Breaking Ground

‘Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love; and break up your unplowed ground, for it is time to seek the Lord.’ – Hosea 10:12

We started our marriage preparation course on Saturday. I had anticipated it being quite hectic (G was as usual, totally calm), but I honestly was not prepared for the revelation of its significance. Yes, we were given anologies of ‘when you want to drive a car, you first go for lessons… and when you want to operate in surgery, you get trained… why should marriage be different?’ I agree completely: being the nerd that I am, (if I can help it), I only step into things after I have prepared for them (being called to live by faith doesnt always allow for that, but in this case, thankfully God has given us a season to prepare).

This morning I sat with Holy Spirit (yay for school holidays) and ‘randomly’ found this scripture in Hosea. Wow. It really spoke so clearly to me regarding this Season of Preparation. Like a farmer prepares the land in the season before wanting to sow seed and hope for a subsequent harvest, so too do we need to prepare ourselves for marriage – and seed can only be sown into ground ready to receive. This morning I realised how much ‘land’ in my heart, mind and life has been allowed to grow wild – untendered and well, possibly just a little feral. Without having anyone to really consider (or keep me in check), I have allowed unhelpful habits and ways of thinking and doing things to creep in like weeds. That ground is definitely not suitable for sowing any kind of seed, let alone hoping to reap a good harvest! And so, the season of breaking ground has begun.

And it is uncomfortable.

Saturday’s session was Communication. An important foundation, but not totally ‘sensitive issue’ stuff, right? Oh, so wrong… my little field was filled with roots and rocks that need removing. The revelation that life is no longer about me or simply doing things as I have always (unquestioningly) done hit home; if I am going to be the best wife for G – the one he needs me to be in order to help him lead us well, and to encourage the best out of him… well, I have some work to do. Yes, the significance of this season lies in the Forever Future ahead of us, but more so, the next 87 days will require me to be more vulnerable, open and humble than I have ever been. And it requires an incredible depth of trust; revealing both the good and bad parts of myself to G, (hoping and praying) and trusting that he will not only accept them and extend grace towards me, but will cover those areas in love (Colossians 3). I am continually in awe and so very grateful that God would give me someone who is not only the most patient man I have ever known, but so kind and gentle in how he draws me out from my fears, insecurities and overthinking head. He leads me well.

So excuse me while I go hunt for some wellies and dungarees and a garden fork… or maybe a tractor and plow may be more useful… there is work to be done – and it doesnt involve colour schemes, flower choices or picking dresses…

( significance of photo: its the view from our venue – and symbolic of looking into the future…)

 

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Me before G…

Its a little difficult to know where to begin with this post, because where does one start in introducing themselves? I’m just me

Being a bit of an idealist, I was one of those girls who loved the idea of love – the idea that there was someone out there who God had created with me in mind.  When I was a teenager and it seemed like everybody was falling in love and finding boyfriends, I didn’t quite get it.  What was the point of dating someone if you knew inevitably you would end up with a broken heart at the age of 16? I wanted more; I wanted God’s best for me.  I prayed a seemingly harmless prayer that every aspect of my life (including my future relationship) be extra-ordinary, covered with His fingerprints… I wanted people to look at my life and know there was no way that I could have achieved that in my own strength – it had to be the God that I loved. I had no idea the cost of that prayer!

God is faithful.  And He hears our heart’s desires.  And sometimes it means we have to wait for His perfect timing.  And wow, did I wait. When all my friends seemed to be getting married and moving into the next ‘stage’ of life, I felt like I had been forgotten.  I’m not going to sugar-coat it and say being single was easy and I just embraced the season and loved Jesus (I did.  But there was also a lot of heart struggles and facing many, many insecurities.).  It was tough.  And lonely.  But yes, I did love Jesus and I knew I had trusted Him with this matter and no matter the cost, I was willing to wait for His Best, rather than chase after second-best… believe me, there were times when even I questioned my decision! So by the time I was in my mid-twenties, I had kissed one guy (a moment of boredom one New Year’s Eve which sadly meant absolutely nothing to me) and began dating a man through a set-up by friends.  The relationship was short and possibly borderline unhealthy, but what amazes me (in hindsight) is how protected I was; the most we did (physically) was hold hands – that’s unheard of in adult relationships… especially as he didn’t share my Christian values.

Fast forward a couple of years and I was again single, in my 30s and once again facing all those Identity issues at Jesus’ feet.  I fell into the same trap as many people: I threw myself into my work and church activities.  In many ways, I lost myself to good Christian ‘expectations’. In October last year, God began to speak to me about saying goodbye to old things in order to enter a new season.  Obviously I hoped it would include relationship, but being content in where I was, I simply followed Jesus’ leading and was prepared to go and do what He said.  He spoke to me about living ‘Simply, Slowly, Softly’ – to step back from several unhealthy lifestyle choices which had seen me running about trying to achieve acceptance from the ‘world’ and losing myself in the process.  By stepping back, I was being re-introduced to myself – as God had created me.

At the start of 2018, Jesus spoke quite clearly about hitting a re-set button; that He was going to make changes in my life that would see it vastly different by the end of the year.  The three areas He spoke about quite specifically were church, work and relationships.  I had no idea what that would look like or how He would make it happen, I simply chose to open my heart to His lead, and trust that He would lead me forward.  In spending some time simply sitting at His feet, I asked for insight into the year ahead.  He told me I would dance again – initially I had laughed because although I loved dancing, I had stopped years ago (despite having several prophetic words which always seemed to include the image of Dance).  It took my mother randomly suggesting it for me to really consider the idea.

So the first several weeks of 2018 was a time of Acceleration in Jesus; I felt like I was falling crazily in love with Him and on a massive spiritual growth-spurt.    In the midst of this, I prayed that before God allowed me to experience the love of a man, He would first help me to experience a greater fullness of His perfect love for me – that that would always be my foundation and First Love… that I would never turn to a man for affirmation and love, over Jesus. And that’s what He did. It was amazing.

And then I met G…

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