N.B. Please bear with me, this is the first time I have attempted to articulate these thoughts in writing.
Over the last few months, a lot of things have happened (some good and some bad) that have led to me experiencing the feeling of being broken and beat up inside. I say good and bad, because I believe that at some point in our Christian journey, (at least once, but probably many times) we must go through the fire in order to be refined by God. Sometimes the situations we go through are beyond our control, friends becoming ill or moving away, family members falling out, the government scrapping a savings scheme we were relying on. Sometimes those situations are scary. And sometimes those situations arise because of concscious decisions we have made.
But regardless of how those situations came about, when they do, we have a choice how to react to them. Some would say that suffering is a choice. To be stripped bare, to lose all means of survival but to cling to Christ, can be a choice. To choose to remove from your life all that distracts you from loving God and doing His will, can be a satisfying feeling, though others would have you believe that it is unnecessary.
What am I trying to say? Over the last few months, I have been looking at ways of simplifying my life. I have given away many of my possessions, stopped falling for the commercials and tried to only buy essentials, rather than special bits of tat that are unnecessary. I have attempted to spend more time with people, eating, meeting up, talking. I have tried to spend less time on Facebook and messing around on computers. I have tried to value the input of individuals in my life. I have given when people have needed, and not expected repayment. I have tried not to worry about money. Most of all I have chosen to rely on God when situations have become hurtful and heartbreaking. I have, in effect, stripped myself of some things that others take for granted.
Many people have said to me recently: "I'm really proud of how you're coping with all this" or words to that affect. I am not entirely sure which things they are proud of my ability to cope. But I do know that these last few months have meant more than just removing physical distractions and obstacles from my lifestyle. I have experienced God stripping things away from me too. Breaking off the casing that has surrounded me for so long to reveal the raw, sparkling core of my being. Relighting the fire of passion for things in my heart. Christ has been de-cluttering my soul, so to speak. I cannot say that overall it has been the most pleasant of experiences. But I do know that whatever it is Christ is doing, I am proud that I am not done yet. I am glad that I am still being moulded into a work of art, and that there is more of me to reveal, more of my potential to see, and however painful that experience may be, I know that it is worth going through. For Christ has a greater plan for me, to do greater things. And I need to be ready for that.
So watch out world, I'm just getting started!