Browsing Tag:

faith

That familiar feeling of a changing season

when-everything-is-changing

 

There is no season where change is as tangible as autumn.

In autumn, change flashes in brilliant reds, oranges and browns. It cascades to the ground and swirls in the wind. Change catches your foggy breath on the cool mornings and blazes across the late afternoon sky.

All of nature sings its’ song, a maudlin melody, a solemn symphony.  

 

I have an autumnal heart. Fiery and passionate, wild and chaotic.

 

This season will always be my favourite. The cooling down from the hot, sticky summer and the gentle easing into the deep chill of winter. The feeling of wrapping up in layers and bracing yourself to be met at the door by a brisk wind. The scent of rain on the pavement and damp foliage on the driveway.  

 

In autumn, the leaves take turns changing into brilliant colours and falling slowly to carpet the ground.  

What once was bright and alive, dies off to make space for the new.

 

As I’m watching the trees glorious transition I see pieces of myself turning the same golden hues. Right here and now I am evolving, Shedding my old self and becoming something new.

 

This process requires making peace with the past.

 

That girl I was three years ago sitting in that first lecture feeling overwhelmed by the flurry of information that had just been dumped on me. The girl who shyly hid away in her dorm room all year, only making an appearance at mealtimes. That girl who was ashamed of herself, unsure of herself, afraid of herself.

 

That girl was me and still is me.

 

I hold her close to my chest. I keep her near to my heart. I love her because she reminds me that as people we evolve.

 

And we need change in order to do that. Pearls need to be rubbed around in that oyster shell. Diamonds need to be squeezed depth beneath the earth. Butterflies need to force their way out of their chrysalises.  

 

So I’m not embarrassed of the girl I was. I’m so very proud. She did the best she could with what she had. And for that I am grateful.

 

This is how I am letting go, by extending kindness to the pieces of myself that I might not be most proud of.


 

And it seems my life once again is swirling with change.

 

I hoped that by the time my graduation ceremony came around I would have clarity about my future. I thought I may have a full time job or at least an inkling of my next steps, but instead, I find myself slipping back into unemployment and uncertainty.

 

Here I am again, with a door closing behind me and nothing on the other side.

 

And it makes me wonder, do the trees know for certain that summer will return again? Are they sure that the winter will end and they will have the strength to sprout new leaves and shoots?

 

It seems to me that they just fall.

 

They just let go. They just keep moving forwards and we have to as well. Regardless of what lies ahead, that’s the only way we can trek.

 

These seasons of change, these major life transitions often catch us off guard. They can make us feel as though the rug has been ripped out from under us. And it is these moments more than ever that we find our faith being tested.

 

This is the place where the rubber meets the road.

 

It’s foreign and yet somehow familiar. I’ve been here before. I know the signs of a changing season. I’m still afraid. 

 

But what I’ve learnt is that there is wonder in the waiting. That lonely place of unknown is beautiful because it places us dependent on God to meet all of our needs. It strengthens and grows a faith that actually means something.

 

A faith based on real events rather than flaky opinions and secondhand beliefs.

 

That’s the kind of faith I want. Deeply rooted in truth. Completely receptive to change.

 

change, changing seasons, faith, trusting God, fear, moving on, letting go of the past, fear of the future

 

So this time around I’m taking my cues from the deciduous trees. I’m flinging myself headfirst into the unknown. I’m leaping forwards because it’s all I know to do.

 

This is how I am moving on.

 

I won’t be wallowing, moping or feeling sorry for myself. You will not catch me succumbing to the crippling anxiety again.  

 

This time I’m just going to fall.


 

Because I know now that clarity requires movement. We can’t just sit around hoping for writing in the sky or neon signs to flash the answer. We have to just start walking, and as we do, we find out where we are going.

 

It’s one of those crazy upside kingdom rules. We step out first and then the faith comes. We jump and then we’ll find where to place our feet.

 

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you are standing still but looking back over your shoulder you’ll remember how you’ve been here before. You’ll see all the big ways and small ways that God was faithful to you.

 

Well I do at least. He brought summer before and I know He will do it again.

 

That’s the truth when everything is changing. You simply have to cling to the one who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Living in the now and the endless longing for the not yet

living-in-the-now

 

Blonde curls bounce as she runs. Squealing she dashes through the park. Little toddler legs scooting as fast as they can. A flash of pink. A blur of joy.

She zigs and zags through the clusters of people. Early-morning dog walkers and men on bicycles with neon vests. She is unaware of the scene she is causing, she is focused on getting away before her father catches up to her.

And he’s getting closer. Thundering with big, lanky strides behind her. She makes several narrow escapes and then finally he reaches out and sweeps her effortlessly into his arms.

They swing around together. This mass of pink frills and blue checks. The sweetest sight.


 

My heart feels like it might burst.

I’m surprised by the physical ache. This little, hollow gap which signifies an unfulfilled dream. A longing that lies dormant, bubbling deep beneath the surface. Knocking the wind out of me when I least expect it.

 

I think that’s the way dreams tend to be. They aren’t always obvious right from the start. We don’t all grow up with the knowledge of who we are or what we want to be.

For some of us our dreams take a long time to wiggle their way to the surface. It’s a slow process but eventually these deep desires begin to bloom and once they do…we are never really the same.

 

Once we know the ache, we wrestle with discontentment.

Once we’ve found something to pursue, we cannot sit still.

 

I’ve always been a writer but I didn’t believe it. I’ve always been someone’s partner but I just haven’t found them. I’ve always been a mother but I don’t have a kid yet.

And now I know what they are, I’m so eager to reach out and snatch up each of these dreams.

 

But I’m grasping at thin air. With every prayer the answer comes back clear. Not now, not yet.  

 

My faith gets a little shaky and my heart gets a little heavy. God, If you created me with these desires why are you keeping them from me?

 

Because timing is everything.


 

The last thing I want to do is be patronizing because I know how this feels.

 

I understand the lonely road you are travelling. I see the tears that slip down your cheeks when you think nobody is watching. I know that heavy weight of expectation which rests on your shoulders making you see every day in monochrome instead of technicolour.

 

In these times I have come to recognize that the sweetest gift a person can give is empathy. Not your condescending, sympathetic advice or your most well-meaning inspirational quote.

 

The kindest medicine for a heart in longing is to simply acknowledge its’ suffering.

 

To come alongside me, rest your head on my shoulder, to take my hand in yours and let me know that you understand.

 

I recognize that this wrestle with contentment is not one I will win by force. I cannot take what I feel is rightfully mine. I must be patient.

 

Resting in the now and respecting the not yet.

 

living in the now, being present, faith, trusting God, longing for more, contentment, being content, pursuit of happiness, gratitude, grace

 

All of us are searching for our missing pieces, scrambling around to slot the edges together, trying to make sense of this jigsaw puzzle. Our hearts hammer as we fit together more and more, the picture becoming clearer and clearer. 

 

But this feeling is bittersweet. The more pieces we add, the less we have remaining, like sand slipping through an hourglass.

 

We have to take the time to observe each section, marveling at the intricate details, delighting in the infuriating complexities.

 

I understand now that this time is precious. All I have is now. So while I’m dreaming, hoping and longing for more, I’m watching my life slipping through that hourglass…drip…drip…drip.

 

If I’m not careful my twenties will have passed me by and I’ll have nothing but bitter regret to show for it.


 

So this lesson is absolutely necessary for us to learn. All of us. Because I know you feel it too. You want to skip to the next chapter, get to the good bits.

You want to be at the top of the corporate ladder, you want the wedding band on your finger, you want the stamps in your passport.  

 

Who of us are really content? Who of us are perfectly happy living in the now? Who of us haven’t thought of the not yet?

 

I think the longing will always be there. God in His infinite wisdom created me this way. A big gaping heart, eager for love, belonging, family. The feeling isn’t packing up it’s bags and shipping out any time soon. But when I look around I can see all the ways he has provided for me in this place.

 

My daily bread is texts from my mum, hugs from my flatmate, coffee with my cousin, cuddling my pastor’s baby, playing soccer with the neighbour’s kids, sitting side by side with friends at church.

 

It’s not the feast I want, but it’s the food I desperately need. The nutrients that will sustain me.

 

That’s the way grace is, always sufficient to meet us where we are. If He is saying not now, not yet, then I have to trust that He knows what’s best for me.

I keep my hands outstretched with abandon, giving thanks for his faithfulness thus far and eagerly anticipating his goodness in the future.


 

I’m learning the art of patience.

Because what they say is true…good things take time.

The best things happen when we aren’t looking for them.

And it’s not always about arriving at your destination, it’s the journey that actually counts.

So in those moments of frustration, I’m learning to laugh.

In the midst of disappointment, I’m learning to dance.

This is the beauty of life…the tension between the now and the not yet.

 

The antidote to shame

 

You will never be enough. The voice whispers over me. You don’t belong. It calls out as I go to sleep in the all-encompassing darkness. You are just an impostor. It greets me as I open my curtains to the beckoning morning light.

 

Then there is this sticky feeling, like molasses poured over my head. It drips down over me until I’m covered from head to toe. I’m blanketed in it. Blinded by it. It discolours everything that I look at. It destroys everything I touch. So I withdraw. Better that I wallow in the sticky fog than drag anyone down with me.

 

Shame.

 

The thick, blinding fog that mars every thought, misinterprets every encounter and paralyzes my fragile heart.

 

Its’ barbed tongue pierces my delicate flesh.

You are too young, nobody will take you seriously. You aren’t pretty enough, you aren’t clever enough, you aren’t fun enough…nobody will want you. You are too emotional, it’s exhausting for everybody around you.


 

I find myself crawling on my hands and knees to church every Sunday. Weighed down by these lies that shame hums over me seven days a week.

 

The first song starts and I stand motionless, gripping my hands together. I can’t look anyone in the eye. I can’t even look myself in the mirror. I can’t face a God who is so without fault.

 

So I stand as my fellow church-goers and friends sing a rising song. Shouting their adoration, clapping the rhythm of their joy.

 

I’m bitter. I’m empty, hollow like a crystal vase. You can see right through my pitiful display. I’m not fooling anyone.

 

They can see my failure. They know my shame.  

 

The guitar keeps twanging. The drums keep beating. The worship leaders keep singing. I remain glued to the spot.

 

I close my eyes. I bow my head. I slowly whisper the words, not the ones they are singing but the ones in my heart. The ones I’ve been hiding all week. The ones I’m afraid to say. Am I loved? Do you see me? Am I enough?

 

My heart is drumming as I await an answer. I expect a booming thunder. A roaring wind. A blaze of light. And instead the room begins to glow. Gold light shimmers down from above. I’m swept in a glow. The antidote to the dark, sticky molasses.

 

Love.

 

Gently the gold glitter rains down on me. Settles on my hands which are now outstretched, on my eyelids, lips and shoulders. Seeps into my skin and filters right down to my core.

 

A thousand failures disappear. All my shortcomings are erased. I slip on this new robe of grace and it is well with my soul.

 

antidote to shame, shame, faith, intentional living, healing, hope, God,

 

How can it be?

 

How can the one without fault find me under my blanket of shame? How can He lift my chin from the ground, meet my eye and love me all the same?

 

I was wrong about Him. I thought he would be mad at me for all the ways I’ve let him down. I thought he would be disappointed in the little I have amounted to. I thought he would agree with that voice I hear day and night…I thought he WAS that voice.

 

I was wrong.

 

Where there is light, there is no darkness. Where there is truth, there is no deception. Where there is love, there is no shame.

 

He doesn’t care if I can’t sing the words the others are. He doesn’t notice that I haven’t washed my hair in three days or that my socks don’t match or that I sang that note out of key. He’s just glad I’m here. He’s absolutely delighted that I came to him.


 

I hear whispers from neighbours. I see glances from people on the street. I know that there are people in this world who want to take advantage of me. There are people who only want me for my body, my success, my superficial attributes.  

 

And their approval feels good. It lifts me up and for a few seconds I’m flying. But it’s a temporary buzz. Over almost as quickly as it began. And I’m sinking again. Because all they saw was my pretty face and funny story.  

 

I’m thirsty for attention. I’m parched. Absolutely desperate for love.

 

Their attention and affection fills me up but like drinking salt water it only leads me further into dehydration.

 

I need more.

 

I need love that’s unconditional, unfailing, unending.

So I keep crawling back to church every Sunday. Not because I was raised that way. Not out of habit or to impress anyone. Not because I need the affection of the other desperate souls I find there.

 

But because I’ve found a well there. A well that springs up a different kind of water. A living water that finally quenches my thirst. In this place my need for love and approval is met. I find my worth and I am unquestionably different because of it.

 

I’m anointed with oil and the shame won’t stick. It drips down and slides right off me.

 

I am healed. I am whole. I am home.

 

“When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible.” – Brene Brown

 

Here’s to the ones who dream

Heres-to-the-ones-who-dream

I used to be afraid that eventually I would run out of ideas.  

That all of my words would run dry and I’d have nothing left to say.  

But I’ve learnt that my writing is a gift.  

It’s God’s abundant grace spilled out in black and white.  

It’s limitless.  

It’s infinite.  

It’s not something that can be lost because it’s within me.  

As long as I have breath in my lungs, I can write.  

Because my DNA is the alphabet strung together.  

My blood is the stories of my ancestors.  

My heartbeat is the poetry of life.  

I create because I was created.  

This is my purpose, this is my life, this is me.   


 

I think my whole life I’ve been trying to squeeze myself into a box.

There is this particular type of person who I’ve always believed I am supposed to be. This girl is intelligent. She’s scientific and she’s loud. The kind of person who always knows the answer and readily volunteers it.  The kind of person who always sticks their hand up, voices their opinions and doesn’t let anyone scare them.

 

I’m am slowly coming to the realization that I am not that girl.

 

Since finishing my studies and stepping away from the arduous pursuit of intelligence. For the first time I’ve given myself permission to be the creative, romantic, whimsical person I’ve spent my whole life suppressing.

 

Suddenly, no longer bound by the labels of a major I have been free to pursue the things that really make me feel alive. Namely words and the compelling task of piecing them together perfectly.

 

And it feels as though I’m fighting everyday to prove my worth.

 

Because society says success looks like a hefty paycheck, a stable job, a clear direction. I had this wonderful idea that once I graduated I would glide effortlessly into a job. That I would jump into the world of adulthood and land gracefully on my feet.

 

Except that daydream was promptly shattered about five minutes into job hunting when I realized that path was not going to be for me.

 

Endless piles of paperwork are not for me.

Sitting behind a desk all day is not for me.

Mindless work to secure a salary is not for me.  

 

My heart longs to pour itself out in poetry. My hands ache with this need to create.

 

It seems that my art is no longer just the thing I squeeze into the hours I have spare but what my whole day revolves around.

 

And art is anything but certain.

Art is mystical, emotional and ever-changing. 

 

This calling makes me uncomfortable because it’s anything but conventional. I feel the pressure to conform. To be the university graduate who gets a steady job and makes her parents proud. 

 

I, like so many others have bought into the lie that my worth is found in other’s opinions of me.

 

It’s not true. Their opinions don’t matter. It’s all just noise. Noise that prevents us from doing the real work; the daring work our hands were called to.

 

So of course my opinion doesn’t matter either, but I will give it nonetheless.

 

heres-to-the-ones-who-dream

 

And to that end I will say, here’s to the ones who dream. Thank you. All of you for the work you do. You are all valuable. Your work is important and necessary.

 

Thank you all you authors and poets, you give words for the feelings I cannot express. Thank you to the scientists whose minds are never satisfied. The ones who cannot sleep until they figure out how things work, even if that means pulling things apart and stringing the pieces back together again.

Thank you to those who spend their whole lives working on puzzles I cannot begin to fathom. For the ones who design buildings, take stunning photographs and raise children.

For the ones who make history come alive again, give me music to dance to and fix me when I fall apart.

 

Each and every one of you make this world go round.

 

And my heart breaks at the thought of us carelessly snuffing out your song.

 

Imagine a world where musicians never played, philosophers never pondered, teachers never instructed, astronauts never flew. Imagine a world where we never dared to dream. 

 

We are quick to celebrate those who frequent stadiums, operate in theatres and grace the red carpet. But there are the humble few whose work goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Those whose worth is underestimated.

 

So to you I say this, don’t give up. Just because we fail to recognise your worth, does not mean your work isn’t valuable. Keep creating, studying, showing up and giving it your all.

 


As for me, I’m sick of being a square peg in a round hole. Squeezing myself into a box I was never meant to be in. 

 

I’m tired of trying to live up to the unfair expectations that others place upon me.

 

I long for this world to be a safe place where all of us are free to be our most authentic selves. That choosing vulnerability wouldn’t be considered brave but commonplace.

 

But I guess it starts here. With me writing these words to you. I will lay my cards on the table in the hope that you will do the same. My courage will spark courage in your heart and yours in anothers.

 

So this is me. I’m not loud, scientific or overly intelligent. I’m a writer. A dreamer. A hopeless romantic. I’m a square peg.

 

I might not fit society’s definition of success but that will not deter me.

 

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

Beauty for ashes

Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed by this sensation of carrying a weight on my shoulders. I’ve had a weary heart. I’ve been walking around with heavy, labored breathing. As though getting through every day is a struggle.

 

I’m aware that this darkness scares some people, but not me.

 

Because I feel things very deeply, I am affected by the burden of pain a little more than most. I am blessed to be aware of so much love, beauty and delight in my surroundings but this comes with the struggle of feeling equal measures of despair at the suffering I see.

 

I’ve got my hands in fists on each side. In my right hand I hold the darkness, in the left I hold the light. And each day I battle to keep this balance. Exploring the light without being lost in the darkness.

 

How can I hold all this suffering within? How can I live in this world which is so broken? How can I cope with the pain I will inevitably suffer?


 

I’m thankful that God is gracious in his approach to us. That we are free to wrestle with these fears and doubts. That we are allowed to feel angry and sad and come at Him with a billion questions.

 

What matters most I’ve found is that in the search for truth, it always comes back to Jesus. We’ll always end up at the foot of the cross staring into the face of the one whose love protects all things, forgives all things and perseveres through all things.

 

I’ve been searching for answers.

I’ve been angry with God.

I’ve questioned my faith and coddled my doubts.

 

What I found wasn’t a clear answer or divine revelation but rather a gentle whisper, a heart nudging, a deeper appreciation for the beautiful, mysterious way that God works.  

 

I had to look outside of myself. I had to move beyond the cynicism clouding my vision. And in nature I found an answer which satisfied my crumpled heart.


 

Have you ever considered the life cycle of a humble flower. Seeds drop into soil, dig down and find their place. Awakened, they send up shoots, gather light and fight their way through the earth. Buds turn to blossoms which are admired by all and then they droop, wilt and fall back down to the ground.

 

Which is where we tend to believe the story ends.

 

But as the flower, leaves and stem decay, the nutrients return back to the soil and provide sustenance for the next flower to grow.

The death and decay feeds the new life.

 

It seems that nature always moves towards harmony, peace, rest. Shalom.

 

And we see that in our own bodies too.

On New Years Eve I hosted a party at my house and during the evening I retreated to my bedroom to grab something and in my haste to get back to the fun, I accidentally slammed into a door and cut the back of my hand.

Over the past few months I’ve watched with fascination as the wound has slowly healed itself.

The cut was gradually coloured in with flesh and blood and the scar has eventually blended into my skin.

 

Our body always moves towards balance. Our homeostasis is healing.

 

Right now, what I see all around me is suffering. Around every corner I am faced with brokenness. Our world is a mess and if we dwell on that for too long it’s easy to fall into depression.

 

Families are breaking down and leaving shattered pieces. Countries are being torn apart and are spilling their inhabitants in all directions. Diseases are choking out the life from our very veins.

 

If ever there were a time for a mighty flood of destruction, I would say this is it.

What good can possibly come from a wretched place like this?


 

I feel that darkness beginning to close in.

 

But then there is a stirring in my heart which is calling me to say, hope is here.

 

God is making all things new. He is trading beauty for ashes. He is binding up wounds, drying up tears and pushing up flowers from the dry, barren ground.

 

His intention has always been redemption. His promise has always been restoration.

All creation beats to this rhythm. It’s humming in the bees and rustling through the trees.

 

Some of you may be in a situation that feels hopeless, but know that new life is just around the corner. The seeds are dormant and still but they are there underground.

 

beauty for ashes, finding God, faith, redemption, healing, encouragement, God's promise of healing,

 

I have this hope that none of the pain or loss is wasted. The death and decay filter down and provide the foundation for new life to flourish.  

Our bitter losses and tragedies are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us.

 

I take comfort in knowing that my God is BIG.

My hands are easily weighed down because this burden is too great for me to bear. My humanness is insufficient for such a task, but God can hold it all. He can hold both darkness and light without strain. He can be all consuming love and righteous judgement. He can dance with us in our joy and weep with us in our sadness.

 

Over everything, He is our redemption.

In all seasons, He is our hope.

In the longing, searching and seeking for truth…He is our answer.

 

I waited and waited and waited for God.

   At last he looked; finally he listened.

He lifted me out of the ditch,

   pulled me from deep mud.

He stood me up on a solid rock

   to make sure I wouldn’t slip.

He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,

   a praise-song to our God.

More and more people are seeing this:

   they enter the mystery,

   abandoning themselves to God.”

-Psalm 40 : 3-5 (MSG)

I’m not in a hurry

i'm-not-in-a-hurry

When I think about patience, I think of the process of making bread. From start to finish, it’s a method that requires a lot of waiting around and restraint.  

It starts with the awakening of the yeast. The warm water and sugar solution that gently coaxes the yeast to life. The bubbles that form on the surface signify a readiness to begin the work of being made into something beautiful.  

Flour and salt are added and gently incorporated into the smooth mixture. The dough is clingy and remains in clumps, unwilling to let go and be its own entity.  

But left in the warmth of the hot water cupboard the magic begins to happen. The yeast works its way throughout the sticky dough and pockets of air transform the mixture slowly. The dough rises and rises until it grazes its’ tea-towel ceiling.  

You take it out and gently begin to knead it with your palms, fingers, knuckles. The dough is fragile so you must treat it lightly. You pull and stretch and caress the dough.

This work is messy. Your hands are caked in flour. And flour hits the floor, the bench, the ceiling and clumps under your fingernails.

But you lovingly pour yourself into the process. You see the progress and you feel the gratification.

You know that your patience will be rewarded.


 

This week I decided to make my own bread. Because there is something wholesome and sweet about homemade bread which is lacking in the commercial kind. I think it’s the connection to the past, our heritage, a time where life was slower and simpler.

The smell alone is familiar and comforting, like being swept up into your mother’s warm embrace.

 

But bread, like humans is very needy.

 

It requires much time and effort. Rest and working before it becomes something great.

 

I hate waiting.

 

I want answers now. I want recognition now. I want the reward now.

 

And our culture feeds that insatiable appetite for immediacy. We have created machines that do our hard work for us. We’ve manufactured food that can be consumed instantly. We’ve got devices that distract us so that even in the waiting, we never have to be silent.

Our world is undeniably impatient and if the cap fits we wear it too.


 

But I don’t think we were designed for instant gratification. I think we are part of this bigger narrative of patience, eager anticipation and hopeful expectancy. We were called to wait.

 

The seeds are waiting for the gentle rain of springtime. The bears are waiting for the thawing of the winter snow. The birds are waiting for daybreak and the world is waiting for a Saviour.

 

Waiting is a natural rhythm on this earth, however much we fight it, it will always be so.

 

waiting, faith, trusting God, hope, promises, truth, waiting on God, not in a hurry

 

God has been teaching me a great deal about waiting.

I’m driven, passionate and focused. I see a goal and I work until I accomplish it. In fact, I’m very proud of my ability to power through a to-do list. I hate to sit idle when I could be making something, anything better.  

 

And not only that, I need to accomplish it all now.

 

I expect to be best friends as soon as we meet. I want to master a recipe on my first attempt. I think I should have my life figured out at twenty one.

 

I fall into this trap of exhaustive productivity constantly.

 

Because waiting is painful. It’s boring, empty, dark and unknown. Sitting still just causes me to fidget.


 

But there is something beautiful about taking things slowly. This is a truth that feels especially relevant when it comes to cooking. There is a depth of flavour, an earnestness of texture, that can only be achieved when you take the time to labour over the food you are preparing.

 

Sure, you can open a jar of pre-made pasta sauce and it will complement your spaghetti and meatballs just fine but real foodies understand the pure, unadulterated joy of making your own sauce from scratch.

 

The flavours are built layer upon layer and the result is something quite spectacular. 

 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that marinated steak is more tender, day old cheesecake tastes better and homemade bread is simply divine.

 

When we have the patience to devote ourselves to the process, the reward is great.

 


This is the heart of living intentionally. It’s being aware of our surroundings, it’s appreciating the goodness and resting in the stillness.

 

We have to slowly build trust with people as we have conversation after conversation. We have to practice our skills before we will master a complicated recipe. We have to learn from life as we journey through it, rather than knowing it all before we set out.

 

In the waiting we are refined, transformed and restored. Much like the dough in the hot water cupboard, as we rest, we rise. 

As I’ve been thinking about waiting I was reminded of 1 Corinthians and that familiar verse which speaks of love. Funnily enough, love’s first characteristic is patience.

 

Love is being present. Love is showing up again and again. Love is waiting.

 


Our world is scared of waiting because in this quiet place, all of our deepest fears are revealed. Our need for control, our desire for approval, our fear of rejection.

The lingering dread that bubbles away beneath the surface is exposed and we are forced to deal with it.

 

However, I take comfort in knowing that we don’t wait in darkness. 

We have this hope that everything we have been promised will come to fruition.

 

If I trust, believe and keep tracking onwards, life will unfold. The sun will rise, the snow will melt, the leaves will turn green to gold.

 

Our purpose is not to strive ahead and reach some pre-determined destination. If we are constantly in a hurry, we will miss out on the very best bits of life.

 

The beauty of life lies in that stretch between what was and what is to come. The challenge we face is making peace with the waiting. To find hope, courage and our true selves here.

 

“Everything is interim. Everything is a path or a preparation for the next thing, and we never know what the next thing is. Life is like that, of course, twisty and surprising. But life with God is like that exponentially.” – Shauna Niequist

Resources:

Books: The In-between by Jeff Goins, Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13, Isaiah 40:31 

Songs: Not in a hurry by Will Reagan