N.B. I was not at all well yesterday morning and ended up spending the majority of the day in bed. It's certainly no fun being ill when you ain't got a lovely Mummy to look after you, I'll say!
I have been wondering a lot lately. About a lot of things, not even one thing in particular. It's coming up to Christmas, and been thinking back on childhood memories and experiences of past Christmasses. It's nearly January, and a New Year, so been thinking about the things that 2008 brought to me, and the changes that have occurred in my life throughout the year. Its almost at that terrifying time of year when I have to decide what I want to do next year, or rather, what God wants and where I will end up. It's nearly 2009. What a scary thought!
Most of all though, I have been wondering an awful lot about how much I have changed over the last year and a half/ since I started life down here in Southend. So much has gone on, so much has moulded and guided and crushed me into this person I have become. And so far, I'm not overly sure how much I've been aware of it's going on. I know that people often tell me that I've grown loads in the last year, and yes, there are aspects of my life that I can visibly see the changes in me. But there are so many other things, little things, that I am aware have not-so-much changed, but have been allowed to mature and grow, because I have given them a chance to come out into the open: parts of my personality that are not hindered by shyness and lack of self-esteem and self-loathing. I have gained control, albeit loosely, on some of those negative emotions that threaten to overtake me, and so most of the time now, I am partly free of them, and they no longer dictate my every move.
I have learnt so much about God in my 16 months working for Him, not just knowledge and understanding of the Bible and it's truth and message, but also about God himself. His character and attitude towards me, and not in the least, the unexplainable, unimaginable magnitude of his love and faithfulness that are renewed to me every morning, because I worship and adore a loving, faithful God, who knows me intimately and holds me close to his heart.
I mentioned a few months ago that I was experiencing a real sense of 'travelling into the darkness' and I would not say that I have yet come out the other side. I know that there is so much more that God wants to "do with me" whilst I am vulnerable and allowing Him to do so. However, no matter how dark the night gets, I know the faithfulness of God's provision for me, and so I am contented with being here. I am fully aware that there are struggles I have yet to experience, because life is an ongoing journey, and I am still travelling it. But the moments of God's bright stars that break through the darkness are constant and powerful, and so I remain stengthened and rested in His presence. And despite the chaos and unpredicatableness of the things sometimes going on in my head, I strive to allow God to mould me, and to answer and comfort all the questions and fears that lie in the pit of that darkness.
So yes, I have been wondering a lot lately. Or should I say, wandering....
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Horatio G Spafford, 1873