Reflection on Tuesday 24th for VB
I had heard that story of the one who opening the Bible got a word and didn’t like to so tried again and again till they eventually got it.
Well this is how my day started:
Bible Gateway verse of the day – Proverbs 14:22
Those who plot evil shall wander away and be lost, but those who plan good shall be granted mercy and quietness.
In my head I am thinking – PLAN…PLAN…PLAN
How do I PLAN good?
I have no PLAN anymore
Later in the day I was listening to the pastor’s sermon as I helped on Sunday school and missed it but listening discovered I had heard it before almost word for word except for the sections added in. He quoted from Psalm 46 particularly
verse 10 – “Stand silent! Know that I am God! I will be honoured by every nation in the world!”
although as I was reading through the Psalm whilst listening verse 1-3 was particularly poignant
God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble. 2 And so we need not fear even if the world blows up and the mountains crumble into the sea. 3 Let the oceans roar and foam; let the mountains tremble!
Because here I was sitting still with no PLAN left and believe it or not there was a storm raging outside with thunder, lightning, hail, sleet and snow. I felt like I was in the eye of the physical storm whilst emotional and spiritually I was being still whilst the waves tried to knock me over. I am empty, spent and I have no PLAN.
Whilst trying to sermonise I was heavily distracted so got on with my on-going project of illustrations and commentaries from various sources for all the books in the Bible for my friends. I was again in Psalms
‘Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you’ PSALM 55:22
Yes Mr or Ms Psalm writer I have done, burdens cast at the foot of the Cross, check. I am being sustained and I in my steadfastness am being strengthened – for what purpose have you brought me thus far… I have no PLAN
And then the very next verse I saw was:
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him,
Do not fret when men succeed in their ways…
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath
Do not fret – it leads only to evil.
Psalm 37 7a, 8
I may have no PLAN, I don’t; I am sat here PLANLESS,
But I can be still in the presence of the LORD
I can also wait patiently for him to tell me what to do next.
What has been offered doesn’t sit right with me for various reasons –
- Leaving the denomination I know and love
- s/t mission with DC, again outside denomination and outside Ireland
So the S/T hurt is gone, the looking after everyone else and how they feel about the situation is done, the realisation of some slightly skewed thinking is dealt with and I was then left on shifting sands:
Not my faith – that is as sure as ever, I had a cute thing come through from gmail where they analysed the mail I sent and formed a word cloud, bearing in mind every email has my signature on it, my name was so small in comparison to God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, the other bigger words in no particular order were Bible, read, up, new, people, today, free, word, out, more. I think I can make a sermon out of that!
The shifting sands are to do with where I am at. Two years ago I started work experience because I had none, of the sink or swim variety and most of the time I think I swam-ish. It is really weird now cos I look back and think I didn’t do much but then my confidence left in December and has yet to return. So I am sure I did swim a bit. But I started it with a goal in mind and now the goal posts have shifted and I don’t know what they look like anymore and I don’t know who to ask.
Friends are being really sweet even those who have an inkling as to what this feels like but I can’t talk to them. I can’t talk to anyone without crying a river and that is pointless. I got a text yesterday that said “Hide your light under a bushel NO!!!!” and I balled.
I have no PLAN
I am waiting
I am waiting patiently
I am waiting patiently for a revelation as to what is His PLAN for me next
I am comfortable with all the waiting but..
I don’t belong anywhere and I am bereft about that and alone.
There are those who think I belong with them, but I don’t.
I didn’t belong in the other place either.
I actually feel more humanly alone today than I did in that long time ago place where everyone belonged except me.
Thank you for your loving arms that stretch around me and envelop me in your love. I lift my arms up to you and you lift me and hold me in a close embrace. Thank you for everything. Amen
Reflection for Wednesday 25th for VB
As soon as I decided to fast I got hungry. I think about this, maybe this is something I need to work on. It is normal to be hungry, it is abnormal to not be hungry all day.
I was cooking today for the Alpha meeting that was to cover the Holy Spirit weekend talks. I was thinking how we squish and squash the Holy Spirit into a compartment and only let him work in us on our terms. Not just about our group squishing a weekend into a few hours but trying to squish him into a weekend.
Later at the meeting one of the guys tried to explain to the group dead serious about tongues, “and this is how you do it” etc. and I’m like listening and thinking poor Spirit being contained again. Being free in the Spirit is about life and excitement and adventure in the ordinary every day.
A life of surprises. I am still waiting for the PLAN but there is a whole lot of living to be done whilst I wait.
Oh I thank you so much for sending your son Jesus to save me and give me this new incredible life, a life of abundance, a life of more. Thank you so much for leaving the Holy Spirit here on earth to enter into my life and change me, transform me so people don’t recognise me I am so different. O Lord you are an amazing astonishing wonderful God and I am proud in one thing only, to be called your daughter. Amen
Reflection for Thursday 26th for VB
I found joy in the most miserable of things today. How amazing is that! Smudge is suicidal, or has suicidal thoughts – that’s misery right there. That is a desperate place to be. I have been there, I know what it smells like, it is damp and squalid, slimy and dark, so very, very dark.
First joy is knowing that place has gone from my life, I might feel alone but I know I am not, I might feel like no one on the planet is feeling like I was a couple of days ago, but I know other people thought they were on one plan and it just went away. So I know that I can easily reach out and find those people. I could ask for pastoral care, not sure who would do it seeing as it is my job but I could flag it up. But two days of being held so close by the Lord, I know there is a PLAN, I just don’t know what it is yet.
Second joy, because the plan is gone I can try to support Smudge, it isn’t easy, it will take a lot of time but God knew I was needed here, so here I am.
And third, Smudge has no plan of how to do it, he can’t tie a knot, he can’t drive, there is no water around. So only tablets and knives, he has a sickly tummy so more than likely he would puke the tablets and he isn’t fond of pain. This isn’t to belittle his thoughts. He has the thoughts. But he has no plan. I love how plan is the theme throughout this week. Tomorrow he goes to the GP and we will take it from there. If the Airy one was in this position, it would be different, he is successful in all things so I would be so watchful of him.
But Airy is on a different plane to suicidal thoughts thankfully. And Smudge, he will get treatment and he will survive this season of despair. I tell him of Job, he says that is not helpful. Finally as I look forward to receiving my PLAN, I am reminded of my mate who when I told her much later about my thoughts she said “ooh Suzie I am so glad you didn’t try because surely you would have succeeded” and I am ever thank full that though I am going through a bit of a storm at present, it will pass.
Friday 27th Reflection for VB
Help came out of the woodwork today. I was ordered (in the nicest possible way) to attend to something. I was thinking of TJ Schellman and how she would know exactly what to say to me and J rang. J wants me to tutor her through a course. J and TJ are chalk and cheese and yet I felt J was delivering the same message TJ would have said just in a different way.
There is so much I could do, and yet, feel compelled to just sit silently and wait. The fasting stopped on Wednesday, it was distracting me from a closer walk with the Lord and I began an “eat” instead. As I prepared the meal today whilst praying silent prayers, peace once more descended. I could hear my soul heart beat slowly and loudly in tune with the Lord’s heart. Heart to heart conversation. It takes on a whole new meaning when you consider one of the hearts is eternal and divine.
What an amazing God we have, what an amazing God I have.
Saturday 28th Reflection for VB
Oh had a blast of a day, met a bunch of people in another town, got a speaking gig out of it and I knew immediately what I would be talking about “Freedom in Failure”
You see He does have a plan, I can talk about failure and people may come to understand their own in relation to their everyday. The fact that we don’t try because we might fail. The fact that we are loaded from childhood by a need to succeed and avoidance of failure. But failure is sweet, it is us learning to walk, it is us learning to speak, learning to engage, learning, learning, learning. God is full of surprises.
Sunday 1st Reflection for VB
I was preaching today and I felt so free, free in my style, free in the words, free in the message. It was not a light fluffy talk, it was meaty and challenging but I felt free to deliver his word.
Technology had stressed me out this week, unable to engage thoroughly with the VB, all my own personal studies on hold. But God gave me freedom this week. I still don’t have the big picture PLAN, but I have a piece or two of the jigsaw and I will continue on this awesome journey.
Next week is reflecting on scripture and I hope Eircom will fix the landline so I can engage thoroughly but if I have to continue this way sobeit.
I began last week PLANLESS and to a certain extent I still am, but you Lord, you are full of surprises, you are in my life and you are here to stay. Your love is not going anywhere, Your love is sustaining me, strengthening me, enveloping me. Thank you for that love, thank you for your patience with me, thank you for your peace. I love you so much but in comparison to your love for me it is particles of sand on a beach, yours is the whole ocean and more beside. O Lord this next week, I want to walk closer with you, help me Lord in my walk with you. And I pray for all the other VB members, you know the story, Amen