It’s 1:32 am so I shouldn’t be writing. I should be tucked up in bed with Mr. Bear beside me, catching up on my beauty sleep and dreaming sweet dreams about puppies and kittens. But, like most artsy folk, a) I work best when I’m tired and b) when I have an idea I can’t do much else till said idea is down on paper; so here goes.
Today has been a strange day. This morning I woke up feeling horrible. Really horrible and hopeless, like all was lost. California’s a bust (I’ll explain that later), I have no job, I live really far away from the majority of my friends, and I just wanted to curl up and fall back to sleep until the next ice age had hit. But instead of choosing that path (because, let’s be honest, it wasn’t massively realistic) I prayed and read the Bible. By praying and reading the Bible I mean I mumbled some words to God and flipped through my Bible, hoping to find something meaningful. After a while I picked up my phone, which had been on silent, and discovered I had a text from a friend. Said friend told me she was now free that evening and was up for the original plan of going to an event at a church in Holywood (no, not THAT Hollywood). I was so elated I burst into tears, with Switchfoot’s ‘Learning to Breathe’ playing on my headphones (completely unintentionally). I’d felt lost at the thought of another day without plans, like everything was just falling to pieces and almost like God was kind of just leaving me to fend for myself. But when that all turned around I don’t think I could’ve been any happier, it was like the weight was completely lifted off my shoulders, everything just shifted and changed and I felt different and new. I am so loved by God, and He knew that all I needed was this one little thing. He knows exactly what we need all of the time, and He’ll never keep those things from us.
So tonight I headed to Holywood and ended up quite surprised at the outcome. It was nice and not scary at all, and there was a bit of a talk and it spoke to me a little bit. It was about identity, and where we find our own, and that it should always be in Jesus. I wrote about this a while ago and you can find that post here, but it was definitely something I needed to hear again as I’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on what I’m doing, what jobs I’m applying for, all that standard worldly rubbish. However, at one point the story of the prodigal son was mentioned (I’m not sure I got the full gist of why he mentioned this parable because sometimes my short attention span means I miss out on key points, but it got me thinking anyway), and I realised there were a lot of parallels in my life, but not just the standard stuff about how we turn from God and then we turn back and He’s still there, arms wide open. All that stuff is so true and amazing but tonight I saw it in a different light. For a long time California was all I wanted. I fought for it and, eventually, got my way. California was better than anything else I could imagine, it was the ultimate post-university plan and far better than staying in the UK. But when it was almost time to go it all started to sort of crash down around me and fall to pieces. It turns out that my plan wasn’t so great, that sometimes people make mistakes which indirectly affect me, and both of these things together cause me to lose a lot of cash. But now I’m ever so slowly turning around again, away from California, and seeing that I still have hope. A lot of it. Not just in Jesus, but also in the fact that I have a home, a family, I have a second home in Stirling, and it’s okay if I just want to chill for a little bit and not rush all of this.
A friend told me tonight that I don’t really need California. It would be great to go out there and see what there is, but now that the Church I was going to work with isn’t quite a Church any more and not what I originally wanted to do, I don’t need to be there. I never needed to be there, but it’s become a lot clearer now. I’m not disregarding the people who’ve told me I should still go because everything they said was entirely justified and I’m grateful for their input. But I’ve spent a lot of time pushing and trying to break down a lot of barriers, but I think God’s telling me just to chill out now, to focus on Him, and to stop rushing life. To just let Him work. There’s some jobs in Stirling that I want to apply for and I think I’ll get on that, and if I’m meant to be there I’ll be there, but if I’m not then I won’t.
I’m still afraid, and my heart is still broken and heavy and hurting, but my Jesus is working to change that and, in His time, I’ll be able to look back at this time and praise Him for growing me so much.