Proverbs 29.18 – Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.
It all started with a vision ten years ago from God. I let this vision sit. I didn’t respond to this vision. Maybe God didn’t want me to respond to the vision at the time, because in order for this vision to happen I would of course need the trials and tribulations of life, alongside the countless blessings and of course to develop that personal relationship with God.
It has taken a long time for me to come to the point that I am in right now. My life has always been a journey. A mishmash-ed journey of the good and bad. But it hasn’t stopped me from living my life, instead I am filled with a growing desire to fulfil this vision that God had presented to me when I was a mere eighteen years old. Freshly out of high-school, going into university with no real life experience except for my parents’ divorce, the silent verbal and emotional abuse from Mr B that made me look into the world through a looking glass, rather than being who God wanted me to be.
I was defined by my life-experiences. I let my life-experiences define me, perhaps in a negative way at the time. I took the self-pity route for a while, then I realised it wouldn’t take me anywhere. That in order for me to change, I had to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and to live in constant companionship with the Lord. I learnt over the years that I do not have to let the dysfunction of my youth define who I am. It is not a cross that I have to carry but a burden that I can take to the Cross because Jesus died for me.
Now as I am facing my twenty-eight birthday in eight weeks time, my little sister reminds me of my age. She says you are getting old. In her twelve year old’s mind, twenty-eight is old, fifty-two is ancient, seventy and above is a dinosaur. But what does old mean? Is there really such a word? Yes, we grow, but we evolve to become who God wants us to be. Some people become wiser faster because of the experiences that they have had to face.
In my case the pain in my youth, the dysfunction of my marriage, and my three children that all died before birth made me the person that I am today. Hang on. Those are only trials that made me the person I am. I’ll take that back. The pain in my youth+ the dysfunction in my marriage + my three children that all died before birth + my travel experiences + the many blessings from God + my personal faith journey with God + my relationship with God = made me the person I am today, thus equipping me to serve God in the way that he would most want me to serve him.
Life may have been hard, but God equipped me with coping strategies to cope with my losses and he helped me gain new positive wonderful experiences. My endless encounters with people. My encounter with a Christian musician who helped me and connected me to countless others. It was like a domino effect, except in this case the domino effect should be seen as positive rather than negative. It was a catalyst to change, a catalyst to continue towards the vision that God gave me ten years ago, and then every couple of years or so he would remind me of that vision….
But now with all that life experience behind me – how do I go about getting to where I want to be? I often want a quick fix solution – which often ends up being the longer way. God on the other hand has all the time in the world, he is patient and waits for us to be ready. Basically he waits for the harvest to be ready…. And so I feel closer to this vision than I did ten years ago.
I feel closer, I feel like I am making progress. For a long time I thought I wasn’t making any progress but I am making progress. I see the hand of God in my life. I see now clearly that all my experiences helped me to become the woman that God wants me to be. Preparing to enter a bereavement counselling course this coming year will help me to fulfil God’s vision that he provided me ten years ago. Helping a ministry in Dublin will help fulfil the vision that God gave me ten years ago. It is all about trusting the Lord for the outcome, but it is also about being patient and learning to be in tune to the Holy Spirit in order for God’s purpose to be fulfilled.
If I didn’t have the experiences I had, the encounters I had – where would I be today? Who would I be? If I had turned my back away from God when my son died four years ago, where would I be today? Would I be in a ditch somewhere? Would I be helping people on the same level that I am now?
If anything there is one thing that I have learnt from God over the last ten years. To have patience. Everything happens for the glory of God’s Kingdom. Everything happens in God’s perfect timing. It is simply about perseverance and not giving up when the going gets tough.
I know that the coming months will be tough, and I am not sure I want to face them. I would rather be there already! But life is a journey, a journey that we have to be willing to walk, and it is by God’s grace that I am able to do what he wants me to do. It is God’s grace that got me through my trials. It is God’s love that comforted me. It is the people that he put in my life to help me see my potential and to help encourage me onto the good path.
And so I pray that I may fulfil the Lord’s vision in his good time.