I’ve heard it again and again from God this past year, ‘Lizzie, Come to me, come to me.’ Are you hurting? ‘Come to me’ Are you disappointed? ‘Come to me’ Are you tired, worn out? ‘Come to me’.
And when I’ve gone to Jesus. Amidst the sobbing and the pain and all the unknown, what I have known is his kindness. God has been so kind to me. Undeserved kindness.
When Gracie started to move and crawl last year, I discovered that three children wasn’t as easy as I thought. If you’ve ever thought I’m the kind of mum that has it altogether, I’m not. I coped pretty well with a four-year old, a toddler, a new born, a bunch of steps to my front door and a broken arm. But when Gracie began to discover she’s a risk-taking, health-and-safety-worst-nightmare kind of girl, who still wasn’t sleeping great at night – I began to crumble.
We tried to buy a house with a pretty garden, but the door shut.
We decided it was time to leave our church this year. We had to admit to ourselves and to the other church leaders – to our best friends – that we were struggling. I had a ‘picture’ of a tree, laden with apples but as I looked down to the roots as stretched out as they were – the water it needed was just beyond its reach. That fruit wouldn’t reach its full potential unless it got some water. That’s how we felt. Desperately thirsty for more of Jesus.
After living in Openshaw for 12 years, longer than I’ve lived anywhere before, I began to question whether this would be a good time to move away, move closer to family perhaps. Move away from the streets that have become so boring but have shaped and grown and given me values that I hope and pray will always stay with me. I can’t drive and am a stay at home mum so Openshaw really has been my life for a really long time – just like it is for many of the people I have grown to love. We decided – until God says differently – to stay and commit to serve the local Anglican Church while they and many others have really covered us in prayer and love and kindness.
Amidst all these hard times and painful times, I want to live for something more. More than a comfortable life. I want to encounter the glory of God right where I am. Whether that’s with plenty, or in need. And Jesus keeps saying ‘come to me.’
At a New Wine event this year Danielle Strickland said “Jesus will always lead you to a place where you can’t be the answer. Because in that place of not being able to do it, we come to a place of total reliance and dependence on God.”
I am so in that place… I can’t be the parent God wants me to be, without Him, I totally screw up.
I need Jesus to give me joy in Him, to show me the beauty around me, where I can’t see it with my human eyes. Because everywhere is a possible place for God’s glory to show up.
I need to trust God’s goodness where I have been disappointed.
I need to know God’s grace where I have failed and where I fail. I need to give up perfectionism and just know God’s grace.
I’ve heard someone say ‘Freedom is the letting go of what it used to be like, and the letting go of what we thought it would be like and just being obedient to Him.’
I am not enough, but God is enough. He is good. He is trustworthy. He is full of grace for me and his kindness towards me out-does anything I could imagine.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.
Some will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’;
others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
and will take the name Israel