Happy New Year: Welcome to 2019
Happy New Year, can you believe it is 2019 already. Last year for me felt like it was moving so quickly and I just didn’t know how to catch up with it. Everything felt like it was 3 ft ahead and each time I tried to walk I would move one step forward and two steps back.
Having finished university, I thought time would at least slow down for me as I had nothing in particular planned but instead, I found it moving even further away and the longer I remained in limbo, the more distant I became to my own reality and a great fear took over me. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to get out of this limbo and that eventually, I would wake up to find that life had moved on without me.
During this period, try as I might to re-establish my relationship with Christ, for I was feeling dreadfully anxious, I focused on meditating on scriptures to alleviate my discomfort. In June I would constantly recite Proverbs 14:26-27 “In the fear of the Lord, there is strong confidence and is a fountain of life”; In July I sang the song from Psalm 121 “ I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help: from the Lord”; In August I reminded myself of Isaiah 41: 10 “Fear not for I am with you be not dismayed for I AM your God I will strengthen you, help you, uphold you with my righteous right hand”; In September I tried to comfort my spirit with Psalms 23 “The Lord is my Shepard, He goes before me, I’m filled with anointing my cups overflowing”. Rather than soothing my soul, I still felt incredibly anxious and afraid, why wouldn’t the Lord slow down time for me as he did for Joshua or prolong my life like with King Hezekiah? But then I began to think that even if the Lord were to do that would I truly make use of the privileged time, would I actually be productive and overcome this fear that was debilitating me from thinking of a bright tomorrow? I was down, coincidentally rather than being a source of comfort for myself Proverbs 14:26-27 did at least come in hand when trying to comfort a friend but I just couldn’t understand why it was not doing the same for me.
I am not going to say that I am holier than though, or that I know God like I know the back of my hand which would be a total lie, but prior to March 2018 I was at least praying and reading the bible more and every now and then God would communicate with me if I bothered to pay attention, whether this was through friends, receiving a personal letter from God when reading the bible or hearing a very small voice which I often debated if it were God or just my own thoughts interluding. But all of a sudden I just stopped. What I had wanted to hear from God and what I wanted to have been accomplished did not happen, I would sit in my room as still as I could be and try to listen for His small voice to give me direction but I heard nothing of the sort, the longer I searched the quieter it became and the more agitated I was, so I stopped. I no longer possessed the desire to want to pray, the Bible looked like many of my academic books and I really did not fancy anymore studying- believe me I had had enough. The more distant I became, the more I felt that the rope that connected me to God was becoming more like a Spiders Thread and at some point, the thread would break, for as bleak as I felt I did not want to imagine a life completely and totally separated from God.
There was now an urgency for me to salvage whatever desire I had to pray or read the bible, my rope was going to break very soon and I was not prepared to live without Christ. Once again I found myself opening the Bible and desperately trying to take something from it, but the Bible at this point was just another book, and what was written were just any other words , they were no longer alive , they did not read to me secret messages from God they just gave me more of a headache ( mind you I was still facing a prolonged hangover from my studies), I would pray on Monday but by Tuesday it was such an effort to get on my knees. Never had Romans 7:18 & 25 been more relevant to my situation,
“For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability do it … with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin”
I cried, I was now feeling so broken and desperately trying to cling on to the spider thin thread. How on earth was I supposed to overcome this dichotomy, this war that was raging between my body and my mind, I wanted the Holy Spirit to take charge, but the will to allow Him to reclaim His authority in my life was not present. So I cried. On one of the days whilst lying in bed the phrase ‘Starting With Jesus’ came to mind and I thought it would make a nice name for a blog, but who was I to start talking about Christ when I hadn’t even spoken to Him in many months. I had planned to pray to God to ask about ‘Starting With Jesus’ but then a thought came to mind that God didn’t answer me before so why would he answer me now, so I didn’t. A few weeks passed since the idea had popped up and I decided to just take a leap, believing that the fact that I had spent money to create this blog would incentivise me to continue to upload posts, and I can only upload posts if I have actually spent time reading and praying; The plan worked!
I began to pray more and read the bible once again like I had done at the beginning of the year, as I began to study and meditate I was learning a lot more and God was revealing things which prior I had no full understanding of. This all provided me with the reassurance that I was not on the wrong path that I was once again ‘Starting With Jesus’ (excuse the pun). However, time was an ever-looming presence and the questions I had from many many months ago still had not been answered. Despite my best efforts to schedule posts ahead of time, I was still finding it difficult to catch up with the schedule I had created and I was still trying to beat time in my own personal race and failing. I wanted God to move at my will and alter present circumstance ’s to my own pleasing and though I had become a little bolder I was still fearful. I knew something had to change though I had convinced myself to put on a smile that ‘everything was going to be alright’ I was still not at peace with my self and I was still holding the frustrations from before. So I decided to take a break from ‘Starting With Jesus’ and come to terms with Ecclesiastes 3: 1-15, I thought that the gap would give me time to pray more and study more, but all it did was reveal to me that at present I really do need ‘Starting With Jesus’ to keep me praying and to keep me reading the Bible for without it I just stopped doing all the above.
So what does this mean?
What it means, is that I still don’t know what tomorrow looks like and I am frustrated about this. I still question a great deal if I am moving where I ought to be moving, I still have doubt concerning my own weaknesses and Gods strength. It means that there is a lot of growing that needs to be done in my Christian walk and it may only be through hindsight that I will ever see that growth, which doesn’t help to settle my mind. However, what I do know is that what connects God to me is no longer a spider thread and so long as that bond is there I will continue to post on this blog and hopefully mature in my faith.
I honestly don’t know how to end this post, so instead, I sincerely pray that whatever year you may have let it be starting and ending with Christ at the centre. Amen