Behind the scenes…

Recent events have reminded me that just because we can’t see something happening, doesn’t mean that it’s not happening!
People I know are in various stages of waiting – waiting to move house, waiting to hear the outcome of an interview, waiting for something to happen. Waiting can be hard.
It’s hard when there’s not much we can do, other than ‘sit back and wait’.
It’s hard when the only answer to ‘how long’, is ‘as long as a piece of string’.
It’s hard when we fear we may have been forgotten.
But a front door will open, a job will be found, and ‘it’ will happen – even if different to what was expected.

My wait for a Hearing Dog has recently come to an end. Marshall isn’t the Labrador I was hoping for, but as a spaniel he’s a much better fit in our small home and on my small lap!

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Being different to what was expected, he reminds me that I don’t always know best.
I’m also reminded that we often have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes.
Marshall is just over two years old, which means that for all this time his training as an Assistance Dog has been going on – even though I had no inkling!

As a believer, I see God as the producer, director and prompt of our story – but it’s not a play, it’s for real.
Sometimes we will be on cue, but other times the scripts we write for ourselves mean that we lose the plot. Maybe our self-doubts or our self-interests, our hurts or our arrogance, nudge us to be other than our true character.
The good news is that even this doesn’t mean that the curtain falls and it’s over.

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The story can be amended, but we need to respond to God’s prompts – which can be challenging and often include forgiveness. That’s why it’s good to regularly return to the original script and realign ourselves.

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To quote a prayer I return to regularly:

You God, promised us nothing by way of success, recognition, possessions or reward. ‘These things will come at the right time when you walk with me’, you said.
(Iona Community)

So much goes on behind the scenes…

Truth is… You will hear His voice behind you, saying ‘This is the way, walk in it’. (Isaiah 30: 21)

Woe or Wow

There’s a roundabout in a nearby town that for a few months each year is breath taking – wild flower seeds have been scattered, and during the summer months it’s a mass of colour as different flowers bloom alongside each other.

I happened to drive round it earlier this week and my response was ‘wow’, but I also felt a tinge of sadness as autumn is setting in and blooms will soon be fading.

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Truth is, I’m not a winter person. I don’t look forward to the dark and the cold, but of course seasons are necessary for life to flourish.
I’ve just planted a mass of bulbs in the garden. You wouldn’t know it, as there’s nothing to show for my efforts, but I’m confident that next spring they will emerge from their deep dark setting. And that’s the point – it’s having hope in the waiting.

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This week a number of people have talked with me about the waiting time they are in:
Waiting to find work that matches their abilities and qualities; waiting for true friendships; waiting to feel more settled in a new role; waiting for an assurance to materialise; waiting for the baby to sleep through!
Many of these situations are waiting for sown seeds to take root and shoot.

As I think about these people, and my own ‘waits’, I am mindfully letting go of ‘woe’ and holding on to hope that there will be a ‘wow’ in due course:
No longer will that person be a square peg in a round hole; connections will be made; there will be a settling down; it will happen; and yes, broken nights will end!

So the roundabout flowers remind me that there are cycles in life. We have times when we visibly blossom and flourish, and other times when development is less obvious as it’s under the surface.

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And maybe these times aren’t all dark, for under the surface, seeds and bulbs are protected from harsh winds, driving rain and freezing cold. So much is happening even though on the surface it appears not, so I for one, am going to trust in what I cannot see!

Truth is… But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience’ Romans 8:25

 

The Best Is Yet To Come…

Twice this week I’ve found myself in conversation with people who feel that the best is yet to come (actually it’s three times, if I include conversations I’ve had with myself!)
Following a bit of a frustrating day, one friend was telling me that he’d had one of those ‘why on earth am I doing this job’ moments. He has many gifts and abilities (as we all have) but has a sense that there’s something more fulfilling for him to do in life.
We talked a bit about how differences can be made to other peoples’ lives by the little things we do, and that ‘waiting times’ needn’t be wasted times.

I too am in a time of waiting. I’m waiting for acute depression to lift. I’m waiting for a Hearing Dog to enable me to return to employment. I’m waiting for relationships to mend. None of this is passive, I am actively finding ways forward, and I am holding on to the words a chaplain said to me many years ago: “The best is yet to come”.
Wonderfully, those exact words are on the front of a card just given to me by another friend.

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They remind me that I don’t have to persuade God to make life fulfilling,
nor does God need to persuade me that there is more to life than meets the eye.
It’s not about being persuaded, it’s about connecting with our deepest desires.

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I believe that God doesn’t want anything other than that we fulfil our potential.
But truth is, when life doesn’t seem to go according to plan, I sometimes doubt God has got the ‘what, when and where’ details to hand!

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Gradually though, I’m coming to recognise that life lived in the company of God can have a ‘lastminute.com’ feel to it.
The ‘departure gate’ for the next step of our journey through life, only opens when we are actually ready to step through.
So this week I’ve remembered that in fog, pilots keep to a flight path by trusting their navigation instruments, and I’ve realigned myself with the Truth which is at the heart of what matters.

Truth is… I know what I’m doing. I have plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for” Jeremiah 29:11