Thursday, May 03, 2007

Changes and Challenges

Last December I posted about how much I was looking forward to 2007 and how it would surely bring new and exciting things (read it here). 2007 has certainly delivered on its promise - it has brought a flood of new things, both expected and unexpected.

Expected changes
  • I've been to two weddings so far with another three more to come this year in May, July and November.
  • My role at work has changed. I now work part-time (four days a week) and spend Wednesdays at home, working on my first novel.
  • My housemate is getting married in nine days so I'll be living with someone new and quite possibly in a different place if I don't find someone to move in.
  • I started going out with Duncan. Yes, I'm putting this in expected things because it seemed in late 2006 that things were heading this way (and if he hadn't said anything, he would have got his butt kicked hehe ;))

Unexpected changes

  • I adopted a cat - my beautiful black kitty, Ebony.

I want to blog a bit more about the unexpected things as that is mainly the whole point of this post. On New Year's Eve, I had big plans and dreams for 2007. Things have not quite turned out the way I thought they would.

Don't get me wrong - all of these new things have been fantastic. Duncan and I are going well, the book's going well, Ebony's going well and I'm much happier at work. But the challenges have mainly involved adjusting to these changes. By the middle of the year, my life will look quite different to how it did six months ago and despite the excitement this involves, changes are not always that easy to take. I've found myself eagerly looking forward to change only to be almost paralysed by fear and uncertainty when that change came about. The last few months have involved coming to terms with that and with God's grace I feel I am able to now enjoy what I was looking forward to so much.

2007 has been challenging especially where personal relationships are concerned. It seems that God has brought no end to the stream of 'difficult' people that are either already in my life or who have recently entered it. This test has stretched me to the MAXIMUM as I feel like I am constantly battling my sinful nature which whispers to me that the only way to deal with it is to disembowel the offender. It is especially difficult when those people are Christians. And I'm tempted to listen to my sinful nature but Christ has taught us a better way. Right now, it feels my 'love meter' is on empty and while I still love my family and friends very much, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to love and be godly towards those who hurt, betray, belittle and ridicule me. The result is that I've often ended up stressed, depressed, guilty and angry.

Through this God has taught me many painful and hard lessons about myself and others. I find it very difficult to forgive. I dislike confrontation as a rule but I'm finding I need to be increasingly confrontational when people are being ungodly and hurting myself or those I love. I still have a long way to go but God keeps using these experiences to chip away at me and make me more like Jesus.

While these past few months have been challenging as well as rewarding, you know what? I wouldn't change any of it. A while ago, I complained to God that if I'd had these past few months over, I'd change this and that. Now he's helped me to see that without these people to deal with, I would have missed out on all he has taught me and the work he is still doing in me.

If I can encourage any of you, look back at anything difficult you have faced and rejoice that God not only brought you through it but that he has a purpose behind it. Sometimes you won't be able to see it but trust in the one who loves you, who sees and knows all and the whole universe is under his control.

Throughout the coming months, I'm going to post more on topics such as love and forgiveness as I wrestle with what it looks like to follow Christ.

Things are going much better now. We're not even half way through 2007 and I'm looking forward to what's in store.


Duncan said...

Praise God! The Lord is working in you, and I pray continuely for His will for you and I:)

bek ingram said...

That was a great post. I always love reading whats going on in peoples lives, and Im glad that you are learning so much!!