Wednesday, 6 July 2011

If I put GOD in the title will you still read this?

The other day I added a second post about my garden, with pictures.  I have checked the stats and just like the last one it has proved to be a hit.  

I love being able to see how many people have read my blog.  It’s encouraging to know you are popular.

However one of the posts I added seemed to receive very few viewings – Expect GOD to get here soon.


Did the title put people off? 
It certainly wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever written.  It was about hope and a most glorious rainbow that appeared before my eyes just when I really needed it.

We have a new vicar at our church and I recently went to see him.  Although I have many friends who’ve supported us through the last few months it’s reassuring somehow to talk to someone with authority. 

He let me speak for quite a while and the words just tumbled out in a haphazard fashion.  I do wonder how much sense I made but he graciously continued to listen.

The one question he asked, or the one that stuck with me, and I've paraphrased it, was “how was my faith in all that had happened?” 

It’s a very “vicar” type question and not one most friends would ask.

My faith has ALWAYS been there even in the darkest days when it is buried deeply.  I have total trust in God and know that somehow he is going to work this out for my good.  He tells me so in Jeremiah 29 v 11 “For I know the plans I have for you… they are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Often though this is just head knowledge and it doesn’t always filter down as far as my heart.

Sometimes God feels very far away usually when the pain of loss kicks in HARD.

Faith is a very personal thing and not something you can easily quantify. 
While my faith has remained intact it’s the relationship between me and God that has waxed and waned.  Sometimes you will have noticed God makes an appearance in my blog and at other times he is absent from my words.  I can kind of tell how close I feel to him by the words I write.  Frequently he doesn’t get a mention and sometimes if I’m honest it's becauseI am worried you will stop reading…

Every now and then God breaks through my wall, I often find myself crying in church services as he once more heals a piece of broken heart with his gentle words.  And then there are times when I actively seek him knowing he holds all the missing pieces of the jigsaw and I NEED him.

When Andrew was alive he worked away and I didn’t see him for a couple of weeks at a time.  It was our normal pattern of life and it had always been that way.  However every day without fail he would ring me.  I would get anxious if he didn’t call.  I know I’ve written about this before, it was one of his great qualities that he liked to be in touch with home.

Now he has gone I miss those conversations and although other people speak about talking to their deceased relatives for comfort I must admit it’s not something I have consciously done.

In some ways talking to Andrew is now like talking to God, (notice the word like in that sentence, please don’t think I believe they are somehow one and the same) I can’t see them face to face, I believe they are both in heaven, I can talk to them but have to listen very carefully to discern any kind of answer or solace!

Today was an exception as I found myself talking to Andrew. 
We had the first viewing of our house and as I tidied up and got ready I suddenly had to ask him if he minded me selling our home.  I needed his permission and felt as if he answered me, telling me it would all be alright.

He loved me, he still loved me.  I imagined his arms around me as he affirmed my decision.

Of course there wasn’t an audible voice, I’d have jumped out of my skin if there had been, but it was just a sense that he was still there looking out for us.

Maybe it’s just my imagination.  I’m thinking thoughts he might have had, we were together long enough for me to read them.

Sometimes that’s how I feel my relationship with God works too.  Are they my thoughts or really the "voice" of the almighty? 
I believe he speaks to each of us in his own special way and for me that includes song lyrics and the things I see in my garden.  But if these words are in line with what is says in the Bible then who’s to say they are not God’s words? 

Sometimes my relationship with God is like that of any other friendship. 
There are days when he is a friend on the edge.  I know he is there and will answer me if I desperately need him although I am busy doing other things.  Just like those friends on Facebook who you never see but you know they are still there because they occasionally add a post about their weekend activities.  You keep in touch but at a distance.

There are times when he is a closer friend, the one you have to phone or text through the day to pass on your news.

But the best times are when God is so close he is the friend you spend the day with or big chunks of time on the phone to.
That’s the relationship I had with Andrew and now he’s no longer here it is how I want things to be with God.  He is the one who will always be there and never let me down.  Through the grief I am learning to trust God more and be more reliant on him.  That's got to be something positive to come out of this!

There were times in the past when God was that near but in my busyness I drifted.  Maybe through the years I became more dependent on Andrew to solve my problems.  Now I am reminded once more that only God can fulfil ALL our needs.

It’s not always easy I have to remind myself to keep in touch, keep listening and searching for the answers.

When I was on holiday in America this song by Josh Wilson came on the radio and really spoke to me. 

Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,
if there's a God who loves you,
where is He now?

Maybe, there are things you can't see
and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending
someday, somehow, you'll see, you'll see

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning

My friend, you know how this all ends
and you know where you're going,
you just don't know how you get there
so just say a prayer.
and hold on, cause there's good for those who love God,
life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time,
but you'll see the bigger picture

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning

Once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory

come on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the hurt before the healing
the pain you've been feeling,
just the dark before the morning

I really don’t have all the answers; I’m still just plodding on. Some days are tough.  Just lately I have had times of feeling completely exhausted.  But my faith is keeping me going, along with my family and friends.    

Like the song says, “life is not a snap shot” there is a bigger picture and I may never know what that is this side of heaven and I can cope with that by faith.

This phase I am going through maybe the dark before the morning but it is getting brighter.  

And for the record – today I saw another rainbow, that’s got to be a good sign.

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