So, I have a year before I go to college for ordination training. It was my choice, I have blogged about that before. But I feel that I have been given this year by God and above all I don’t want to fill it with my own crap, but just with what he is asking me to do.Last year I worked voluntarily and part time for my church and it was great. Great in that I learned a lot but great in that it allowed me space to spend time seeking God, to grow my relationship with him, to find out where I was going and what I was supposed to be doing. Most days when I wasn’t working I had plenty of time to seek him in prayer him each day. Such an amazing luxury and I know I didn’t use it all as best as I could, but it was just wonderful to have that time. Now, I know that this year (Sept 2012-Sept 2013) is the last time I will have some ‘free time’ for a while. Next September I will embark on studying for ordained ministry and once that begins, I will be pretty busy. There will be 3 years training, then 4 years curacy, then into full time ministry (well that’s the plan but of course it may all go out the window, which knowing God would not surprise me in the least…) But all being well it seems like it might be some years and I just won’t have the time that I have had to be seeking God and exploring ideas as I can at the moment. So I want to make the most of this time. And most of all, I love Jesus and I just want to know him more, I want to see more of his kingdom, to see more people coming to know him and see people’s lives being transformed like ours were – freely we have received now freely I want to give...
I’ve prayed so much about this year. And it’s funny because it’s so unlike me not to want to get on with studying right away, not to want to throw myself into it immediately, but I feel so peaceful about that the decision to have this year out, that I know it’s of God. A friend asked me this week if a little bit of me didn’t wish I was starting right now, but no, actually it doesn’t!
In reality this isn’t just about a year, it’s decisions for life, but I know I have a year before I start college to really focus on some of these things so that’s where I’m starting. Who knows at the end of the year God may have other plans for me, but for now I start with this year. The year before college.
So what will it entail...?
There have been so many things that have come up in prayer but above all I feel ‘it’s time to get serious’. It’s all being well thinking and talking about wanting to see more of God, but sometimes you just have to shut up, step out and get on with it. And that’s what I intend to do. A dear friend of ours left our church recently and he was someone I felt inspired and led by. He had a big impact on my life and I have so much to thank him for. My life will not be the same having worked and spent time with him. But the last few months I have felt like I’ve floundered a bit. (Other things have happened too, which I have blogged about elsewhere). I’ve been wondering who to turn to now for advice and for spiritual guidance. I’ve felt a bit lost as to what my purpose is in my role at work, and in my life but still so hungry to know more of God and so desperate to be in his presence and led by his Holy Spirit . So, last week I shared all this with my husband. And in a total reversal of our usual relationship (must be God...) he just cut to the heart of it all and said something like this: Jules you have been put in a position of leadership, you need to lead. You are more than capable of doing that and doing it well. What is there to stop you? He is also now doing some work for the church and as he pointed out we are both now in a position of being able to see the things we desire actually come about. It was like the skies had parted and the sun came out! Suddenly I knew what it was I should be doing. And the thing is I knew it all along I just was being fearful. Well I’m probably still fearful but I know that God will equip me. I know he has put me here for such a time as this, for his purposes and I just have to step into them! He has made the path ahead for me...
As a Christian we all have a calling to be Jesus to those around us. For each of us that looks very different, for some it is a quiet behind the scenes serving and loving, for others it’s standing on a street corner preaching the gospel, for some it’s being a Christian at work and making the right moral decisions, and for others it’s a more out there, defiant, in your face kind of thing – well that’s me anyway ;) and right now I know that for me I need to be that, an ‘out there’ kind of Christian, not afraid of my faith, but so secure in the knowledge and love of God that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. I know I do not need to fear man, I just need to get serious and get on with what he’s asking me to do!!
In my prayer time I have felt 3 scriptures being given to me for this year and they are:
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Hebrews 12:1-4 the Message
Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Luke 12:32 NKJV
As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
These excite me so much!! I have prayed about this a lot and this is what I think this year looks like to me:
1: Seeking God daily. In prayer and quiet time. For me but also for the world around me
- I will just spend time in his presence, just to know him more... I can’t wait!
- My daily questions will be, ‘what do you want me to do today? What opportunity have you got for me today?’
- I will always offer to pray for the sick. I will not turn down an opportunity that God gives me (help...!) I will be a blessing to those around me.
- I want to be Jesus to those around me. To be an ENCOURAGER.
2. My family
Jesus is and will be at the heart of our home. We will, as a family love him together and show that love to others. I will love them, encourage them, pray with them and nurture them.
3. In relation to ministry, I want to seek out people doing all kinds of more contemporary ministry. I want to get ideas, look at what others are doing, learn from them, get prayed for by them!
- I want to seek out people who have amazing spirit led ministries and go where the Holy spirit is leading.
- I want to gather others who are hungry for God and seek him together. And in those that aren’t I want to fan the flame. In reality I don’t need the above, we can seek the Holy Spirit together but it’s good to get inspired!!
We had a hashtag last year and this I will continue to use #thereismore because there is SO much more to Gods kingdom than I have experienced and that is what I long for…
Just on a last note I will also be blogging this journey, but to avoid confusion (mainly in my part) I will be doing that elsewhere - I will post the address once its finalised...)