Happy Monday all! To kick start the week, here’s a post I wrote on Saturday after an eventful time…
Currently I’m sitting in Starbucks™ with a freshly made Chai Tea Latte and a croissant, with my bible alongside me. I’m at a place of peace at the moment. It was not like that a few hours ago. This morning all my plans were wrecked. I could be annoyed and feel some type of way but given God has been about that YOLO life lately, I’m no longer surprised…
So I’m in a season of tough change, which involves a lot of personal growth. Now I understand we are all growing and God works on us all the time, but this season has been a ‘I’m-going-to-do-things-so-you-can-finally-see-phase’ from Father. Let me explain.
I clearly remember a time in prayer last year where I was in my room and in earnest prayer said: ‘Father, I want to be used by you, make me a worthy vessel, take away anything in me that is not of you and place things in me that can and will be used for you kingdom’.
One little tip: Watch your mouth, He hears it all!
So God took me up on my offer.
Holy Spirit started to reveal to me that I’m judgmental, fearful, doubting…etc. Well, I was fine with those. Of course conviction and discipline is not fun at the time, but I recognized these things had to go. Here’s where God took it down a path I didn’t like. I was convicted over the obvious, which was understandable, but now Father wanted to tell me that my own traits that build my character are not right either? – Tough change.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a planner. I am a strategic person, who works by organized methods. I’m that person who will plan the journey and back, and write out each phase of the journey and consider all outcomes of any situation.
This is my ‘pride trait’. The one thing I could bank on to pull me through; having a clear sense of direction.
So tell me why I am now being convicted over my own trait that has got me through messy times? I can honestly say at one point I felt attacked. Multiple(s) of people would say: ‘Gina you don’t need to plan this’, or ‘whoa you’re overly organized, relax’.
I took these comments with a pinch of salt and brushed them off. I failed to see there was any problem – Pride.
A friend one day asked me: ‘So if I asked you to go for a coffee would you go?’
‘I would have to look at the schedule’ I replied.
One Sunday of planned coffee ended up in a whole car journey to the coast of Kent (Broadstairs, beautiful place). I remember feeling so tense on the way there, it wasn’t planned. There was genuine anxiety at one point.
On another occasion, a library conversation ended in a spontaneous trip to a historic castle…at about 10pm… but that’s just the extent that Father needs to go to teach me a lesson.
Through all the spontaneous ventures one thing struck a chord with me. My friend, Tim said:
‘In order to grow, God will put you in uncomfortable situations’.
I realized I had been so comfortable planning every aspect of life. Father knew and needed me to change. So he used a number of people and random unexpected moments to grab my attention.
The fact that Father knows what He has placed in me, yet still refines, opened my eyes to my own pride. It was, and still is, painful to the ego. However in all things, we give thanks because God just wants us to see ourselves how He sees us. God has the purest love that deals with aspects of my life and own areas in my personality that would be contradictory to the amazing plan He has for my life.
Father wants to deal with every aspect of you. From our weaknesses right through to our strengths because we are not, and will never be, perfect but there is beauty in the freedom and liberation of acknowledging and working on those weaknesses. He needs us to focus on Him, to realize how in everything He gets the glory and we are to trust Him:
Jeremiah 29:11 – ‘For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give you hope and a future’.
These ‘plans’ are not our own. We need to be able to humble ourselves to deal the tough change:
2 Chronicles 7:14 – ‘ If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’
It will work out and make you a better you. Everything is prep, training for the life He needs us to live in order to walk out our purpose.
We are always trying to gain control in this life and we give ourselves a false sense of security. Trusting Him in the small things such as the plan for your day is significant start.
These beautiful scripture apply so much to the eventful time this morning.
According to my own plans I should be in Hertfordshire, on a retreat day with a friend. Being a genius in hindsight, this was not Father’s plan for my day.
It started with confliction. I was debating with myself whether I should go; I ended up reasoning and saying: ‘I’m spending a day with my Father; of course He wants me to go and do that’.
However something didn’t sit well with me. So I continued with that train of thought, convincing myself successfully. So we both got ready and off we went.
First barriers were physical ones. The train station was shut. So we got on the rail replacement bus. Got to the next available station and the train we were waiting for just decided to delete itself off the train schedule, oh and the next two trains after that. We were stranded for a while. In my conviction of my own plan (I wanted to go on this retreat) I stated ‘Nope a train will come’. Indeed it did but now we are tight for time. We had a set coach set off time.
At the interchange now in a station full of people, what would make this day even better; if I lost my friend right? Yeah that happened and I walked around the station for about 20 minutes. I was confused. I asked God: ‘really, at this time, how convenient?’
The Underground, having no reception, hindered communication at the time. Turns out she had got on the tube. At the time I eventually spoke to her she was nearly there and I said I’d just make my way home.
I smiled and laughed for bit thinking: ‘It was not the plan today, was it Father?’
Peace filled my heart. I had felt so panicked and conflicted but His perfect peace is confirmation.
On the way home I took a detour (hence my presence in Starbucks™). I took a walk around London and now I am sitting here writing in full flow, uninterrupted and at peace. Something I wanted do the whole week.
So you see God had to alter my plans for His will to be done. I wrote the post I was ‘too busy’ to do.
See… so it actually all works out in the end.
As I take the last sip of my Chai Tea and finish my croissant, I can gladly say – Father ‘messed’ up my plans today and I totally okay about it.
I’ve been away way too long! I have returned with a simple message. My time away from blogging has allowed me to form the next series of messages, I’m excited to post them in the next few weeks, Anyway, here is the message for today.
So I’ve had one if those weeks where one verse in the bible I casually skimmed past, popped up a number of times in general conversation and train of thought. There was one day of lectures when as a whole year group of second year pharmacy students we were ALL tired. Half the group didn’t show up and the ones who were they were fighting the sleep….. I didn’t think nothing of it at the time.
Yesterday morning I was reminded of psalm 127:
‘ In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.’
Then I watched a video this morning and this verse pops up again, the video emphasised the point that when you are sleeping God is still working.
It’s a given that we always want to feel like we are doing something in order to reach our goals. This student life seems to offer us endless late nights and there’s always a constraint on time.
Hey, did you know that your sleep allows God to work? That means your out of the equation for a few hours. Your the one who’s trying to gain control, running around worrying. As a result your hindering Holy Spirit from leading you. Sleep is good. If your tired go and rest. Your efforts are in vain if you try and do things tired.
My advice: Go, pray that God gives your true rest. Then go sleep. When you wake up, trust me you’ll be much better.
Proverbs 3: 21 ‘My Son, preserve sound judgement and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down your sleep will be sweet’.
This verse adds to the importance of living from a place of rest and trusting God. Preserving sound judgement in the context I’m addressing, means we have to be wise about what and when we choose to work. Especially as students, degrees are not easy, we know this! So why let this degree run you down?
When we look after ourselves properly and know our own limits, we live in balance.
I’m that person who my friends will tell me: ‘Gina go and sleep!’. Here’s me saying I’m not tired but it’s very obvious. I can get agitated when I know everyone is working in the time I am sleeping ( I know, it got that deep).
So I had to take the weekend out to go home, back to my family and tell myself to relax.
I felt restored when I came back. I have had such a great sleep and it has allowed me to even blog this morning!Have you ever had those times when you are doing something and you wake up 10 – 20 minutes later, not even knowing you fell asleep? That’s me everyday. If that’s you too, we need some shut eye!
Scheduled nap times are good to have! Let’s be wise about it. Of course don’t use this as an excuse to stay in bed all day ( trust me I want to) but we if we feel good we will be good during the day.
Our bodies need it.
God wants us in the best working condition so He can work through, with, for, around and alongside us (I think that covers all directions lol).