Reblog: Little and Nothing

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I think this is why broken people seem to respond to God in a way that others can’t. Whether their brokenness is self-inflicted (by which I mean they have made poor choices) or whether life has just been too cruel, when you’re brought so low that there’s nothing left, you realise how much you need God and how you can’t even stand up without Him. This is why Jesus’ words in the beatitudes are so wonderfully true, although they seem counter-intuitive.

I’m sitting typing with my new Open University textbooks beside me, just about to begin the next module in statistics and probability. The more I learn of statistics, the more I realise how little statisticians actually *know*. But I still fall in love more and more with the numbers and the ‘truths’ they demonstrate. In a way, this mirrors my spiritual life. I’m making no sense(!) but I thank God for all that I have been through because it’s only in darkness that you can see the light. I don’t ask for more suffering and I don’t desire more suffering, but I know that without the suffering I wouldn’t know God and I know that my deepest desire has always been to know Him.

Lord, You are everything. Fill my nothing.

‘You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

Isaiah 26:3 (Amp)

Contemplative in the Mud

Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal

To be little in his sight is not enough; we must be nothing – this is the foundation upon which he would build… The greater our annihilation, the loftier the building he erects thereon.
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

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Dreaming of Shanghai

Shanghai_montageI have been attempting to write an assignment about the development of Shanghai for most of the day. I think I am finally getting somewhere but this one has been a bit of a slog. I am faced with the realities of being a mature student: our new neighbours are drilling through the walls (ok, they aren’t, but it sounds like it), my pride (I’m thirty <ahem> something – why is this so difficult?), my (sin of) perfectionism, a household to care for (taxi service to Theatre School, birthday party and gymnastics), and the inevitable foggy-headedness of my medication. I have painfully constructed three paragraphs, which I have rewritten several times, in an attempt to truly understand the question. But aiming for a degree in International Development and Statistics will be sooooo worth it. How blessed am I to even have this opportunity! How many times must we remind ourselves of what we have to be thankful for? God is always good. I shall be dreaming of Shanghai when I go to bed, I’m quite sure… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

A Step Back

A few weeks ago I completed my final assignment for my Open University module. When I (finally) get the results I should have ¼ of an honours degree under my belt. I am proud of myself for sticking with it and achieving this much. At the same time my family and I have had to contend with moving house more times than I can recall, my PTSD, my husband’s constructive dismissal, the ongoing dilemmas of autism, a police investigation, the sad conclusion of that investigation, being harassed, FIL’s severe ill health, MIL’s worsening dementia… and my own health problems. All things considered, the fact that I’ve had good marks for my OU assignments all the way through is great. It’s funny – sometimes you need to take a step back in order to see your achievements for what they are, to see how far you have travelled.

 

Sometimes, too, we need to take a step back and remind ourselves how God sees us.

 

As high as the sky is above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who honour him.
As far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our sins from us.

Psalm 103:10-13

 

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its saviour.

John 3:16-17

 

Be blessed, friends.