Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A Whole Lot of Nothing

When you feel like you're falling apart and others are getting it together life can be really tough. When it feels like thing after thing keeps going wrong it is easy to retreat. It is easy to surrender and admit defeat. It is that mounting sense of loss which can become crippling.

2014 has seen the beginning and end of a relationship, losing 2 phones and a passport, losing confidence, losing faith, losing interest in my degree, so it would be all too easy for me to tell you that I have given up. It would be easy for me to say that because the loss hurts. It dragged me down and strangled my joy in a way I hadn't known before. It left the mark of cynicism and mistrust. I didn't realise how deep this ran until I was at Rendez-Vous 2014: a christian camp in the middle of the CĂ©vennes in the South of France, without wifi and without anywhere to run to. I was forced to confront my misgivings and my pain and come face to face with the truths I didn't want to hear, much less listen to. I spent most of the week feeling angry and resentful at God. Others were deep in worship and excited about the ways in which God was speaking to them. Then there was me: I hadn't even brought my bible. I got nothing. I sat there, I tried. I tried to sing, I tried to be thankful, I tried to be joyful in the arms of God. But I couldn't see past my pain. I couldn't see past my mistakes and I could definitely not understand how when I was crying out for him, he was silent. It was torturous. The doubts surrounded me and I felt like I was drowning in my inadequacy. Hopeless. Then at the end of the week the other girls I was with prayed for me at the end of a seminar and the tears I had kept hidden for so long wouldn't cease. The things they prayed over me were so unbelievably exact that I was in shock. I have a long way to go, and as much as I hated having a year which felt like a whole lot of nothing, I am learning valuable lessons.

I needed to lose some of these things because they taught me strength, self reliance, and they taught me the value of my friends and the value of my family and most importantly the value of my faith, for that is where I find my hope. I needed to question it so that when I came back to it I was more certain than ever, because for me the cross is the one thing that I can never question. It is impossible to doubt God's love for me when I look at the cross. So here I am, at Jesus' feet, seeking to restore some of what was lost and build upon what was gained. I know it will take time, and I know that this is the start of a long road. But starting small and aiming high I will carry on. Now, piece by piece my faith is being restored, and piece by little piece I am putting myself together. And little by little I am finding my feet again. But this time, I am anchored in Jesus and his love.