Yesterday was a wonderful day. Today I’m tired, staying in and recharging, but I’m ok with that. In both the highs and the lows I celebrate the unconditional love I have from God – he gave me strength yesterday to do stuff that once felt impossible to me, but he also gives me time to recharge, resting in the knowledge that I don’t have to do anything to earn his love!
What was so wonderful about yesterday, you ask? Where do I start…
Yesterday was the anniversary of my car crash – this time last year I was in shock and in lots of pain, and was getting lots of much-needed love from people in my church. And it felt really special that yesterday I was with my church family both in the afternoon and in the evening, enjoying fellowship at home group in the evening after an afternoon celebration of the life of someone who has gone to be with Jesus.
What’s home group, you ask? It’s basically a small group from church that meets mid-week to pray for each other and study the Bible together. And drink coffee and chat, of course :) I love these evenings. There’s such love in our group, and people being real, not putting on masks. And we’re also real in our Bible study time – not brushing questions under the carpet.
And hey, they all cope with having someone weird like me there. That’s awesome.
Yesterday’s Bible study was particularly cool because I got the chance to see that I do actually remember what I learned a while back, when we had sermons in church about the stuff we’re now looking at in home group. It’s such a good exercise, trying to put things into your own words when discussing it with other people!
But going back to the afternoon thing – it was wonderful on so many levels… It always is great to celebrate the life of someone who has gone ahead to be with Jesus. And it always is good being with my church family. And hearing a good, encouraging sermon was a great added extra bonus! But there’s more…
You know I said God gave me strength yesterday to do stuff that once felt impossible? Here’s a few things you need to know about me so that you can appreciate how amazing this was: 1. I’m an extreme night owl 2. I’m an introvert 3. I’m naturally very shy and socially awkward. (No, 2 and 3 don’t always go together. You can be a shy extrovert, and equally there are introverts who aren’t shy at all. Being an introvert simply means that my social energy is limited, and I need solitude to recharge. My shyness is a separate issue.)
So, now you know these three things about me, you can hopefully see why when I went to a similar thing in church a few years ago, I didn’t stay for tea afterwards. It was early in my day, and I didn’t have it in me to face being sociable in a big crowd. That was my normal…
In the past few months I find, to my huge surprise, God has been changing me in a way that I never even thought possible. Not that I’ve turned into an extrovert… Hence my need to recharge today by staying in. But…
Yesterday I went to this thing in church and stayed for tea afterwards, and went up to people I didn’t know and – shocking, I know – actually talked to them! And then went out again in the evening and did more human interaction! And enjoyed it!
God is amazing. He loves me as I am, and there’s nothing I have to do to earn that – I’ve been adopted as his child simply by putting my faith in Jesus, who died for me not because of anything I did to deserve it! – but once you become his child he doesn’t leave you as you are, he keeps changing you, and sometimes in amazingly unexpected ways!
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.