29. Why it's worth it all
As a family, we love to go walking. Often, as most 6 year olds do, Jacob wants to run on ahead, play hide and seek and examine every rock, tree and cloud in the sky. There are times when with one eye on him, we let him go free; after all he has to learn. And other times when we'll instantly attend to him or call him back. It's always a judgment call about what's best for him. At other times, his little hands will fall between ours as he asks a million and one curious questions, sometimes listening intently, but often prematurely distracted by the fascinating passing colours of a butterfly, or the sting of a nettle on his little ankles. Occasionally, if the walk has been long and tiring, he wants picking up and carrying, as he nestles his head into a convenient shoulder to rest wearily upon.
Over this season, I've done all these things with God. I've needed to dig deeper into Him than I've ever been before. But this has brought amazing things. In the same way that Jacobs cheeks glow with warmth from the rejuvenation the open air brings, the freshness of Gods touch has filled my lungs and my very breathe with the same new life. Every step of the way, He's nurtured, loved and guided me through this first phase, by the power of His spirit and His word.
It now seems as if we're entering phase 2 of this journey, and in preparing for it, I've been led to identify, understand and celebrate the wonder of God in all this so far. So this posting is a deeply personal reflection on my key take-away’s – the things, that have helped me consolidate what this first phase has achieved. and why it's been worth it all.
I can honestly say that my daily focus through this has not been consumed by the cancer inside. And whilst, because of the nature of my relationship with God, we’ve spoken about the disease, even my prayers haven’t been dominated by the healing I know is already assured. Instead, with laser-like intensity, my focus has been on minute by minute communion with God, seeking to understand what He wants to show me through it. I've seen it as an opportunity to learn. So from the get-go, this has turned my questions from why and when?, to partnering with His spirit, to see how God wants to use this season in a valuable and powerful way. Of course there's already been a new depth to relationship, peace , joy and the strength you've heard me referring to over the months. But sitting above even those gifts, what I’m talking about here is something higher than even that. What i'm talking about is purpose.
As context, by nature I am do-er – a see a need, fill a need type of girl. So you can imagine my frustration that during this season, my service has been greatly affected. I've lamented over not being wholly involved in the exciting new kids ministry we recently started, or being present to welcoming people to church on the best day of the week. I've missed interaction with our lovely neighbours and friends, and helping out at the local PTA. And I've massively missed working with my dear, dear business partner and our wonderful, albeit challenging clients. I’m incredibly close to all these people, their lives and their hearts. However, amazingly, despite the situation, God has revealed a different purpose, and for now, these messages from the heart, direct and unfiltered from me to you; they have been my service. I count that as the greatest privilege. Because of Gods grace, incredibly in such circumstances, I find myself wholeheartedly believing, any trial is worth it all. And this, my friends, is why.
- As we walk intimately with God, we encounter fresh experiences with Him. He's a wonderful God of mystery and His ways are beyond our capacity to ever fully grasp. These experiences with Him bring us new revelation about what He wants to reveal to us. Things that we wouldn't see or know without the circumstances we're in. So we receive new insight about our lives, that come directly from the throne room. These perspectives are priceless.
- This renewed perspective, means we're learning. Through it God nurtures growth within and around us, which takes us to new spiritual depths. He longs to develop us more and more, but only in the things we are open and ready for.
- This maturing brings different sight, so we look at things through a totally different lens. It's this shift in our heart and head that enables Him to refine our mindset and behaviour. In short, through the process, He changes us from the inside.
- As this happens, we start to notice how we can credibly influence the things around us with greater impact. A different glow, confidence and presence starts to shine. This showers God's Kingdom culture and reveals God’s truth and ways to the world around us, in an authentic yet relevant way. This all enables the privilege of us actually fulfilling Mark 16 v 15. This is why we are born.
- When we truly connect and start to live out why we are here and hold it in our vision, it seems as if any trial, any tribulation and any trap of the enemy is actually worth it all.
So for me, the answer to why I am here, has made me realise that none of the past, current or future crisis or challenges in life are actually about me at all. They're about an opportunity to fulfill this higher calling. What has this first phase achieved? It’s shown me my purpose. My purpose is to spread the glory of who God is and to help others learn how to walk through life with abundance in the victory God always intended us to experience – regardless of the current or impending circumstances. And to me, even as I sit here post therapy, having had a total of 6 hours sleep in the last 3 days, I wholeheartedly believe it’s a cause that makes this cancer worth living for. If you’re with me on the journey, it’s my small service to you.
‘For it is [not your strength, but it is] [a]God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfil your purpose] for His good pleasure.’ Philippians 2:13 AMP