy ground and I just wanted to sink my feet right in to it. But as I was worshipping, I felt God say to me “Give it up to me.” and I knew exactly what that meant. It was the very thing that I try to control on my own and knew I was drowning and knew I needed to let it go and give it to God…as he’s been asking me to do so for years. As I mentioned…I am stubborn.
I take a deep breath in and whisper “Okay.”
I had a vision of a beach where the water reaches up to kiss the wet sand, but there were scratches all over the sand. I knew that represented my scars and pain and anger. The water was Jesus. With each wave the water inched its way up to the scarred sand, the mighty retracting breath of the wave was “healing” and the scars were being wiped away. Eventually all of the scratches and pain they represented were gone and new sand laid there afresh, unscathed, pure and clean. He wiped away my tears, made me new and took that pain from me. It doesn’t mean I wont forget those things, but means those things don't hold me, those chains are gone. This is the very reason why He died on the cross for us, so we don’t have to carry the burdens. Why would we want to? I think the problem can be that we don’t take ownership of our problems, we think we can blame anyone and everyone else around us when really…it’s our life, it’s our mistakes. We don’t have any right to place blame on anyone else but ourselves. And only coming from my own experiences, I believe we tend to cling on to those parts of us sometimes because at least we are feeling something. We are afraid to be vulnerable and be exposed. Being the stubborn woman I am I wanted to always prove that I can handle it and deal with my own brokenness alone. But really, I can’t. I can not do this life with out God. When I try to be in control, it all becomes and seems out of control and chaotic, but when He is in control, we are balanced out. It can still seem messy, but somehow I am content and things have a God-type orderly way. It’s not just my baggage that I give to God though. He wants it ALL, my pain, my confusion, my understanding, my happiness, my joy, my worship, my cries… He wants it all. He wants these parts of me and wants those parts of you because he loves us that much.
Romans 12:2 (MSG) “…Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
It is healthy to want to be happy, but true happiness comes from letting go of the things setting you back and giving your life back to the one who first gave it to you. What have you to lose?
I want to put it out there that if anyone reading this wants to make changes in their lives and want accountability with that or just a friend to talk to, I’d love to connect and pray with you.
Thanks for reading!