Are you any good at admitting when you are wrong? I’ve had to apologise to people at work recently as I lost my temper. I have also had a stormy relationship with work colleagues in several different jobs, and it really doesn’t help me or the other people in the team but it’s alot easier than holding my hands up and saying sorry. Over the years my temper (mainly hidden as passive aggressive, and talking behind peoples backs..) has held me back. Recently I have had to stop and face up to this, and acknowledge that if I want things to change, the only person who can do that… is me. Often I think we want emotional growth to be pleasant and cuddly, but really it’s not always like that.
This Easter I felt rotten and went to bed on Good Friday, I lay in bed with a migraine, feeling really low, and I listened to a radio programme about a village where the plague had started, and a vicar had kept the locals from leaving to stop the plague from spreading. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05ny7nz. It was narrated by a doctor who had been working with Ebola victims. One woman in Eyam had to bury her husband, and three children single handedly. How I wondered does anyone get through that and survive? How did the village survive?
The message I got was to look into the pain, so I tried to look into the flashing lights I was experiencing as part of my migraine. As I did this, my anxieties fell back, my headache receded and I began to feel better. Facing up to the grief I’ve been carrying through my life, about my sister, has been a heavy thing to carry, but letting go of it, has also been difficult. The message I got was a bit like the bear hunt story.. you can’t go round it, you’ve got to go through it. Since that day I feel like things are slotting back into place gradually after a long period of really feeling quite anxious and low. Apparantly this is a normal part of the grief process.
I have to say being right even “righteous” which is probably the worst kind of right, is alot easier than admitting you have messed up. When you’ve been through a difficult time and had to dig deep, you like to think that’s it, you’ve done your bit, you have been saved/healed, sorted out, and there is no more personal growth to go through. I think that’s why alot of people get turned off church, as so many christians get stuck. Becoming a christian is not like a computer game, where you have to complete certain tasks to get to the next level, it’s more like Dr Who, whizzing around from one galaxy to the next, not knowing what to expect! Our preacher on Sunday was explaining that we sometimes try to compress the galaxy of God’s love into a more manageable component that we can carry around with us in our pockets!
Anyway that’s why I’ve decided for a while to change church. I believe it’s where God wants me to be, closer to home in Clifton, and I’m worshipping at Clifton Parish Church instead of St Paul’s. It’s felt really uncomfortable, like leaving university or something, as I’ve been part of a community, a group, a pattern of over 10 years, and I’ve probably left a massive hole in the rotas, but it feels like I’m being shaken up by God, and brought back to why I became a Christian. I’m not sure if I am going to stay there forever but it definitely feels like I am being told to rest a while……reminds me of Psalm 23 by David… (Bye the way I don’t know the bible that well, just look stuff up on Bible Gateway!!) ..
23 The Lord is my shepherd.
I lack nothing.
2 He lets me rest in grassy meadows;
he leads me to restful waters;
3 he keeps me [a] alive.
He guides me in proper paths
for the sake of his good name.
4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger because you are with me.
Your rod and your staff—
they protect me.
5 You set a table for me
right in front of my enemies.
You bathe my head in oil;
my cup is so full it spills over!
6 Yes, goodness and faithful love
will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live[b] in the Lord’s house
as long as I live.