Tag Archives: God’s hands

The Work We Are Doing Now Is Part of God’s Mighty Plan

I think it’s safe to say that most of us, if not all of us, had a dream of what we would be when we were older.  A nurse?  A firefighter? A princess? A footballer?  My dream was that I would be a teacher.  I use to sit in my room and pretend that I was teaching my teddies, and sometimes I even roped my brother into playing!

For years I had this longing that I wanted to help other children to fulfill their potential.  I completed pre-teaching courses at college and did a number of work experiences at local schools.  I enjoyed every minute of it and I passed with flying colours.

My dream didn’t quite turn out as I had planned.

I only just got through college with my A-Levels and I never went to University.  The government changed the way that University fees were to be paid, so it was just too much for me to even consider.  So, yes, I wasn’t even going to get a degree!  Trying to sort out what I was going to do with my life was hard, especially when I didn’t have a degree.  I found the options open to me very limiting.

I decided to take a year out to do some voluntary work and to try and get some idea of what I wanted to do with my life.  It was only by chance that I ended up working with the Church Army in one of their Volunteer programmes, and I moved to London.  Now, 17 years later, I have a lovely family with a wonderful husband and three gorgeous children.

What about the dream?

Maybe, some of us still have that dream though?  What do we do?  I think that there is only two options we can do.  We can either do something about it, plan out how we can live our dream and go for it. Or, we can sit here and accept what has happened.  Believe me, I have planned out what I wanted to do…and started it…but it’s just not going anywhere.  I’m not the type of person either to sit around and accept things.

So, maybe there is a third option?

Maybe, it’s not my dream that I should be following. Maybe, this is God’s dream and God’s plan.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8 

What God wants with me and what He wants me to achieve is probably, and most likely, different to what I would like to do.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.  Proverbs 19:21

It’s hard to keep this in mind as a positive perspective though when situations don’t go as well. Especially when family and friends are gone, homes are lost, dreams are shattered…the list goes on.

How do you keep going in the work you are doing then?

I keep this in my mind…

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus Philippians 1:6

God has started something in our lives, and He’s not about to stop now. Our life is not over until He says it’s over, despite of how we may feel and no matter what we are going through. Our best days are not what has happened in the past. With God, our greatest days are yet to come!

God has started something in our lives, and He's not about to stop now. Click To Tweet Our best days are not what has happened in the past. With God, our greatest days are yet to come! Click To Tweet

Wherever God leads us, He will provide for us, and He will meet our needs. We just need to remember that it’s not the things that matter — our job, our house, or what we achieve. We are God’s product, and we are made up of the moments that made an impact for God’s Kingdom – the moments that we are going through now! Hang in there. Your work that you are doing now is in God’s mighty plan.

Something to think about…

Are you in a place where you feel you shouldn’t be? Try and keep in your mind that it may not be for our benefit why we are there. It may be that we are impacting someone else’s lives without realising, and it will be for a greater good…God’s amazing plan!

Prayer

Lord, I have no idea what you have planned for my life right now and what work you want me to do to fulfill your bigger picture. I ask that you send your Holy Spirit to fill me with strength to help me through the times when I find it hard to see what your plan may be. Help me to realise that whatever is happening, it is for your greater good. Amen


I originally wrote this post as a response to the Five Minute Friday word prompt “work”. Click here to see what other people wrote when they were prompted with this word.

I couldn’t stop at five minutes though as this topic is just so close to my heart at the moment. The waiting period that you go through is heart wrenching at times, but I do believe that what we go through now is part of the bigger picture later on.

You Are Not Alone

It’s funny how kids remind you of the simplest of things. My son cried out during the night, waking me up from a deep sleep. I was irritated at first. I love my bed! I got up though. What mother wouldn’t if you heard your child crying?

I clambered out of the bed and stumbled into his room. He was sitting up and grumbled that he felt a bit sick. I comforted him and reassured him that he will be ok. He stuck out his bottom lip and gave such the cutest look (you know the look that Puss in Boots gives in Shrek? It was cuter than that!)

He started crying and said he felt lonely. Lonely? It’s the middle of the night, my son is crying and he feels lonely. I gave him one of his favourite teddies to cuddle and settled him back down. I stroked the bridge of his nose and gently whispered to him that he is never alone. Why? Because God is ALWAYS with him. With this in his mind he smiled, hugged his teddy tightly and gently went back to sleep. My son was at peace again.

Getting back into bed I carried this same thought with me. Me reminding my son that God is with him is just as relevant for me as it is for him. It’s the same for you too! God is with us people. Sometimes we may not feel it, but He is. Just like a favourite teddy bear and a gentle whisper will comfort my son, God is there with us in our midst gently whispering to us…I love you.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:3-4

Whether you are going back to work after a holiday, starting a new job, have a new venture, starting back to school again, or even starting a new school…you are not alone.

~~~oO0Oo~~~

Something to think about…

Are you facing a new season right now? Are you feeling scared? Hand it over to God and leave it in His hands. He has this…and He has you! You are not alone in what you are going through.

Hand it over to God and leave it in His hands. He has this...and He has you! You are not alone Click To Tweet

Prayer

Lord, I am scared for what I am about to face today. You know what my situation is God and I am leaving it in your hands. Take away any feelings of insecurity that I have and help me to deal with whatever comes in my path. Thank you for the promise that you have given to me that you will always be by my side. I know that I am never alone. Amen.

God Guides Us Through Troubled Waters

Rocks by the sea

I am currently on holiday with my family on a cruise around the Greek Islands. It’s been a beautiful time away with my family resting and relaxing with no worries. I have left everything behind – the stacks of dishes to wash, the piles of laundry, the endless amount of cooking, and the neverending to do list. This has been the one thing I have been looking forward to, as well as spending time with my family of course (and maybe soaking up a bit of sun!)

I don’t even have to plan how we are going to get from one place to another. This is all done for me. All I need to worry about is what time to get up in the morning and what will I wear!

One day, as we were traveling to our next port on the final leg of our journey home, I was sitting on the open decks reading a book (It was Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee if you want to know). Suddenly, a cloud of thick mist fell around us. It was literally like sailing through thick pea soup (although it wasn’t green mist!) We could no longer see the sea around us.

I then started to wonder if we were going to be alright out at sea as we couldn’t see the path clearly ahead of us. I don’t like it when I am not able to see what is in front of me as it brings about uncertainty. All the “what ifs” start running through my mind and I plan for the worst to happen.

Misty waters

I forgot momentarily that I am actually safe. There are people on the bridge of this ship that are trained for every eventuality. The ship slowed down so that we would navigate the seas more safely. It then started to sound its horn to warn other ships that we were here. The Captain of the ship will do everything in his power to make sure that we are safe, despite what troubled waters we may sail into. We just need to trust in his guidance.

Ship in cloudy seas
Ship in cloudy seas

This got me thinking about my own life. How often do I travel along in misty waters not knowing where I am going or what will happen next? I often try to see if I can navigate the waters myself, but more often than not I struggle to stay afloat, the waters get rough and I start to drown.

Momentarily, I forget Who I need as my lifeguard and Who is The Captain of my ship. He will not let me drown in these deep waters I sail in. He will always navigate a clear path for me so that I am safe. This got me thinking to that amazing miracle when Jesus calmed the stormy seas in Luke 8: 22-25.

And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm.

This is what we need to remember when we are in times of troubled waters. We just need to call on Jesus to save us and He will calm the waters still.

Thought to think about…

Are you going through a time in your life where you are struggling to get your head above the waters and see clearly where you are going? God knows everything we are going to go through, just like Jesus knew the disciples were going to go into a storm. He wants us to have faith though. He will always be there with us through the thick of it and He is there even before we realise it.

Prayer

Lord, help me to remember when I am going through stormy seas that you are there with me. Help me to rely on you as my Captain to navigate me through the rough waters. Thank you for being my constant guide, even when I don’t realise that you are there. Amen.

The Gift of Life: A Miracle in God’s Beautiful Timing – The Full Story

This story first appeared as a feature on  Anna Smit and Debbie Barrow Michael’s blog as part of their 31 day write on Miracles.  It featured over two days because it wasn’t just one miracle that took place. A few days ago (4th January) was my daughters birthday and I have chosen to share the whole of my story here.

Being a Christian, I probably should automatically believe in miracles because of the whole “Jesus turning water into wine” thing, etc. Honestly though? These were just like stories to me…until I experienced my own miracles! I pray that whoever reads this will see that miracles, in whatever shape or form, are possible, and only by God’s loving grace.

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We sat on the edge of the bed, and me and my husband just looked at each other. We wanted to start a family, but with the way our lifestyle was, we would struggle to make things work.

We lived a distance away from where we worked which meant that we were commuting for around 4 hours a day, and sometimes not coming home until the early hours in the morning. This was no way to bring up a child, so we decided to move. This took place at Christmas time in December 2004. Yeah, it was probably not the best time of the year to move, but we got through it. Soon after, once we had settled, we then started trying for a baby.

We thought that it would be easy. I had age on my side and we were both healthy and fit. We didn’t expect a first time “hit” or anything, but we didn’t expect to have disappointment either. We certainly didn’t expect to have to wait nearly 5 years before I could conceive! The countless times that we were waiting for that positive line to appear. The first year went by, and we were still quite positive that God would help to give us a child. The second year went by and we then started to think that maybe something was wrong. By the time the third year came, we really started to question.

Are we meant to have children?

Did we not deserve to have them?

Could God see that we could make good parents?

Did He think that we wouldn’t live up to the standard?

 

We then decided to do something about it and we went to our doctor. This freaked me out. I knew that we would need to go through the process of being referred to a fertility clinic to see why I couldn’t conceive. This meant that my body would need to go under some investigations and examinations. This is what freaked me out.

I felt God saying at this point that I had to deal with some deep routed issues that I had. Issues surrounding my past and how I needed to love the child inside me. How could I bring a child into this world when I couldn’t love the little child inside of me? How could I give birth to a child, surrounded by people I didn’t know, when I can’t even undergo a physical examination?

In 2006, I made the brave decision to face my fears head on and I decided that I would need counselling for us to be able to go any further with trying for a child. Little did I know that it was going to be another two years before I was to conceive, but this was how long it took for me to love that little child inside of me. The little child that went through sexual abuse so horrific. I had to learn to care for her and love her as though she was a part of me. She was me.

The first miracle…

Doesn’t God have an amazing way of bringing things together? It’s like when a painter is creating his masterpiece. He starts by working at all the different layers in the picture, starting at the bottom and working up. He doesn’t just concentrate on one area either. He will work on different aspects of the picture. It might not be clear at the time when he is painting what the picture may be. It’s only towards the end, when you stand back, do you realise what he is painting. That’s when the bigger picture becomes clear.

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This was my time in counselling. There were aspects of my life that I really could not understand, but God really had His hand on my life and He was painting a beautiful picture. As my counselling was drawing to a close, I fell pregnant! I remember clearly, thinking that God does do amazing things, and in His time. He had answered the countless prayers that we had prayed. This was a two-fold miracle though. Firstly, overcoming the abuse that I had endured as a child and becoming a survivor. And secondly, becoming pregnant.

The second miracle…

My pregnancy was pretty average. No complaints. I had the usual morning sickness, but to be honest, I just ate more. I love my food, so for once I didn’t feel guilty about how much I ate and what I ate. You could say that this was turning out to be a text book pregnancy (if there is such a thing).

Until one day, our whole world changed in 10 minutes! The week prior to this earth shattering moment, I started to feel ill. Not just the usual morning sickness though. I had blurred vision, dizziness, sickness, I couldn’t stop sleeping, really bad headaches and heart burn like I had eaten a vindaloo twice over . . . classic symptoms of pre-eclampsia – but I didn’t know this. I just put it down to feeling tired and I was entering my third trimester. This was normal, wasn’t it?

A week later after the symptoms started, as we came home from church, I sat on the sofa with my hubby discussing what we were going to do about the nursery. We were going to go out that afternoon to get things prepared. I was at 31 weeks and 4 days at this point, so we thought it was time to get ready.

We had only sat down for 10 minutes, and it hit me. Excruciating pain. I ran to the toilet and was bleeding uncontrollably. Fortunately, I live opposite the hospital, (another moment that we are thankful for . . . that we had moved to the right place), so we rushed over. Being a Sunday there was hardly anyone around, but my husband found someone. They took one look at me and rushed me in. 40 minutes later, through an emergency C-section, I had my daughter . . . 8 weeks early! If I had been 10 minutes later, my story would be very different. It probably wouldn’t be me telling the story!

My daughter was seriously ill and was placed in an incubator and given CPAP (this is a machine that continually provides air and oxygen into the lungs to help a baby breathe). She weighed 3lb 8oz when she was born and was so small that you could fit her in the palm of your hand. She was a little fighter though from the moment that she came out and refused CPAP and she was in hospital for just over 5 weeks. This seemed like a life time though, but we were just grateful that she was still alive. She was our little miracle.

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A Third Miracle…

The miracle doesn’t stop there though. I was seriously ill, but did not know how bad. The next day after the birth, a doctor came around to have a look at me. He was worried and realised that I had a rare condition called HELLP Syndrome. This is developed from pre-eclampsia and is a rare liver and blood clotting disorder. It effects less than 1% of all pregnancies! Pretty small odds I reckon. The only way to save the mother from this condition though is to deliver the baby, despite how many weeks pregnant you are. Many women have died from this if not detected early.

God was still working His plan out though. The doctor that saved me did not work in the hospital normally. He was only there for the day and was standing in for someone else. No-one else in maternity recognised what I had or knew what my condition was. So, if he hadn’t been there that day I know that I would not be here now! The doctor was an angel from heaven that God sent to me. He was sent to look after me, and to save me.

So, I guess I could say that I am a miracle, as well as my daughter. From surviving my past, to getting pregnant, to giving birth, my daughter being saved, to my own life being saved. Wow!

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Looking back, I cannot deny that God was working in our lives.

Before all this took place though, I guess I was just bobbing along on my own merry way and not really taking notice of what was going on around me. During this time, if I’m honest, I don’t think I saw God with me. I was too caught up in everything that was happening. Clearly He was though. How else can I explain that I am still alive? There are just too many coincides. This reminds me of the beautiful poem, “Footprints in the Sand”. I’m sure we have all read it, but it’s the last verse that provides me with the most comfort, and is what I feel God is saying to me about my life:

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A Pain in the Head!

I have had a headache now for twenty-one days (not that I am counting).  IIMG_4440[1] suffer with headaches generally, but they don’t usually last for this long.  To say that I am slightly irritated with this is a little bit of an understatement…I’m sure that my husband and friends can vouch for this!  I have been so moody and snappy with almost just about everyone I know, especially with those that I love. This is so unlike me as well.  I know I’m not the most diplomatic of people and I say things straight to the point. Well, I’m your typical Northerner I reckon, so I see that there is no point in mixing my words or beating around the bush.  At least you know what you get with me!  I try not to offend anyone, which I know is sometimes hard to do. For those that know me though, they know how to take me, which is with a pinch of salt!

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Anyway, with these headaches, I have been even more diplomatic than usual! NOT!! I have tried over-the-counter medication (the strongest that I can get without going through a doctor) and that has not helped.  It numbs the pain for maybe an hour if I am lucky, but the pain soon comes back with vengeance. I tried to resist having wine, but in the end I succumbed to it! For anyone who knows me, they will know that I absolutely love a good red wine.  It did help to numb the head a little, but only in the short term.

 

Anyhow, I finally resorted in going to the doctors. When it comes to the doctors, I will put everyone else in my family first and make time for them, but I don’t do the same for me.  I am always too busy to take care of myself.  If one of my children were ill, I would be straight up there without hesitation. I would drop whatever I was doing and then suffer the consequences later.  I would either have to make up the time owed at work, or whatever I was in the middle of doing would have to be finished off later. When it comes to myself though, I make up excuses.  When I have three children that are dependent on me; work full time; the upkeep of the home to attend to; other commitments outside work and home, then I just simply do not have the time to go to the doctors when there is so much to do.

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I can’t fault the doctor in anyway.  She was so good and checked me out really thoroughly.  It turns out that my blood pressure is a little on the high side, which may be the reason as to why I am having headaches.  Not good at my age really.  I’m not even 35 yet, and I have the small possibility that if I am not careful, there could be something more serious happening.  Am I worried?  You bet I am!  Who wouldn’t be?  I should try not to worry though.  So much energy is wasted on worrying, and my energy should be used for much more positive things.  I am finding at the moment, with all this worrying, that I am a little bit more negative about myself and situations I am in.

 

The devil loves it when I am like this…and oh boy does he take it to his advantage!  Peter has it all sewn up though when he tells us what to do with our worrying.  Basically, give all your worries to God, and be aware of the devil and what he is doing around you.  He is watching you, and ready and waiting for you to make any wrong move.  In my case, worrying about my headaches is causing me to snap at those people that love me dearly.  I need to hand everything over to God and to let him do His stuff.

1 Peter 5 7-9