So now what?

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“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God.” John 14:1

I saw an old friend yesterday, an acquaintance really! I was coming out of the café with another friend and I could see this woman wanted to hug me. I hadn’t seen her in years; we were never close. She was just another mum from school when my girls were small, back when Jack was a toddler. She had boys, I had girls and I don’t ever remember hanging out. In spite of this, she wanted to hug me; I could see it in her eyes.

So when my friend left I hugged the almost stranger and, looking me in the eye, she started to cry as she asked, “How’s your daughter?” Somehow, though they live in Queensland now, she had heard about my daughter. “I got out the old photo albums,” she said, “and I searched for her face amongst the class photos and wept.” I could see that what she was telling me was true. Her compassion was so genuine it astounded me, such kindness from a stranger! I reassured her that Sam was doing well and explained how far we have come, that we were getting back on our feet and moving on with life.

“How do you move on?” she asked me. “What comes next?” She told me sometimes she doesn’t even know what to do next and they’ve not had our kind of trouble.

What do you do when you’ve suffered loss, your marriage has failed or when things don’t work out in your job? We get stuck sometimes don’t we? After all the activity of life whirls over us, suddenly we are standing still with nothing to do. We get up in the morning and think, “Okay, so now what?”

In John 14, Jesus told his disciples He was going to prepare a place for them. I’ve heard this before! Sometimes it makes me mad. I don’t want to hear about the future or what I’ve got to look forward to. I want to know what to do now. It seems we spend all our life waiting, thinking about the future and hoping that our big break will come. We figure all the hard stuff we go through is preparation for this and that somehow all our struggles have made us great and now we have stories to tell. The truth is we have no idea what comes next. I’m so thankful for Thomas for saying it how it is. “Lord, we don’t know where you are going so how can we know the way?”

Like Thomas, I’ve got no idea about tomorrow; all I know is Jesus is with me now. He was with me yesterday. He was there when no one came. He was there when not even the medical staff responded after I pressed the emergency buzzers behind the hospital bed. Somehow in the season of yesterday He showed me that I knew what to do. Mostly He isn’t preparing us for our future or some grand moment when we arrive in some fictitious place in our imagination – and it’s just as well. The truth is we don’t know what we want. We think we want a bigger house or a new car or an overseas trip.

Phillip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough.” It’s never enough though is it! As soon as we get the thing we always thought we wanted, we would want something else.

I don’t know what comes next but as I told my old acquaintance, I’m learning to live in the moment – to embrace each day. Jesus is an ‘in the moment’ kind of God. He says, “I am the way, and the truth and the life.” It is in present tense because it’s for right now. So my way of seeing things is that I should simply do what I know how to do and all the pieces for this day will be there. Jesus tells us to do what we see Him doing; just copy and you will do great things.

So I guess the trick is to see! To do that you need to remove all the things that restrain you: the limiters, the mindsets, glass ceilings, anything that holds you back. You must remember that you are not alone; Jesus promised not to leave us as orphans and if we listen He coaches us through. The truth is you are more capable than you think. Why did you settle for so little? Why are you still waiting for permission to do the things you always wanted to do? Do you think you need a man to validate you, or a university degree or to drive a better car? These things are wonderful and helpful, but maybe waiting for them is just an excuse.

Judas asked Jesus, “Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not the whole world?” Maybe Judas was waiting to hear Jesus tell him he was in the ‘in’ group and that made him worthy of success; but Jesus said, “Anyone who loves me…”

His love is great and wide and deep. When no one was there, it was His tears I felt on my shoulder, just as wet as the tears of this old acquaintance I happened to meet in the street. Jesus knows when we are stuck. He knew we would get distracted, discouraged and dismayed so He sent the Holy Spirit to remind us, telling us He “will teach you all things and will remind you of everything.”

So with that kind of backing, I figure we are equipped to move on. Consider yourself prepared.

All verses quoted in this piece are from John 14.

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “So now what?

  1. Emily Cheney

    Love this blog Clare! it really spoke to me. I love how you reminded us of God’s promise that ” he won’t leave us orphans”. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us and for reminding us what it is that really matters. You are such a brilliant writer and I love you to bits xxxx

  2. Brilliant Clare xx I have learnt the value of and the necessity to live one day at a time again more recently! Each new day I am thankful for another day and also thankful for all I have, most especially precious family and friends. My father used to tell us in our teenage years that “the more you have (get) the more you want” Through hard work and generousity he became a wealthy man, yet he had also recognised that the more wealth and possessions he acquired it was seemingly never enough. Then ironically the
    day he was diagnosed with cancer, one of the first things both him and mum said was we would give it all away and live in a tent just to always have each other. This has left a legacy in my life, that those we love and HE that offers us peace and eternal life will always far outweigh the things we think we want! Thanks for sharing Clare, a mixture of both your beautiful & insightful words and God’s unchanging word, that is my constant source of hope and peace. xx
    and mum said

    • Clare Froggatt

      Thankyou Jane, As we huddle together this wet, blustery day around the kitchen table as a family, confined in the tiny space that is our house, I know that I have everything. Every chair at the table is full because someone donated their stem cells…some stranger I may never meet gave me my daughter the chance of life. I will never forget the weekend your dad died and the day I cried with your sister at the photocopier on our final teaching prac. Thanks for continuing to walk this journey with me. Much love Clare

  3. Berni Morris-Smith

    Inspirational, heart tugging and so real….. its moments like these that you described so clearly that God puts us together with people and calls us His family even tho we may not know them that well. How amazing He gives us the eyes to see emotion in each other, to sense and feel for each other and then in those moments we are alone,…we are indeed not…for then are we closest to the One that loves us the most. It was when I lost my parents ..then I realised the depth and reality of His Fatherhood, and in toughest times experienced big time the gift he provides to us in the special people He puts around us to encourage us, speak to us, ..pray for us..just be there for us unconditionally and it can be the total strangers in our lives that at times God uses to receive the confirmation of how wide and how deep is His love. Yes its not the things, the next goal, the next job, the next car, the next house the next trip…its today ..with Jesus and how to love and serve ….that is important to make the most of….Inspirational etchings again ….thankyou xxx B

  4. Great opening paragraph for a wonderful story with great insights. xx

    • Clare Froggatt

      Thanks Charlotte. This week you appeared suddenly in my writing. I love that we have been friends for so long. xxx Clare

  5. I’ve no idea what comes next either! But I do know how to invest what I have in my hands today. Not always so great at the trusting though, and still working on removing the obstacles. Thank you for the reminder, the encouragement, and the challenge xx

    • Clare Froggatt

      Hey Melissa, we do need each other don’t we because mostly we forget to trust. Thank goodness God don’t leave us alone on the journey especially when we have no idea. It looks to me like you are doing a magnificent job of figuring things out. You always have had that ability to seek things out and not accept things at face value. I love your search for knowledge. You always inspire me. Clare x

  6. You always write something I need to hear. Thank you. I have been feeling resentful at how things outside my control are happening. I need to remember God is with me, in the moment. We have a future to anticipate but we have a now. This life is not just a preparation but a gift and a reality, a blessing of its own. Thank you for reminding me of that.

    • Clare Froggatt

      I get recentful too when things are out of my control. Sometimes we need to step backwards and look at life and try to see the cracks of light. Life can be so incredibly tough and your battle is real. Yet you keep fighting, you get back up and you connect. I pray this has been a week full of good moments for you. Clare x

  7. Meredith

    Brilliant – I needed to be reminded that God is always with us.
    Thank you Clare xx

    • Clare Froggatt

      I need to be reminded I am not alone on the journey….thanks for continuing to read and be such an encouragement to me x

  8. Pingback: The Rope Holder | Girl on a swing

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