I haven’t blogged in ages. I’ve put it off countless times. When new seasons are happening and everything’s changing it’s easy to lose a grip on things that once gave you such joy. I began seeing blogging as long and laborious. I didn’t see it as fun, I felt pressured to make good content. I realised that that pressure was something I’d created for myself. I’m learning to get to grips with how it doesn’t have to be that way. That my thoughts and feelings CAN be written down even when they don’t make sense or if I feel a completely different way one or two months down the line. I’m learning to just write and be, unapologetically. I’m human and flaws are part of that! Blogging is vulnerable and it sheds light on what’s going on in my heart at the time and to be real, I’ve had a lot on my heart – I’ve just been processing in different ways. So much has changed within the ten months that I haven’t graced this blog with my presence. Now I’m starting to feel ready to share with you guys a bit of what’s been going on.
First things first, I went to America with my two best friends – Maddie and Viki! I want to do a separate blog post about our travels and everything we experienced over there but this one was such a revelation because I’ve always wanted to go to America and I thought that there was no way that we would ever get to do this because as students, finances are tough but God pulled through and we celebrated university, friendship and love in the land of the free for 6 and a half weeks! Nothing will ever replace road tripping across states, through rain, sun and everything in between, blasting music out of the radio and singing One Republic at the top of our lungs. We stood on top of mountains, swam in blue seas, kayaked in clear waters, explored estates and local markets, we saw baseball games and experienced their electric atmospheres. We played hide and seek, board games and spent a lot of time at church with family and meeting new friends. We told our stories to people across the ocean, to young girls who we hoped would be impacted, we were encouraged by the faith of others, their persistence and continual faith in what God was doing even if they didn’t know the full story. We became family with Maddie’s, adopted UK sisters and we found a home across an ocean in just 6 weeks!
Secondly I graduated! PRAISE THE GOOD LORD JESUS! So I’ve graduated from University after three years of working, assessments, exams and coursework and to celebrate it alongside beautiful people that I was privileged to share those three years with, was incredible. It was such an awesome way to wish each other off to new chapters. Some stayed, some went, some are in completely different countries doing jobs they’ve always dreamed of and some are living out the calling on their lives and others are discovering what they’re passionate about. All in all, we all said goodbye to a chapter in our lives that we were all beginning to know so well – the hum of university life. The free time, the packed nights, the casual days where you wouldn’t change out of your pyjamas, the life lessons, the drama, the coffee shop dates and getting to know people and their stories. I wouldn’t change a thing because each trial taught me a valuable lesson (even if I did have it taught to me in a million different ways).
Thirdly, along with new seasons, new experiences, holidays and finishing school come goodbyes or should I say “see you later’s”. There were too many but I see God’s hand in each of them, even though some hurt like hell. Adventures with Jesus are wonderful and OH THE BEAUTY OF HINDSIGHT, I see where He was in times of ugly crying and the gorgeous presence of snot and mountains of used tissues. He was there when I was angry, confused, alone and upset and He is there when I’m joyful and praising Him for His glory. I guess I’d always strived for a consistent faith because I always thought that that was what He deserved and of course He does, but more than my striving for this apparent “perfection” of a consistent faith, He wants my heart. He cares about the condition of it and even when I completely dismiss Him, He is there, patiently waiting for me to turn my attention towards Him. I don’t know what season you’re reading this in, where you’re at in your faith journey, what you struggle with but know this, in your messiness He still looks upon with all the love and delight a Father does when they see their child for the first time. It’s as if nothing’s changed, He is overjoyed by your presence and attention towards Him and suddenly you’re reminded that you don’t have to work for this, for Him to feel this way towards you. It’s there when you work for it and it’s there when you don’t, He is consistent. He is constant. More than we will ever be. Hold onto Him, don’t lose heart, trials won’t last forever – we serve a God who HOLDS forever.
The process of returning to Him is not long or laborious, it is quite simple but I tend to overcomplicate it in my head because I can’t imagine that a God would be so freely forgiving of someone like me. Whatever passage of time has passed between the last time you spoke to Him properly to now, return and sit before Him, apologising for the delay and ask Him to help you want to spend more time with Him. Make a choice to sit before Him, turning off the noise, turning off the distractions and lift His name up and praise Him as if you’d being doing it every day since birth. You don’t have to prepare yourself, you can be real with Him, He knows anyway. He is our first love and many times we can forget this. Maybe as you read the sentences that have unfolded within in this blog post it can be His reminder to you of Him. Let’s get back to Him, there’s no time waste!
Yet from the days of your fathers
You have gone away from My ordinances
And have not kept them.
Return to Me, and I will return to you,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“But you said,
‘In what way shall we return?’
So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.
But when they in their trouble turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and [in desperation earnestly] sought Him, He was found by them.
2 Chronicles 15:4