So, I've been absent for quite a while now but so much: both good and confusing has happened.
I've mentioned before that my academics haven't gone to (my) plan at all this final year or ever. I've now had to delay my graduation until next summer and will be re-doing some assignments and my final placement for the THIRD time. It has certainly gone from disappointment, to wilderness, to confusion and now just *sighs* (not sure if it's embracing/acceptance).
It's meant that I haven't been in one place for a certain period of time and also not being sure whether I'll achieve my OT degree is very unsettling. I don't really know what else I would do if it wasn't OT or in that particular field. Spiritually, I don't really know where I am: I've touched base with different opportunities lately that I've queried where I will be best used and where my heart really lies. Youth? Students? Worship? Logistics? Small Groups/Pastoral? Attendance? Large/Small Scale? I really haven't been sure. There also have been periods of withdrawal - this uncertainty has caused me to want to shy and hide away from the entire community and even Jesus himself.
However, I had the opportunity to serve on the worship team for Regen 2019 and to be honest - I agreed quickly, but as time went on and other things in my life became rocky (again), it didn't take long for me to think that 'maybe' I wasn't good enough and it was actually the wrong choice. Also with potential steps forward with yNEEC, I began to doubt whether I was the right choice and whether I was worthy enough to actually step up to the challenge. I did just want to pull out of these opportunities and hide because "I just didn't know" and I truly felt broken, even more than this past year put together.
But what I had been reminded through Regen was that ultimately Jesus is at the end. He is the First and the Last and is never-changing. It is nature of human to be constantly changing (subjectively, whether it's a good or bad change) but Jesus is our constant. I was trying to be in control again of my academics, my spiritual focuses, my relationship and pretty much everything. It was through worship that I was in awe of the Spirit and it's moving - which didn't require me to consciously induce or have control of - and I was reminded that Jesus uses the unequipped (which I certainly felt like). There was vulnerability and brokenness even as I served these young students - but what encouraged me was that Jesus still chose to use me and people's comments to me solidified that it's okay for it to be visible. It didn't add to my pride, but what it did was remind me: Jesus USES and loves you besides all your rubbish. He still came to this earth, as man, associated Himself with the worst of the broken, but was not one of judgement or abandonment: but it also requires our sense of self-discipline to shift our minds, to have a change of mindset.
So although I'll be repeating my final year processes for the THIRD time: but within the Bible - the number three means completion and fulfilment. Whether this relates to me, will be one to discover but Donna (Regen speaker) also reminded me: we have all the time in eternity with Jesus, so why rush? Why do I constantly feel the need to know everything here and now, in order for security? Because to be honest - all it's doing is stressing me out BIG TIME. For me, when I can word sentences and spout words: I know the Spirit is very much present because there is no sense of rushing or needing to know what I'm going to say or how I'm going to say it - especially when I'm so bad with words and that is the comfort I receive from Jesus. I've been so stressed, pressed and pulled this past year that sometimes I don't know/can't remember how it feels to be calm, at ease or at peace - so I've set to try and slowly change this stubborn mindset of mine, and it has already been a long-term work-in-progress. But Donna really has engraved this into my head when she spoke: Life is never going to be consistent, but we can be at peace and be still, knowing that Jesus is our constant and He is eternal.
I hope this will keep up, but I felt lighter after coming back from Regen. Although I'm still trying to sort out my placement, still bumming around: but something of my all-round brokenness seems lifted, a splinter of something seems to have been lifted and something feels still. It' s been a couple of days and I'm still trying to process what had gone on within those 4 days - I know God works and has worked in His mysterious ways: through the people around, through the Word and through His spirit. I still have lots that will remain uncertain and unknown and I still have a massive lack of confidence and self-esteem but hey, something (that I can't quite put my finger on) about that doesn't seem like it was and that's good enough for me as a starting point.
AIONIOS: He is eternal. We are not. 1 John 1:1-4