Life’s Park Bench.

Hello readers!! I feel like its been so long since I’ve last posted. Last week, I was away in Australia and got to spend some time in the sun at Airlie Beach. I have to say that I began this trip not having much expectation of how it would go or what exactly I would be doing. Being away with a book in my hand and the sun over my head sounded good enough for me and everything else was a bonus. I was visiting a friend from Ireland and as per usual, it isn’t long before we were delving into deep conversations among all of the laughs along the way. I’m so thankful for that time with her and the opportunity to see a new place.

Have you ever had that holiday that is just relaxing and the perfect amount of time to be away for? So much so that you are even excited and energised to get back into routine and the things that are before you? Well that was this holiday for me. Yes, I got to do lots of fun activities like ocean rafting around some of the islands, snorkelling and visiting the Great Barrier Reef. However, I also had those beautiful quiet moments of sitting by the ocean with a pen in my hand and the company of my thoughts. Here was how that looked at times…

Can I just say how amused I was by this bench table? You cannot see the little description there but it tells us that the bench is 100% recyclable and is made out of 3500 plastic bottles. I think it’s so cool, I’m going to write the local council to see if we could do something like that! So “L is for Lifestyle” of me, I know !!!

ANYWAYS, with these peaceful moments as well as being outside of normal routine and surroundings, I was able to step back and collect some thoughts along the way. It was on the first night that my friend and I began a conversation about life unfolding into something we hadn’t ever imagined for ourselves (Yes, this was amongst the yawns and tiredness of travelling). So here are some of my thoughts that I carried on from that late night conversation….

Life hasn’t really turned out how I imagined it to be. All this to ask myself “Well what is the purpose of life, my life? ” I’m not quite sure if its really about what you do in a sense, even though I do think what you do has consequences, value and importance. However, I’m beginning to think it’s more to do with the circumstance or place that God puts us in and what we do with that. His placing and allowance of things to come our way are ultimately to lead us to knowing Him more, being changed by Him and indeed through this, that others would come to know God too! I believe that God does know the best way to bring us through life in order to accomplish these things- and of course, that doesn’t mean it will be easy, comfortable, without mess and complications or a picture perfect, cookie cutter path. I think that this is what I’ve really been coming to know and understand the past few years, and yet I feel like I haven’t even began to scratch the surface on it all either!

C.S Lewis says “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

I believe that this quote sums up how I feel sometimes about God and having my best in mind. I guess I can believe that life will lead to this beautiful, pinnacle moment where everything changes and culminates into the start of something really great and because of that I’ll suddenly be this spirit filled Christian; overflowing with wisdom and joy… all of the time… and not just for a second here or there… However, instead it looks more like ups and downs, with some pinnacle moments but also a whole lot of mundane. With some joy, but with some sorrow present too. With beauty, as well as some ugly. And all of this so that I can become more and more like the person that God wants me to be; as I long to live for Him and be shaped by Him. Not every moment will I feel so pumped, ready to conquer anything and everything with that deep sense of joy or wisdom. But through those weaker times, I will still have my hands and heart open to God as my all. That it will still be the best for me.

Never would I have dreamed up that I would be near 30 and single, living in New Zealand and sitting at a park bench over-looking the sea in Australia. And yet here I am. Quite content in this moment with God. I actually would have written it differently altogether. But would have I been so content, shaped or used in the life I would have made? I’m not so sure. I’m beginning to understand more and more (especially in the times of difficulty or confusion) that if God had thought I would know Him better and change in any other place or circumstance, then He would have placed me in it. But if I am living in surrender, then where I am right now, is the best place or circumstance for me to be in to do that. Again, I wish I was always living this in the moments where fear, doubt or worry creep in. When the fear of the unknown of the future hangs over me like a little dark cloud. It’s not always easy. But as I look back to look ahead, I can take with me that although life doesn’t unfold the way we imagine it to, with God, it’s really so much better! It doesn’t make it perfect, easy or tidy but it makes it worth it. Because God calls Himself the giver of life, we actually cannot do it without Him in it! We can build our sandcastles that look so pretty with our comfortable status, beautiful family and home, job, materials , you name it…..and yet what happens when the tide comes in and washes some of those things away? What are we left with? Our foundation, our life, our dreams and plans, must be built on the foundation of Christ alone. They can be wonderful things to desire and acclaim but let us go to the life-giver; imagining and doing life with Him- not on our own or for our own gain.

My future will more than likely turn out to be completely different to what I imagine it to be right now in this moment. I’ll probably kick and cry and say things I shouldn’t when my circumstances don’t unfold so nicely. However, I hope that one day, in a few years time perhaps, I can sit on a park bench elsewhere and look back to say: “Wow, life just isn’t what I imagined it to be, its so much better. God’s best has brought me closer into knowing Him and I just love Him for that!”

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