So, Will and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary in July, and it is in my character to analyse how the last year has gone and make a list of things we could do better..very romantic, I know! I suggested that we could do this over our anniversary weekend whilst we escaped to beautiful Wales. Will does NOT work like this and made it very clear that this would not be a fun way to celebrate! I would have happily sat down and scheduled in prayer times, quiet times together, work out how we would make sure we were putting God at the centre and create a list to measure ourselves against. I find it hard to know how I am doing in terms of my faith unless it is measured legalistically, but what I am realising is that this way of doing life does not allow freedom and that was not what God had in mind for us! My relationship with Jesus cannot be based on a set of criteria that I either pass or fail. It cannot be a radical "revolution" I choose at the beginning of a new season to be better and do better. It HAS to come from being in love with my creator. For me, this is not the easier option, but I recognise it is a better way.
St Francis of Assisi once said;
"True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice."
These words made me look back and see ] where God has taken me in this last season. It has been far. It has been surprising. And it has been totally unexpected. God didn't work through my wish list of how I wanted to grow; more joyful, more holy, more disciplined, more forgiving, less selfish and generally a better person. Don't get me wrong, I don't think these are bad things to strive for, but I think I was waiting for a revolution. An overnight transformation. Something easy to see and cross off my to do list so I could move onto the next item on my agenda. Instead it has been much more subtle. It has been more about "evolution'. It has been on Gods terms rather than mine. At times it has been painful and in others I have barely noticed it happening. God is definitely transforming me, day by day. In the past year I have seen healing, growth and miracles that I never would have even dared to hope for. There have been times I have been challenged and times I have felt reassured. I have felt near to Him and very very far. I have doubted and I haven't "tried" very hard. Yet there has been tangible change.
I am still very much a work in progress but thats ok. And I am sure there will be much more evolving in the years to come, but for now the only thing on my wish list for the start of this new term is to breathe God in, and let Him lead me to where He wants me to be. Running, with endurance, the race God has set before me. (Hebrews 12v1)