Help me find it

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12v2

I have blogged/posted/talked/ranted many, many times about how I don’t understand the whole ‘God’s plan’ thing, and similarly that I have no clue what I’m going to do with my life. Now, im not about to say that I suddenly have everything figured out cos that would be cheesy and a load of rubbish. I’m still as clueless as I was the last time I posted about it, and no doubt this will change day by day, but for now, i’m almost at a stage where I’m okay with not knowing……

“I don’t need to know what I don’t know, just got to let it go”

So a lot was said last week at summer school about God’s plan. It was mentioned various times throughout the week, and the night Clydebank led evening prayers, this is what we based it on. If you’ve read any of my other posts you’ll know I don’t find this easy to understand – how do we learn what his plan is in order to follow it? I have enough issues trying to figure out my own plans, never mind work out of I’m following God’s. I got really upset on Thursday night, freaking out over what I’m going to do once (trying to be positive by not saying ‘if’) I graduate next year. First of all, I’m so not adult enough to have a real job!! But more so, I don’t know what I’m going to do, or even what I want to do. I got really worked up – everyone else seems to have it much more together than me, they know where they’re headed and have all these steps in place to get them there. Then there’s clueless me in the corner.

I’m not really sure how resolved things felt that night – various people talked to me and prayed with me which I hugely appreciated. (If ever you’re reminded that people are in your life for a reason, last week was one of those times!) Several of the conversations eluded to what I wrote in my previous post, about God already using me right where I am. Junior camp, this blog, to my friends being just a few examples of where God’s working through me. I’ve recently taken on the role of female band sergeant (can’t spell this word!!!) for the west Scotland divisional youth band (mouthful and a half!!), which I think really just means that I’m semi-responsible for the spiritual development of those in the band. Something I’m not taking lightly and I’m really excited to see how God might use me in that capacity. But with regards to uni and beyond, I was just as confused as ever.

In the Friday morning testimony time, Ian commented after someone had spoken, saying that a lot of the time we focus far too much on figuring out “the plan”, or the end goal, getting stressed when we can’t figure out where we’re headed. When actually, we need to remember to focus on the ‘now’, and God will use us and show us what to do. I mentioned in my devotions at youth band on Monday night about how He is constantly using us, whether we realise it or not, and it’s totally true. It might not be obvious at the time, but in hindsight chances are we’ll see he’s been leading us along a certain path the whole time.

Usually a mentality like that would wash over me, but I thought about it a lot and I’m managing to stick with it so far. It feels…calming? Instead of stressing about where I’m heading, I’m comfortable knowing that if I work hard whilst listening and trusting God, I’ll end up where I’m meant to be. I know that he’s in control, and if I give everything I do to him, then I should be okay. I’ll figure it out. And actually, several conversations last week and since then have given me a better idea of what I’d like to do post-uni, and whilst I need to figure out how to get there, maybe a plan is shaping up after all.

“You know the way; I’ve let go the need to know why, for you know better than I” 

There are other things in life at the minute that I’m not so calm and comfortable with, but I’m trying really hard to pray and hope for the best that they’ll resolve and that everything will be okay. And if they’re not, I can try even harder to put all of my trust in God. He’s not going to let me go. None of this is going to be easy and chances are i’ll be ready to give up and freak out about it all again in about a week’s time (so prayers are always appreciated!), but i’ve got to give it a shot.

For our evening prayers last week, I was trying to find a song to use for the reflective part, and I came across one by Sidewalk Prophets called ‘help me find it’. The lyrics fit perfectly with the theme of God’s plan, and I’ve had it on repeat for about a week now. This isn’t my most eloquent post but it’s something that means a lot to me so thought i’d post it anyway, and i’m going to sum it up with some of those lyrics i’ve been singing all week…

“I don’t know where to go from here, it all used to seem so clear. I’m finding I can’t do this on my own.
I don’t know where to go from here; as long as I know that you are near, I’m done fighting, I’m finally letting go.

I will trust in you; you’ve never failed before. I will trust in you…

If there’s a road I should walk help me find it.
If I need to be still, give me peace for the moment.
Whatever your will, can you help me find it? “

Summer School Testimony

So last week was one of my favourites of the year, and something which always evokes a few blog posts – Music camp/music school/summer school..whatever you want to call it. A couple of weeks prior to going, I was asked if I would share my testimony at the beginning of the week, and despite semi-eagerly agreeing to do it, I ended up really nervous and physically shaking when I actually did it, so I thought I’d share it on here incase I spoke too fast at the time, or for anyone who wasn’t there that is remotely interested in reading it! 

So Ian asked if I would give my testimony this week – although I wasn’t expecting it to be this soon!! – and share a bit about how God has been working to transform my life. 
I’ve always been shy, quiet natured and quite reserved, and I would definitely describe myself as an introvert. I had always viewed these things as negatives, particularly because as a result of them, I’ve always found communicating face to face pretty difficult and awkward, and the thought of making a phone call practically brings me out in a cold sweat. I’m quite a deep thinker and I love a good deep discussion about things that matter to me, I’m just not very good at doing it in person. I am however a lot better at explaining myself on paper or by text. I found myself starting a blog a couple of years ago, more for my own sanity than with the aim of people reading it. I’d write about what I was feeling, and often I’d write about my faith – how things were, questions I had, things I didn’t understand and was struggling with. I eventually got brave enough to share it on Facebook and it turned out that people did read it, which was quite cool but also scary. Surprisingly though, every time I posted something I would get comments and messages, often from people I would never have expected to have read it never mind speak to me about it. People saying they could relate to what I was saying, or that they really needed to hear something I’d written, that it had made them think about their own faith. I was having an impact, albeit a small one, that I never expected to have. God was taking something about me I saw as a weakness, and transforming it into something positive. As a result I’ve had countless meaningful conversations that wouldn’t have otherwise happened, I’ve strengthened friendships, I’ve gained a huge amount of confidence in myself and the influence I can have and I’ve grown in my relationship with God.
The last time summer school was here at Strathallen 6 years ago I was so shy I only spoke to a handful of people – I know for a fact I only spoke in cells when I was forced to and the thought of standing here speaking to all of you would have made me run out the door. 6 years later I’ve grown up into someone who is, albeit still quite quiet, 100 times more confident, and a few weeks ago I did something that I would never have been capable of then. I went to junior camp as a staff member, which to be fair still terrified me now, but I did it. I was able to be a responsible adult that the kids could look up to and respect, and I was able to share my faith and help them grow in theirs. I joint-led a teaching session – talking to the kids as a group and helping to teach them about God. Something that would be nothing for some people but had me physically shaking before hand, and that I never thought I’d be capable of or brave enough to do. I was more anxious at the start of that week than I have been for anything in years and it was so far out of my comfort zone, but I took the decision at the start of the week to try to fully rely on God to guide me, help me and transform me into the more confident person he wanted me to be, and to my skeptical surprise, it worked. He didn’t let me down and he never does. 

I’m currently going into my last year of my second attempt at uni, and I still have absolutely no idea what I want to do, or what I’m going to do with my life. This does lead to the odd panic now and again, but I’ve come to realise lately that whatever happens, everything will be okay, because God is there with me. Things like my blog and junior camp have shown me that God is constantly using me and constantly working in me to transform me into the person he made me to be, and I’m excited to see what he’s going to do next to transform my life. 

– Also, there will be post-summer school posts coming soon 🙂 –