Intro... Setting the scene
It is funny because I was just thinking, in a bit of a panic; what am I going to write? I have been going through a season recently where I have had to come closer to God in order to listen more keenly to what he has to say. I was smiling just then as I felt his answer to my question; relax and let the words flow.
That is what I am going to do now. If you have a problem with it then you can talk to my boss!
What is this about?
We can all say "I am getting closer to God" can't we? It can be a daily thing or a monthly shift in our thinking. It can be sudden, lifelong and yet in all ways it is transformative isn't it? But there are some times in our lives when you have to adopt a particular, retained stance in your attitude towards God. Has anyone ever felt this way? The journey I am on is a bit like this.
I feel like whilst I am learning all the time and God is never finished with me, there seems to be a particular emphasis on THIS season and THIS time, as being a moment or chapter of my life when I cannot do what I have done before. I cannot have my weekly feed of God and think that this is enough. I need more. My walk-through recently has been specific and detailed. God has spelt out for me things on a weekly basis that I need work in.
It has felt like I have been back in school. Let me share with you what I have been journeying.
Becoming alive and awake
This article is not my journal. It is not a place to divulge my deepest, darkest secrets. Yet I feel that I cannot write authentically unless I can share authentically. Some of you will already know that there was a time when I felt like I was numb and almost asleep. I cannot explain it any other way. I felt like I was being carried through things rather than personally and painfully choosing to engage and ask questions. The journey right now has involved me becoming alive and awake. ALIVE in the situation that I am in, because I am choosing to not hold back on hearing what God is saying and reacting to it.
God is awakening my soul and character to what needs work. I used to go to him and be so overwhelmed by the list of things I imagined he would want to change in me that I never bothered to change anything. I became overwhelmed by my own inadequacy in his sight. I never thought that God would be pleased with me, just as I am.
The lesson I learnt is something about the love of God – which is simple and yet I found it so cool. The love is there before and during the list, the reprimand, the gentle and strong challenge to you. It is done through and with love. God is not saying; If you change I will love you.
God is saying. I love you – because of this love I am inviting you into freedom through change. The lesson I have gone through with God is this; God's challenge to us brings a promise of freedom.
The good and the bad
I struggle to maintain my balance. I have only just thought of this but when I was growing up I struggled to balance on a raised bench. I had to have inner-soles to help me in this. This cannot be any truer for me right now as I expose myself to God in this season. I find I will vacillate between totally believing for breakthrough and change and more and higher on Sunday and then crashing and burning on Monday; this is penny- Sweet Christianity.
It is all there and you get a rush, but then you get a slump on the Monday and the Tuesday and some of Wednesday. I have had a few days where I have been learning new things and processes. It has been enjoyable in some ways but it has also been a test of my ability to get out of my comfort-zone. God used a colleague to tell me that I do not like new things – OUCCCCCHHHH!
When I had a day like that God reminded me that this is "just another day". I do not need to hit myself with a stick this time. God's lesson to me was perspective and balance. God is not surprised by where we have ended up and nothing can shock or "unseat" him.
I wrote earlier on in the year about how I do not journal. I laugh back at myself as I journal quite a bit now! What has changed? I wanted to take note of the key things that God was revealing to me, the conversations I was having with him. But I also wanted to have a place where I could put EVERYTHING down.
This meant that when I saw friends, I was not in such a rush to tell them everything. I have become marginally less self-focussed. My journal, not my friends have become my shouting wall. Also, when you are at school it is rare that you can get through a lesson without being forced to write something down, even if it is just in a red pen and there is a doodle of a flower besides it (yes that was me!) Life lessons need to be written down and remembered, just like how you would remember to do long division.
Get back on the motorway
When half-term break is over the heart drops a bit. But I know that God wants to teach me more. When your favourite teacher is at the front, loving and encouraging you; take your favourite pen, polish your shoes, sit up and listen.
Rosie Robinson resides in Manchester where, in between feeding herself coffee and bagels she works for an international financial services organisation. She attends a lively church called Audacious, enjoys reading, running and watching films and slowly discovering life with Jesus.
Rosie Robinson's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rosie-robinson.html