A Story of Faith in God

Hiya Readers!

Sorry it’s been so long. I’d like to say there is a very good excuse for it but quite frankly, there isn’t! I’m the sort of girl that loves a ‘to do’ list and ‘write blog’ has been on that list every day. Unfortunately, it seems to be the one thing that I keep missing off! So I have half an hour before I go to teach dance where I thought I would sit down and actually write something. Turns out I’m going to be writing AND scoffing my face with leftover prawn and corn chowder so that I can actually get everything done in time.

I just wanted to share a recent story with you, that happened today, which has actually made me sit down and grab my keyboard again. This has been a hard month for us in terms of money. We have had to pay for my husband’s car to be fixed; £750 later (on Dad’s mates rates) and we are officially poor! Combine that with our first Christmas as a married couple, oh!, and me quitting my job – then this has been a bit of a stretched month. So you can imagine my delight when the postman delivers 2 lovely envelopes that contain £900 worth of vet fees. Turns out my darling cat has managed to use the maximum amount of fees that the insurers are prepared to pay, and nobody thought to tell us. So we’ve been getting him lots of treatment and tests (and we still don’t know what’s wrong by the way) without realising that we would be footing the bill this time.

The first blessing is that I have wonderful parents, who have agreed to loan us the money so that we can pay off those vet fees. I am so grateful that God blessed me with such generous and caring parents. I’m 26 and the fact that they are still prepared to financially support my is incredible. My parents are not Christians, despite the fact that myself and my little brother are, but they still demonstrate such a blinding faith in their own children that they are a daily reminder of God’s unconditional love for His children.

Now the second blessing is going to take slightly more explaining. I quit my job in retail back in December, just before Christmas, because I couldn’t cope with the hours and the travelling every day. So in January, I decided to become a Primary Supply Teacher. I’d been a Primary School Teacher for 4 years before I made the difficult decision to leave the profession. Getting back into teaching has been really rewarding. I’ve only done the odd day and afternoon here and there, but being back in the classroom has definitely confirmed God’s calling for me. So having only done 2 days worth of cover, money is still pretty tight. I get £60 for an afternoon of cover and £120 for a full day. Which is a great rate, but not when you’ve only done 2 days!

On the same day as these two ‘lovely’ letters landed on my doormat and I’ve spent most of the day panicking about money and finances, I receive a call from my teaching Supply agency. I’ve been offered 3 weeks worth of full day cover in the Early Years setting at a local school! Giving me £130 a day for those 3 weeks starting on Friday. I can’t believe how gracious God is. It’s like He said to me today ‘Rebecca, I need you to trust me, and to teach you that lesson, I’m going to give you a tone of bills, and then show you that I can handle them!’ I don’t even remember particularly praying to God today – I think I was just casually speaking to Him in my head with my main message being ‘help’ and ‘what am I going to do?!’ But luckily, I have been reminded that God never gives us more than we can handle. He knew that I would totally panic when I got those £900 worth of bills. But he also knew that He was going to hand me the perfect job, at the perfect time, with more than enough to cover the bills and have a bit left over for living. What a blessing! God really does work in mysterious ways and teaches us lessons on a daily basis. I’ve never really worried about finances but God needed me to start trusting Him with my life plan, and finances were the perfect way to do that this month.

Thank you God for the hard lessons you teach us. Thank you that you never give us more than we are capable of handling and thank you that, ultimately, You are bigger than all of our problems!!

This little story reminded me of this song!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kBQnWM_OLPs

Have a listen if you get a chance, and think of all the things that God is greater than! The list is endless if you really start thinking about it. Sorry I haven’t written much over the last few weeks. I’m human. I’m not perfect. But I know I can always try and be better.

Talk to you all soon (and I mean it this time)

Laters xx

Day Three – The Church Conundrum

Hiya Readers!

If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know that 2019 is the year I have decided I need to make more of an effort with God. Well I’m afraid to say I MAY have had a minor oops today!

Today was the day we had decided to start going to church on a more regular basis to help us become closer to God. What actually happened, is we stayed home, spent time with each other, had a shower, tidied the house and just generally had a bit of a lazy day. However…….. not church! And I think that may have been down to one vital error on our part as man and wife. We hadn’t actually decided which church we were going to and found ourselves at a bit of a crossroads.

As I’ve said in a previous post, I’ve been a part of Open Door Church for many, many years. I’ve been going since I became a Christian through the youth work and it’s all I’ve ever really known in terms of church. But I’ve recently been struggling with a number of things at the church. I don’t want to go into too much detail but the talks are very long and I struggle to pay attention, I have a little to poor relationship with the church leader and I don’t feel like the church has helped me to grow as a Christian for a long time. Of course, part of that is what I put into it as well, I’m well aware of that, but several things in our lives have been handled poorly by the church and that’s hard to get over.

However, it’s not that simple. The majority of our church family and people we care about all belong to Open Door. We’ve spent years building up relationships through Youth Team, Small Groups, social time. Admittedly those friendships would survive without us being involved in the church, but I don’t think it’s enough for friendships to survive. We have a host of friends all going through tough times and they need family and true friends around them. We love to host people at our home, cook them dinner, play games together and just spend time together. Not being part of the church and not attending Small Group would take a huge dent of that time out.

A few months ago, we started attending Woodside Church in Bedford. It’s a bit more of a drive for us to get to but the church as a whole was very welcoming. The pastor used to run Open Door and so we already have a good relationship with him. The talks are short and engaging, the worship doesn’t sing the same song for too long, the kids work is exciting for my step-daughter and everyone is really friendly. In terms of what we would be looking for in a church, it has everything we would need to help us grow closer to God. So why am I still reluctant to take the plunge away from Open Door? The idea of starting years worth of friendships again, from scratch, with a whole new range of people is scary!! To be honest, it scares the crap out of me…..

So here’s our crossroad. Do we make more of an effort to engage with what Open Door is doing so that we can love, care for and support the people in our lives who are basically family? Or do we risk starting again so that we can grow ourselves and try to actively more closer to God? Can we still move closer to God by staying at Open Door? Can we build life long friendships in a new place? I don’t actually know……

I feel as though there is a slightly more serious tone to this post but I feel better for having written it! If you’re visiting as someone who prays, please keep us in your thoughts as we try to find where God wants us and what His plan for us is.

Hopefully we’ll figure it out by next Sunday so we can actually go to church!!

Speak to you soon xxx

Day Two (that should have been Day One)

Hey Readers!

So this was meant to be my ‘Day One’ post and it has now ended up being my Day Two post because, well, life happens!

As part of my journey to building a closer relationship with God, I’ve decided to start reading through Romans in the New Testament. I put on my Spotify Worship playlist (on shuffle because God will put on what He wants me to hear right….?) and started reading Chapter 1. I then challenged my husband (after about 5 minutes through) to read through Chapter 1 too and then we could chat about it at the end. Go me!!

I wanted to share some of my thoughts about what I read in Romans 1 and things that stood out to me. The first thing that grabbed the attention of my purple ballpoint pen (yes – I love to write all over my bible!) was from verse 5 ‘…we received grace and apostleship to call people…….to the obedience that comes from faith.’ We are called to belong! It really excited me that God called us to belong to something. He chose us. He wanted us! My life, my mistakes, my choices, they didn’t just happen. It’s part of my story and God called me to belong to Him through my experiences. All that and I’d only read 5 verses at this stage!!

Skip ahead a little bit to verse 12 ‘...be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.’ I felt like God was directly talking to me about our church life (or lack of). We’ve become very lax in the amount we’ve been attending church. Life has taken over. I mean….we’re not doing bad things….just not attending church like we should be. We get offers of seeing family, spending time with friends, going on exciting days out….and they all seem to trump ‘going to church’. Combined with only having my gorgeous step-daughter on weekends, it’s easy to want to do other things. But this pat of the bible reminds me spending time as a church family is vitally important. We should be encouraged by one another. I love it when people tell encouraging stories about their life in church. It really helps me to see the movement of God in other people’s lives and how He could be moving in my life and I might not even know it or have noticed it!

The main part that really speaks to me in this chapter is verse 21. ‘For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.’ Knowing who God is not enough!! (Cue Rebecca* squirming in bed as she reads this uncomfortable verse). We have to have a relationship with Him too. This is the part that scares me the most because a relationship means, I’ve got to work at it! I can’t just keep cruising along and not actively seeking God into my day to day life. I feel like I’m making steps in the right direction. I’m now reading Romans and I’ve started my blog. But outside of those things….I’m still not really thinking about God. I don’t pray very often and if I do it is never out loud!! That is far to scary right now. But it’s a journey. A journey that I want to continue down. I can’t expect to do it all in the same day. It’s a mindset that I am trying to change. That doesn’t mean I want to force myself into a relationship (that does not sound great!) but I want it to become a natural and exciting part of my life.

So there you go. My thoughts on Romans 1. And it’s a day later than I intended but it’s all down in words. I hope you enjoy and that it gives you some thoughts on Romans. Feel free to start reading along with me 🙂

Speak to you all soon xx

*Yes – I’m one of those people who refers to myself in the third person!

Day One

So here it is……my first blog post!! *squeals excitedly*

I’ve made an active decision this year that I am going to try and build a better relationship with God! It’s been a very hectic few years for me and God has been one of those things that has just taken a ‘backseat’ in my life. So how did I come to this decision and where am I starting from…?

As I’ve said in my intro, I’ve been going to church for around 13 years now and I have found that my faith has become a bit stale. I came to church through our local youth group. My wonderful next door neighbour, and childhood best friend, invited me along one night and that was the start of my journey to finding God.

I came to a church in St. Neots called Open Door Church and continued to go to the youth group. I became closer and closer to God through my teenage years and even became a part of our Youth Team and started to guide young people through their own journey with God.

I started to distance myself from church, as so many young people do, when I left to go to university. I went to the University of Northampton for three years to study Primary Education. I got sucked into the ‘lifestyle’ that goes with university. I drunk a lot, had my share of ‘nights I’d rather forget’ and probably didn’t work half as hard as I could have done. I never found a church that I really wanted to go to and I only tried the Christian Union a handful of times. When I went home to my church in St. Neots, I felt very much ‘out of the loop’ and almost felt too ashamed of all the things I had done at university. I felt as though I didn’t deserve to be there.

After a few rocky relationships and finishing university, I decided to get back into church. Unfortunately, I never really threw myself into my faith again because I had this overwhelming feeling of guilt about my behaviour at university. I would go to church, every Sunday, but just being in church isn’t enough. It needs to be about engaging with the worship, listening to the talks and being present. It’s also not just about a Sunday morning, and as far as I was concerned, I didn’t really let God into my life on every other day of the week.

So this is where I met my husband to be; or should I say, started to see him in a different way. We’d known each other from being on the youth team for several years and had been good acquaintances but never really friends. I was finally happy being by myself and trying to trust God with my future, and that’s when He brought Jeremy back into my life. Jez was very similar to me in his walk with God. We both went to church, we were both Christians, we both attended our weekly Small Group session, but apart from that, we didn’t really talk about God, pray together or worship together. We were part time Christians.

And that brings us up to date! Sorry for the massive back story; apparently I can waffle rather a lot (another skill I learnt at university). So I’ve decided that 2019 is going to be the year that I play an active part in my relationship with God. It can’t all be one sided. If I constantly talked to Jez, made jokes with him, went on walks with him, listened to him and he did NONE of those things for me, we wouldn’t have a relationship! I’ve realised that it’s the same with God. He needs a bit of give and take. I mean – He loves us unconditionally, that’s the wonderful thing about God, but I can’t expect this empowering and life changing relationship if I don’t give anything back.

I hope that you enjoy my waffle and thoughts from my brain. I just want to write to process my thoughts and hopefully help some people on their own walks with God.

Speak to you all soon xx