So it’s that time of the year where I’m counting down the clock. In 5 days time… or maybe 6 days… it will have been 3 years since I last saw Mike alive. On one hand the 12th of July… or the 13th of July… is no different to any other day, but then again, it IS a different day as it represents something in my life that has meaning. I say the 12th or the 13th because I don’t actually know which of those days was the last time I saw Mike. I tend to say the 12th because I know I saw him that day… but I may have seen him on the morning of the 13th.
I would be happy to not do anything in particular on the day and to be alone… but there’s a part of me that would just like to spend it doing something with at least one other person. I was thinking about it… about what I’d like to do. And interestingly what stood out to me wasn’t so much what I’d like to do… but more, I would love to not organise it.
I was think of thinking… and maybe I’m totally wrong for thinking like this… but, I plan so many events and I SO enjoy it. I could do it all day long. But… it’s really lovely when someone else comes along side us and says “Don’t worry, I’ll take charge today.” Sometimes it’s so nice to feel like you’re being cared for by others. That they love you, just want you to have a good day, and just arrange something for you to do. It doesn’t have to be anything exciting… and I don’t think it’s a bad thing or weak to say, “Hey, today, I could just do with some loving.”
I would like to chanllenge everyone. In our lives there is at LEAST one person who you could very easily make feel a little bit special. Whether they have lost a job, finished education, having a birthday, getting married, lost someone, had a bad day… there is ALWAYS a reason to bless someone. To just do something that may make their lives just 1% better. I could give you a million ideas on what you could do with them… but get creative and have a think about it. If you do decide to follow through on my challenge… then I’d love to hear from you about how it went 🙂
And if anyone would like to do something with me on the 12th and/or 13th of July… I would LOVE to hang out with you… just as long as you’re paying 😛 Jokes 😛
A friend sat in my kitchen yesterday and asked me, “What have you been learning lately?”
When came back from Australia 7 months ago I was left with big questions… “What now? What next?” And quite unexpectedly I found myself involved in a youth group. Since I didn’t really have anything else in life to do I decided to throw myself into this group of people; and over these past 7 months we have done all sorts together. Birthdays, socials, sleepovers, church activities; you name it, we’ve probably done it. But along with all of that… the more I get to know them as individuals, the more I get to know their stories. Their lives, their hurts, their questions and their dreams… Walking life with one is such a beautiful and intimate privilege for me. And I find myself burrowing down into their heart, into their mind and into their souls. Just to find out who they are, where have they been, where are they going, and where or how can I be a friend. I sometimes think to myself, there is no greater privilege or intimacy than for one to be vulnerable in front of you.
Loneliness, bitterness, confusion, frustration, reality, relationships, education, overwhelmed, direction, hopelessness, under valued, unwanted, fear, rejection, God, theology, shattered dreams… I sit and I look at the common threads, the common themes, the common facets of this diamond we call life… and it’s so easy to think, “God, how on earth can I even begin to help someone? How can I even begin to be apart of making someone’s life feel just that 1% better?” What it eventually came down to was a different question, “If that was me in that situation, what would make me feel a little bit better?”
The answers to that question has led me to do some random things… acts of service, gifts, words of affirmation… nice things for others that I’d actually prefer not to share publicly. But from the conversations I’ve continually had with others… the biggest theme for me that keeps reoccurring is… “You can only understand your life backwards… but living it you must do forwards.”
It’s so easy to look at the situations in our lives and ask, “What happened?”, or, “Where were you God?” It’s easy to be so hurt and bitter when we look at our dreams and hopes shatter to a million pieces before our eyes. It’s easy to question God and why he allows things to happen, or not to happen. Those are real emotions, real questions… And we should never feel guilty for questioning God, or for having these feelings.
Dad pointed out something to me today. I went to the ship and during my time on the ship God sent me back home for two weeks. After two weeks I went back to the ship and less than 3 weeks later Mike died. I went to Australia, it didn’t work out, and God bought me back to England. God knows my heart. Just like bringing me home to spend last moments with Mike, He may have brought me home so that I was able to share wonderful memories with Laura. The time has come for her where one chapter closes and another begins… and I got to be apart of making the ending of that chapter a memorable one. Since being back I have also had the privilege of walking along side others in their journeys… something I could never have done for them from afar.
Why me? Why them? I don’t know. But God may seem to think it’s a good idea that He bought me into their lives and them into mine. But what I do know for certain is that they have been a wonderful encouragement to me; and I know how much I have valued playing a big sister role to some of them. Something I have missed so much between Mike and I. Also, when I was 14 years old, God told me he made me for people and that if I was to walk with him then he would give me the world. I also know that when we say “Here I am God, send me…” He takes us seriously. My blog is read by people in over 90 countries around the world. I have been all over the world since I was 14 years old making friends with people and walking life them. Is it possible that God sent me to Australia to walk life with someone and then bought me back to walk life with someone else? Yes. It is.
This blog isn’t trying to give a clear-cut answer to life’s questions but it is trying to show you the puzzle pieces. I was never angry with God for the whole Australia situation but I was frustrated. Nothing made real sense. I just know that God reveals things to us and allows us to go through situations that don’t always make sense at the time… but He does have a purpose for it and He will clarify His revelations at the right time. I don’t believe for one minute that our lives are random.
Does knowing that God has a purpose and a plan take away the pain and bitterness? Maybe not. But knowing He has others walking with you help? Possibly so. We have a duty to show our love and care for one another. We all have a unique way of doing that and that’s what my encouragement to others would be. Find your way of loving someone and act on it. Be real… I can’t stress it enough. If everyone walked around not sharing their heart then we’d all possibly commit suicide. Sometimes we feel guilty for being bitter. But do you know how much of a relief it is to discover you’re not the only one? That there is someone out there who understands and can help you make sense of your heart and mind? That you can move forward because they are proof that it’s possible to move forward? That they can show you the ropes on how to do that? That you can be vulnerable and not fear rejection. I chose bitterness but you can use anything and the same still applies… loneliness, anger, addiction, guilt…
Thank you to all those who have walked life with me. And thank you to this amazing group of people in my life that I can call friends.