Tag Archives: Trust

Trusting In God To Define Our Path

You are reading a Five Minute Friday word prompt. This is hosted by Kate Motaung and is where a group of people write about a given word for that week. This week the word is “define”.

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To define is to give something its true meaning, which would hopefully make it more clearer for you. Hopefully! Defining something also creates boundaries, something that is clearly set out.

Sometimes we do this with our walk with God. We want God to clearly define the path that we walk on. We want Him to specify exactly what our lives mean, where are we heading to and how we are going to get there.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5

God doesn’t always clearly define what we are to be doing on this earth though. Well, He doesn’t define it in the way that we want Him to, and waiting around for things to become just that little bit clearer is really hard.

However, if we trust in what God is going to do for us, and not trust in our own thoughts and feelings (which often mislead us down the wrong path anyway) then He will define what our path is to be.

What do you do if you don’t feel God?

I am sooooo not good at this Christianity lark! I keep stuffing it up. Wouldn’t it just be easier just to do this all on my own anyway? I mean, how hard is it…This life business? Seriously? Why do I need God in my life? There are plenty of people out there that seem to get on just fine without Him, and yet I struggle. I don’t really feel Him that much anyway, so I might as well be on my own…

“Oh my word”, I can hear you say! Are you shocked that I am writing this? Should I be writing this? I mean, aren’t us Christians meant to show how easy life is once we have Jesus in our lives?

Or, are you nodding your head, with your hands in the air saying “yeah, me too, I getchya!” Are you one of these people that’s been there, done that and got the holes in your jeans for the amount of times that you’ve been on your knees begging for His mercy to start over again?

Do you know what though? Yeah, life isn’t easy. In fact, life is damn hard at times! So hard that it goes through my mind if all this is worth it one day. All the struggles we have in life…

death…

illness…

money…

kids…

…just to name a few! I’m sure that you could add a few more to the list.

Wouldn’t it be nice though if life was just that little bit easier? Answer me honestly. When you’re going through each day in pain and not knowing what is causing it…or you barely have the energy to play with your kids properly…or you are worried about when the next pay check is going to come in and whether you have enough to get you through the next day.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all this would just go away? Is God really here anyway in all of our struggles? When I am facing these hard seasons, this is what I honestly think. How can God let me go through the situations that I experience. Does He really care about me?

A friend recently gave me some encouragement at a time when I needed it…at a time when I still need it…

“I just want to encourage you that just because you are in a hard season right now, it doesn’t mean God is absent. God’s love “feels” more intimate when things are going well, that’s true, but our circumstances aren’t an indicator for God’s love in the same way our feelings aren’t always telling us the truth.”

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I want to encourage you right now too, just like I was encouraged. In answer to my question, “what do you do if you don’t feel God?” Hang in there.

If you feel like your faith is fading, God is there and He will remain faithful towards you. Although we may change our commitment towards Him from time to time, His commitment to us will never change.

 

 

Who is in control?

When someone offers to help you, what do you do? Do you…

a) Say thank you, but no thank you. I am perfectly capable of doing this all on my own. I mean seriously, do you think I can’t do this or something?

b) Say thank you, but then moan about the support you get because it’s not how you would have done it.

c) Say thank you, but then feel so worthless because you couldn’t do it yourself in the first place.

How would I answer?

Honestly?

Probably all three.

I have to be in control. Why? Because I need to know what happens…how it happens…and when it happens. I need to plan in my mind every eventuality that would take place in every situation. I don’t like not knowing what is going to happen…or not happen as the case may be.

Maybe this stems from my childhood…not knowing when my abuser was going to turn up and what “game” he would play next. Or, not knowing what I was going to face the next day at school with my “friends” in the playground. Or, not knowing if what I had achieved was ever going to be good enough.

For me, there are so many different aspects as to why I have to be in control.

Control is about self worth in one aspect.  I feel weak if I let people help me. And if they do help me, I don’t feel worthy of receiving the help (this is the part where I don’t like myself so much…so why should God love me…and therefore why should I let Him help me). Letting other people help will also show my inadequacies and that actually I’m probably pretty rubbish at what I do.

This is what the Bible says though…

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I am trying hard to hold on to this  I’m not perfect though, which leads me on to the next aspect of why I have to be in control…

Control is about doing something well and doing it perfectly. As a perfectionist, giving control over to someone else who does things differently to me is not the idea of being perfect. I have such a hold up about the way people do things. It is not how I would do it. Does this make it wrong though? In reality? No, it doesn’t

Also, if I let someone else take control, they will either get it wrong, let me down or create more stress for me. Or will they?

How someone else does something may not be how I do it, but ultimately we both end up in the same place, but we just took a different route to each other. Does it really matter how we got there?

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As for letting God take control, well, that’s a completely different thing altogether. Not knowing what His plans are is the hardest bit, and trusting Him with my life? Well, that’s a whole new ball game altogether! Trust and faith play a key role in letting Him do His stuff, and when you’ve had a past like mine, it’s hard to let go.

But, I think the main thing is that I am trying.

 

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