When it doesn’t feel ‘worth it’

Dear God,

This whole walking-in-obedience thing doesn’t always feel worth it. It doesn’t feel worth it when I haven’t seen most of my university friends in over six months because I no longer have that much time. When I don’t always get enough sleep or have the time to cook proper meals or see my family a lot. It doesn’t feel very worth it then.

I miss my old friends in Canterbury and also, still, I sometimes miss Berlin and the people I knew there. A while back I wrote about loneliness and although things are better, I am still often lonely because London is a lonely place, and making friends after university is hard.

In fact, post-university life is good but it is harder than anyone ever told me it would be.

Hard when it seems that You have become silent for a time and I begin to second guess and to doubt some things I thought You said. Hard when I feel like I am losing You in the daily grind and the crowds hurrying, always hurrying.

I am enormously grateful to be where I am – yes, even on moany days like this. I am just an ordinary girl from a normal working class family, who only just upwards of a year ago was dead broke, depressed and anxious. So I appreciate the workplace I’m in, and the perks of having disposable income and going to fancy book launches and movie premieres.

Yet sometimes, I feel a little bit lost and adrift and I know it may look (maybe!) like I’m a competent young professional but that’s not how I often feel.

I have to hold onto the fact that You have purpose for me here. Now and then a small moment will remind me of exactly why I care about what I’m doing and why I ended up living in London again (something I hadn’t really wanted to do).

There are many things that I know deep in my soul are from You; things taking place that I have prayed for.

I have to hold onto those truths over the lonely moments, the misunderstandings, the disappointments and uncertainties.

I choose thankfulness because the opportunities You are providing me with are worth far more than how I feel right now.

I don’t know where I am going but as ever this process is a good one. It is always in the moment that I realise how dependent I am on You, that I find You.

So I choose to keep going. Forward. Not conditionally. Not ‘I’ll do this God if You give me that’. No, I will choose joy and fight onwards through this strange time of being 20-something year’s old, learning so much so very quickly, and swinging between joy and sadness, confidence and utter insecurity.

Because You are worth it. Completely.

It’s not about ‘feeling it’ – more God adventures in a supermarket car park

I’m taking an opportunity to reflect on the bizarre and fun moments I witnessed at Healing on the Streets yesterday, because at the time my brain felt too foggy to process it. Writing it down helps me to better appreciate it – I don’t want to miss the beauty or the significance of what the Lord is doing.

I really didn’t feel like going to HOTS yesterday, to be honest. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been feeling a little lower than of late. I didn’t feel ‘connected’ enough with God. I didn’t feel very ‘spiritual’ or very confident. I didn’t feel like I could radiate joy to the people I was going to be interacting with. But after missing the last one already, I pushed myself to go.

It started out with me feeling pretty awkward, even moreso than the first time I did it. Just wasn’t feeling it. But I sort of followed a couple of other ladies and joined in praying for a few people we passed in the marketplace.

We came back for a half-time regroup and I took a moment to chat with some other church folk, who were collecting item donations from shoppers for the homeless. (They collected a whole trolley full, by the way!)

Then the chaotic part started.

I’m chatting, slightly oblivious to what’s going around me.

Before I realise what’s happening, there’s a crowd of people my own age in the car park, waving bottles of wine around. One of them goes and sits down in the chair and one of the team is about to pray for him.

The crowd are all pretty drunk, rowdy, and, understandably, amused by the fact that their friend is about to get prayed for. But they’re curious, and as the team kneel by guy’s chair to pray, the rest of them also kneel, laughing and fooling around, taking pictures, and I’m just there in the middle of this crowd and other members of the team, in a Sainsbury’s car park, not entirely sure what’s going to happen.

I mean, this is pretty weird.

Anyway, we pray for this guy, and then our pastor says ‘Has anyone got back problems?’ and one guy says ‘yeah, actually, I do’, so he goes to sit in another chair to be prayed for and his friends follow him to watch. His back gets healed (and some others, still a bit drunk and bemused, also get prayed for).

While all this is going on, one girl stays where she is kneeling, rather than following the group, and asks for prayer. So my team member prays for her about all aspects of her life, and I sit with her on the ground. The lady who prayed for her starts telling her about Jesus and sharing her own testimony, and then the girl says she’s interested because:

“When you just prayed I really felt something” and she makes a sweeping motion with her hands.

I tell her what she just felt was the presence of God and that He loves her.

She says, in that typical endearing way that people do when they’ve had a lot to drink:

“Really? Even though I’ve done lots of bad stuff? ‘Cos I’ve done lots of bad things.”

The lady and I say yes, chat a bit more, hug her, give her a leaflet about our church.

I’ll leave it there for the sake of brevity and because it’s difficult to articulate what happened, but after they all left we were kind of bemused ourselves.

It was a bit surreal and yet also so ‘normal’.

All I know is that the Lord is good, and even though it started out awkwardly (at least for me), it was such a blessing to be a small part of what He did with that crowd and what He will continue to do in their lives as He stirs their hearts. It was never about me or how ‘spiritual’ I was feeling. He’s much bigger than all of that.

You know, sometimes in the media I see people encouraging fellow Christians in the UK to ‘start acting like a minority’ in order to make sure we don’t get all our rights taken away. I don’t believe in this victim mentality at all, not least because the negative picture that people often paint does not reflect the whole truth.

Moments like yesterday only cement what I was already convinced of – God cannot be contained or boxed.

As long as His followers let Him show up where He pleases, there will be drunk people getting healed and hearing about Christ in a supermarket car park. To God be the glory.