• St Aldates Youth

Testimony Tuesday - Sarah

‘Be silent (relax, be still) and stop your striving and you will see that I am God.’

Psalm 46:10

Hello wonderful St Aldates Youth!

In these strange, never-been-here-before times, I wanted to share a little of what God has been placing on my heart with you.

I need to be honest with you. I have a terrible habit. Not just your average, ‘I bite my nails’ kind of bad habit. I am ‘a rusher’. I want things to pass by and be ‘ticked off’ my checklist before I have hardly begun them. When people ask what kind of superpower I would like to have, I always say instant transportation. I want to make it to my destination, my end goal and I could not care less about the journey, or how I get there.

There have been times in my life where this has been especially evident, for example, I remember really struggling in my first year of university, because I couldn’t bear the thought of two more years. I had studied for a term, and I somehow felt ‘done’ – I longed to move onto the next thing, the next achievement, the next life goal.

This bad habit has also reared its ugly head when life has been more of a struggle. A few years ago, my parents experienced a painful and messy ending with the church they had been pastoring for a long time. My dad was unemployed for about 18 months and it had huge repercussions for friendships and family relationships. During this time, I remember pleading with God, ‘hurry up and sort this out!’ I wanted to move on from the pain and quickly get into the ‘nice’ season of life, where God blessed me, and I felt ‘comfortable’ again.

Last week, whilst on my ‘Boris-walk-of-the-day’, I felt God speak to me about this habit and how He wants me to walk with Him through this uncertain season of COVID-19.

As I was walking alongside the canal, I began to notice all of the amazing creation and nature. The warmth of the sun, the delicate form of the daffodils, the gentle ebb of the water. The Lord reminded me of Psalm 23:2, ‘He leads me beside still (quiet) waters’.

I felt challenged. Will I let God lead me through this season, at His pace, or will I charge through it, looking only to the end goal of when life returns to normal? Will I choose to spend my time listening to him and, perhaps, processing uncomfortable emotions and circumstances?

One thing I am sure of, if I choose to look to Him, following where He leads, I will be radiant (Psalm 34:5) unashamed (Psalm 25:3), and look more like Jesus!

The Lord also reminded me of ‘pauses’ in The Bible. In the book of Psalms, you might notice the phrase, ‘Selah’, or ‘Pause in His presence’. God is encouraging me to see this season as a time of ‘Selah’. A time to ‘press pause’ and to stop rushing and fretting about what is ‘next’. A time to deliberately seek Him, listen to Him and be refreshed by His wonderful presence.

To help me self-reflect a bit I've been asking myself a few questions. Where can I build time into my day to meet with God, or should I be changing up the way I'm doing things?

I've realised that I may be viewing this time of COVID-19 as a pointless season, almost as if “life will begin again in 6 months”, but I want to really think about how I will allow the Holy Spirit to transform me and produce fruit in me.

I've also been wondering what Jesus is wanting me to acknowledge in this season. Perhaps this is a time to intentionally bring my circumstances and emotions before the Lord and allow Him to speak into them. This might be something you want to try too.

One thing I know for sure, we have a patient Father who loves us and will work out His marvellous plan for our lives … all in his perfect timing.

All my love,

Sarah x

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