I’m checking in to give you a little insight into what’s going on in my life, because I feel like recent developments are worth mentioning. (This started as a brief update, and I didn’t intend to explain my work in much detail, but as you’ll see, there’s a lot to talk about).
If you hadn’t heard already, I got a job. I am currently interning in Communications, for a Christian organisation I highly respect, where my passion for issues that affect public life can be put to productive use. I get to be part of a team that really fight for righteousness and for justice; and I get to write, every day, about stuff that matters. Which actually fulfils a dream I’ve had for several years.
To say I feel privileged and thankful would be a huge understatement.
The joy is greater still when I look back on what it took to get here. If you’re a regular reader you’ll already have some idea that I’ve experienced – or witnessed in the lives of people close to me – a fair amount of difficulties over the past twelve months or so. Despite some very happy moments, there have been more tears than laughter this year. Last winter I cried out to God in frustration one day about the pretty miserable state I found myself in.
I asked why. “Why are you allowing this to happen?”
And I heard God answer: “To make you fit for service”.
Needless to say the answer didn’t make much sense at the time. (That seems to happen a lot with my conversations with God, by the way. I guess that’s where faith comes in).
Now, I see that I gained something valuable during the process: a degree of resilience that could never have happened if this had been a year of ease and smooth-sailing. To work where I’m working for the time-being, I will need it.
Let me tell you this right now: this is an organisation that upholds the Word of God in a very public manner. That will and does offend a lot of people, including the secular media. The more you speak the truth, the more the Enemy will want to silence you. The greater the task, the stronger the opposition; something one of the organisation’s co-founders counselled during Prayers on my first day.
1 Corinthians 1:18 says “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
So despite the huge amount of research and resources behind the work this organisation does, it’s no surprise that many people will think we are simply delusional, loony fundamentalists. It is a comfort, then, to know that Jesus knew rejection, hate, ridicule and persecution acutely.
I no longer have the choice to remain ignorant of terrible things that happen in this nation and in the wider world. After only two weeks, I already care much more about these issues than I did before. It’s a weight to carry, to have to be informed, every day.
It would be easier to not know. This week, at a sort of work-related event, I watched a video of an abortion and it will haunt me for a long while. As an aside, I might blog on that sometime.
There is a cost to sing “break my heart for what breaks yours”, and mean it. It isn’t possible to care deeply about everything and act on it, because that would be not only overwhelming but also unproductive. Yet to truly follow Christ is to allow your heart to be broken for the things that grieve Him. It means fighting to bring healing and restoration in that brokenness.
So, there is sacrifice involved.
The other obvious thing is the long and busy commute, but such a complaint is relatively insignificant. (On a more trivial note, it is kind of cool to work in the nicer end of London).
Anyway, just in case it didn’t come across: it’s worth the cost.
Throughout this process the Lord has shown me the power of obedience. At the start of this year I wasn’t obeying God in every area of my life; not really. I don’t know what I’d be doing now if I had carried on down that route, but it wouldn’t be this job.
And really, obedience is all God requires, in order to use us for His Kingdom in ways that far surpass our limitations. It has nothing to do with any power or ability of our own. Which is a huge relief!
To close, I am excited to see what this internship will hold. I am blessed, and I am enjoying learning lots of new things. Law and politics, even! I get up and I look forward to getting to work. That in itself is amazing, not least because 6am is not my favourite time of day.
Thank you, in all sincerity, to all those who prayed for me, offered me encouragement, love and advice of any kind over the last several months. You probably had more of an impact than you knew.