I haven't blogged for a good while. I'd kind of lost my blogging confidence, muttering such thoughts to myself as 'no one really wants to read your meanderings anyway' or 'people are just being nice.' You know the kind of stuff. So it got longer and longer since I blogged and I got less and less inclined to.
Added to that, my faith was taking somewhat of a bashing this year. Looking back, there was always a (wobbly) certainty and peace underneath it all, but certain events gave me extreme difficulty and I didn't do the thing that would help the most; ie pray more. I looked back on this year as a bit of a wasted time. Two hospital visits and numerous infections, severe shortage of spoons and general exhaustion took a lot of the life and strength out of me. I was functioning at a fairly good level for much of the year, feel settled into my new community with lovely new friends but something was missing. It seems my poor health ground me down to an extent that apathy and hopelessness often reigned somewhat.
Then there were a couple of things that happened to friends and friends of friends. The loss of beautiful children from senseless disease, the loss of jobs, the loss of faith, Much loss and no sense in it. I got bashed.
So I went to New Wine this year a little fearful, in all honesty, a bit bitter possibly? Wondering how I would cope with emphasis on physical wholeness and healing when this pain had pervaded much of the year for me and my friends and acquaintances. When God had blatantly not healed a 9 year old girl with Leukaemia despite the fervent prayer of thousands. What could I do with that at New Wine?
So it was with a certain amount of trepidation I went into the Impact venue on the first night. Wasn't sure how my bashed faith would cope with the intense worship and teaching, while knowing deep inside was a longing for such which I'd possibly squashed a bit of late.
I needn't have worried. I walked into that venue and that was it. God was there. Well, he's everywhere, yep, but he was just there in this huge and powerful and awesome and stunning way that slammed into me with force and left me trembling. I turned to Adventure Bloke and said something akin to 'oh. So there is a God, then' and then fell into the most amazing week where somehow everything came together and all was well.
Somewhere on that first night the lovely Nicole Brown sang a new song, 'Line in the Sand'. These words struck me as a line for me, between the bashing and the wastedness and the loss of confidence.
'There's a line in the sand, and this is the end, for all that is broken, we know you can mend, And this is the start, the start of the new. For our God is able and oh so good, so good.' In a rush I knew again the truth of this, our God is able, and good. I never really thought this wasn't true, but had lived in a difficult time of doubts and fears where the questions sometimes outweighed the answers.
I'm not saying that God makes all things OK again. He blatantly does not. Suffering happens. The world is broken and we all suffer the consequences of that. Grief, loss, pain and illness pervade the world. But there is a hope we can grab in the midst of it all, a knowledge that God did the ultimate - got in it and suffered too. Wow. This is what I hold to, this is why my life is a great adventure, because I have a purpose. As someone said to me this week, this year was not a wasted year in God's economy. I will keep on doing what I do and being who I am, a person with cacked up lungs, who still believes fervently in God's goodness and faithfulness.
I saw healings of all sorts, physically and emotional and spiritual, some pretty profound stuff. Actually God healed acute lung pain in me that was threatening to mess up the week big time. There was no denying it. I also saw many people who carry their diseases and disabilities with strength and grandeur and who touch lives of all those around them with their honesty and their transparent love of God. Amazing.
So it's a line in the sand for me, and I'm back blogging, whether anyone likes it or not ;)