N.B. Still trying to assort the effects of the Philippines and the effects of Training week in my head, if you're confused... so am I.
At Training Week, I finally came to the conclusion, or rather, God finally got to me enough to realise that all the things I said I couldn't do this year, were actually things that I just wouldn't do. And I don't know what it was about training week, but I finally realised that I'd spent so much of this year, and so much of my life thinking that I wasn't good enough to do something, or a wasn't able to do something, when really, God was saying to me, Why not?
God taught me a lot at training week actually. Through Beth's preaching and Wendy's sessions, I finally began to realise that YES, God does love me, YES, He did create me just as He wanted me, YES, He has chosen me and YES, He has called me to be His. To inherit His throne, to be His Heir. Geesh. Thats a lot to take in and finally realise, I can tell you! In fact, its pretty much life changing information. And I wonder how many Christians actually have realised it? Not as many as you would think, probably.
And then through Den's sessions, and Mike's preaching, I realised that God is calling me to even greater things than I have set my sights on. That I need to let go of things in the past, and realise that right now, God is calling me to spread his message. To love people. To stop letting the fear and insecurity get in the way of sharing what is inside of me. God's calling me to preach! (And that came as a shock, I CAN TELL YOU!) I don't know what form that will take, but I'm sure God will show me in time!
So on the last night of training, after a long few hours of worship, teaching and praying for others, I sat alone in the chapel. Just sitting really, trying to have some 'me and God' time. I hadn't received any direct ministry from God during that evening's session, as I had spent it praying for others, and I felt the need to just be alone with God. I just sat there, soaking up the massiveness of what God has taught me during the week, but I was flooded with images from my teenage years, images that I had tried to wipe from my head. Things that I'd said, things that had been said to me, ways that I had suffered and been hurt by people I trusted.
And I started to ask God why. Why did He wait so long to let me know that I was loved? Why I had had to wait so long to finally realise it? Why I had to spend so long wanting desperately to feel loved, when He was right there, loving me. Surely He could have done something? I continued to question God in my head, when Kat came in and sat beside me. I told her everything that I had been thinking.
She prayed with me, and she told me that God made me wait, because he wanted me to have the strength of the testimony I have now. He always loved me, He just knew that I wouldn't fully believe it until now. She said I was worth a million. And for the first time in my life, I actually believed her. Which, as usual, resulted in me crying (God has that effect on me...) But it was a release. God was allowing me to get rid of it all. He was telling me that it was finally time to stand up, and to start running the race HE has set before me. And the wait? It was necessary. Because now I know the extent of God's love, and plan for my life.