Today I went to speak to the pastor, we’ll call him Ken, at our local baptist church. We have been there several times. Although we inevitably compare it with our last church, which we were so sad to leave (probably in memory it becomes even better, because we’re human and people do that), it seems like God has plonked us here. In a teeny tiny house. Next door to Drummer Boy.
Frank said to me last night he was worried this was all a huge mistake, after something at work left him well aware of his being on ‘probation’ for the first year, and who wants to lose their job in this climate? He’s been expected to land on his feet from day one and work more than he’s officially contracted to do (he has a second job, so this has an impact). Suffice it to say that although he likes the place, it’s been tough and will continue to be tough.
As for me, I have been very isolated these first six weeks, because I had to stay at home with Prince. The local special school was full, we were told, and had we considered the local mainstream school?
I laughed as if she’d said something hilarious. The lady thought I was laughing at SEN kids. I had to explain.
Then they had a meeting, to decide that yes, Prince did indeed have special needs and needed a special school, and proposed another meeting to decide which school (which is nonsense when there’s one special school locally). Prince was out of school for 46 days. This did not happen in the last area. Because the other local authority were sane.
46 days. I counted. It did neither of us any good, though I tried my best to stay calm and patient and to encourage him to learn.
Just polishing my halo 🙂
Ouch. That pedestal is wobbly. Ho hum.
So these first seven weeks have been really, really tough. I have wondered if we somehow misinterpreted God’s intentions. Maybe we weren’t supposed to be here after all.
But this morning I went to speak to the pastor, like I said. I told him of my growing sense of a ‘call’ to ministry (thought I’d just sneak that in there – I haven’t told many people), and that there is a theological college with part-time courses within commuting distance. I said that I know he doesn’t know me, but that if I could offer to volunteer, he and others could get to know me. He asked what areas I might be interested in. I said Foodbank, because I’ve done that before, and that I’d felt God had prompted me to go to the Celebrate Recovery conference back in June. I also mentioned that I used to visit the elderly in the care home, and help with a service there once a month, and that I was interested in the church’s preaching course.
I find putting myself forward, or advertising my talents, is very difficult. I always feel as if I shouldn’t, as if it’s somehow showing off. But rationally I know it isn’t and that God gives us gifts for us to use them, not keep them buried and then dig them up intact later. So I made myself stop hesitating and get on with it.
I had been bemused as to why God would send me to the Celebrate Recovery conference and then in a whirlwind rush uproot us to a totally new area. This morning, Ken said that CR had previously been run at the church, and that they were wanting enough people to get it going again but so far they hadn’t had enough. And that they needed people to train as leaders (because to be a leader, you have to have gone through CR yourself). I’ve been through CR and done (most of) the second stage which can lead to leadership. So now he’s going to speak to the other people who are wanting to set it up, and was keen to bring it up at the next church meeting. In the baptist church, nothing is done without a church meeting 😉
Hmm. Right place. Right time.
And Celebrate Recovery is wonderful.
So… maybe God does know what He’s doing, amidst all this chaos and muddle. Maybe it’s not such a madcap scheme after all.
Or maybe it’s always a madcap scheme. Life with Christ is anything but easy, and anything but dull.
When I look at the sky, which you have made,
at the moon and the stars, which you set in their places—
what are human beings, that you think of them;
mere mortals, that you care for them?
Psalm 8:3-4 GNT