Monday, 11 April 2011

It's only in your will that I am free

My head is spinning. So much is happening at the moment and I am coming to believe that your journey for me at the moment is not so much travelling on the way to somewhere else, but an internal exploration; insight into who I am, where I am, what I am and why I am...what I am for.  Months ago I asked the question, 'What next?' and wondered what I should do when my littlest girl goes to school in September; how my roles in life were shifting slightly.  A wise friend advised me that I am simply 'waking up' after the early years with babies and young children where a woman tends by necessity to retreat from the world to a degree to concentrate on being a mother.  'Waking up' and re-engaging with the world after a 'sleepy' period of inward looking to build a family and take care of it. 

So at the beginning of this year I asked, 'Who am I?' if I'm no longer an occupational therapist, soon to be no longer required as a full time Mum.  I started this year with a keen sense of anticipation, excitement and promise.  I knew you were doing something, leading somewhere, but I had no clue what or where or how. 

Three months down the line and in many respects I'm no wiser, but in a few areas I am sensing what you are about.  It's about me, isn't it?  I have so far to go to be the me that you planned for me.  I am becoming more aware of the distance yet to travel, the work to be done, the heights and depths to be explored, but at the same time I am starting to grasp that you think I'm worth the effort.  I have always doubted that I'm as good as the next person; always felt vaguely apologetic, always taken criticism to heart and deflected compliments, unable to let them land.  Then when I get to this stage of my life, suddenly you take me gently on one side and tell me that you love me, that I'm great, that now's the time to sort it all out - that you have a Plan and before you tell me your Plan you want to make sure that I understand the truth about myself.

So that truth - I don't know what it is yet.  But I am learning that I am unique, that I have something to offer.  Something to offer by being me.  Nobody else can occupy the space that I occupy, and while I'm here, I need to learn to do what it is that only I can do. No point in apologising; no reason to apologise.  I have gifts and talents that are designed for just the job that you have in mind for me.  A quiver of arrows! An arsenal of weapons.  I need to learn what they are and how I can use them, and then I have no doubt that you'll send me out on my mission.

As part of the course I'm doing I'm trying to write my Life Statement.  A Mission Statement, if you like. A sentence or so that sums up what I am about.  Why I Am Here.  It will give direction to my footsteps and guide my every decision.  I can't remember which song it's from but the words:

'For it's only in your will that I am free'

keep going through my mind. The only way I can fulfil my potential is to follow the instructions, and it's taken me this long to rummage in the packet and find them, unfold the booklet and have a look exactly how I'm supposed to work and how to get the best out of me. 

And you're not letting me down. I've had insight after insight; idea after idea and whispers and chuckles and shouts and songs from you. I'm in turn amazed, taken aback, overwhelmed, comforted, challenged and excited. I can't wait for the next thing. I want to be all I can be, and then I want to show those I love how to do the same.  I want to be the person you made me to be and not some distortion of that person, or some pale, faded, listless version.  I want to shine for you; to reflect you.  I want to know, deep in my soul; to understand, to delight in what I see around me and in me, and in other people.  I want the wisdom to see, properly see what you have given me to see, and I want to notice it, to express it, to mark it so that it cannot be overlooked or forgotten, so that I can always remember and other people will see as well. 

What a journey. I can't believe I've even set out. So unlike me to have this courage or determination. So much easier to take the line of least resistance and opt out of any struggling.  So much easier to be flippant and say that my mission in life is simply to get through the week in one piece. I feel as if you're spending time with me, drawing my attention to things, reassuring me, equipping me, loving me.  And when you're all done you'll pat me on the shoulder and say, 'Ok then, off you go.'  And off I'll go, because then I'll be sure of the direction, and I know that there's nowhere you can send me that you haven't been, and won't go again at my side.

Ha. 

I've remembered which song that line came from. It's 'All For Jesus'.  How perfect is that?  What a sense of humour you have, my gracious Lord. 

Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be.
Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be.

All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into Your hands.
All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into Your hands.

For it's only in Your will that I am free,
For it's only in Your will that I am free,
Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be. 

It's all for you, Lord Jesus. All that I am, all that I'm discovering about myself, you can have it all.  It's all yours already.  All I ever hope to be is the person you want me to be. All of my ambitions, hopes and plans don't mean a thing unless you are in them; they will matter for nothing unless you breathe life into them. It's all for you. 

Fancy you doing all this for me. For me. My God, that you have such patience with me as I faff and hesitate and make excuses.  I'm so thick sometimes that you need to teach me the same things over and over, and yet you never run out of innovation to get your point across. It leaves me reeling. And so thankful. 

Onwards, inwards, upwards, forwards!  What's next?!  I want the next thing. I am champing at the bit. I want to know what you have for me next.

What a day. 





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