I haven’t been here in a bit. But I have a story to share with you.
Imagine a young child of about 4 yrs. (I imagine a girl with dark brown hair tied back in a pony-tail.. but you can change that bit up). She is at kindy / daycare, and she LOVES to paint. She loves planning her paintings, she loves the actual painting process, it is her passion. Her delight. She has been entrusted with carrying a tray of cups of paint to her table. She is filled with pleasure and anticipation, and is carefully carrying her tray that represents all she loves.
Suddenly, without warning she is bumped and her tray crashes to the ground. Every cup is upended and paint is splattered everywhere. She freezes, and a myriad of emotions come over her. Sadness, that she can’t do her painting, that the picture she had in her mind wont be done, helplessness that she can’t salvage the paint. She is aware enough to know she was not at fault, that it was just one of those things, and feels no anger at the ‘bumper’. She struggles with abandonment as everyone steps out of the way, and no-one wants to deal with the mess. Her confidence is battered. She stands bewildered, trying to make sense of what happened.
Another child, another personality might react differently. Maybe avoid all memory of it happening and busy oneself at the woodwork table, or perhaps go sit in a corner on their own…
So maybe I wasn’t 4 yrs old, and maybe it wasn’t paint that ended up on the floor… but these have been the emotions I have been working through the last 18 months. When a church closes suddenly and without warning, the journey through the aftermath is a painful one. The paint on the floor represents my dreams, my trust, my love, my friendships, my sense of direction. And arrogance. ( That, I hope, will stay on the floor!!).
The rest of the colours I want back. I choose to dream again, I choose to love again. That is how I want to live. I chose many months ago to forgive. Our God is faithful and His gift is grace. He is the restorer. Healer. He is the Father of Glory.
The abandonment struggles have instilled in me the vital importance of pastoral giftings. Never underestimate the healing power of a hug or email asking ‘how are you?”.
God is handing out fresh cups of ‘paint’. Do I want to risk carrying them again?
Yes. I trust you Jesus with my heart.