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I have really felt a sense of joy now and then over recent days, which has been welcome. I am making progress, but this morning I had a trigger that overwhelmed me. It weighed on my heart like a millstone. I have started helping in the toddler group at my new church. As we set up and then prayed, I felt suffocated with grief for all that I had lost. I missed my old group and the fellowship I had with them. I missed being known. I missed all the people I served with. All their names were in my heart. All that served the coffee, precious ladies that I caught up with over the hatch. I missed the mums and carers and grandmas. I loved all those I served with, and at that moment in time the hole in my heart felt unfillable. I began to quietly sob and had to escape. I know my life will be hard for months and months to come. 

There will be no easy fix. It’s a season I have to go through in order to get to the other side. There is nothing that can be done; it can’t be fixed or mended. As I write, I am quietly standing in a quiet spot in town and thanking God for smart phones. I can pour my heart out as I write, which helps me to put my emotions back in their proper place. 
Later in the morning, I talked to a mum from Morocco. She was telling me how hard it was to settle. I was able to see how bereft she must have felt and I was able to express that to her. At the end of the session she came and found me and hugged me. Empathy is often born out of pain; I learnt this morning that no difficult situation is wasted. 
Two steps forward and one back. We go on in God’s strength. 


Galatians 5:22-23 says:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I have been reading through Galatians this morning, and I have been reminded of the beauty of living with Christ in view. God is so kind and generous in the way he enables us to respond to one another by  his Spirit. 

 That simple list seems at first glance to to be such an easy thing. And it is easy to react like that with those who please us, those  we get on with, and those who make us feel safe.

These verses become less easy when we are hurt, under the cosh, and offended. I was struck also by these verses in Ezekiel which reminded me that any goodness we have is a gift. 

In  Ezekiel ch 36 :25 God says to his people,

 ” I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees.” 
Praying that the Holy Spirit does his work in our hearts today, enabling us to go God’s way; being kind to those who have hurt us. Not avoiding or giving the cold shoulder to those who have offended us. Reacting with gentleness and kindness in the face of unkindness.
We need Gods help, it goes against our natural inclination. But God is willing and able and He loves to pour his grace on those who want to go his way, for his glory.

Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. (Psalm 25:12)

It’s so easy for me to become discontent when I remember what has been lost.  I’ve had beautiful reminders this week of my former life. Lovely people I’ve  caught up with from my church family that I’m now separated from.  But although I’m parted from them physically, we are one in Christ. Grace reigns and forgiveness is running over, and my church family that I’ve been torn from are actually still there and will always hold a huge place in my heart. Sin has been committed, consequences remain but grace and mercy covers it all. 

God is an amazing God and his generosity knows no bounds. I am realising that I have been hiding because of shame. It’s hard to find contentment when life becomes disappointing and our self worth comes from our goodness.

I don’t want people to know we’ve blown it.  I have been relying on my own works without really realising it, and as a result  I have been overwhelmed by failure.

Praying that God releases me from this mindset today, and gives me a liberty and freedom which can only come from his grace. Sin is subtle and dangerous, and can be couched in spiritual ” speak” but it’s not from God. I pray that  in the days to come the shame will lessen as I learn to accept and be liberated by that grace. 

Every miracle started with a problem. 

I have a screen saver on my phone which says “every miracle in the bible first started with a problem.” So countless times every day this is what I read. As I look back in the gospels and see all the miracles that Jesus performed, this statement is indeed correct. Jesus’ miracles are all about people in dire need and overwhelming despair.

They are about the dead raised to life, the blind seeing, and lives that are completely smashed and ruined by demon possession. We also see people who are treated badly and counted as nothing because of their physical disabilities, and the dreaded leprosy which separates loved ones. In all of these huge problems we see the power of Jesus smashing through it all. He loved, and had compassion on all people, and sorted the problem when humanly speaking there was no solution.

As I am on my phone all the time, I am reminded constantly that every miracle first started as a problem, God is the same God and smashes through our problems and finds a way when we see no way forward. 

For us, this weekend is a painful one. It should be a happy occasion but it’s not. Many churches are meeting together, and I am obsessed  and terrified about bumping into people we know. So, I have hunkered down, got out of bed late, talked to a wise friend and my husband went to church with a heavy heart. Shame is an awful thing. We know that there is huge forgiveness at the cross and we revel in his grace, but facing people that have been  hurt stings, and feels overwhelming.

I felt for my husband and texted him, asking him if he was ok. His response was:  “the sermon is on psalm 32!”

This is what it says:

1 Psalm 32:1-11 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven,whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’And you forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. You are my hiding-place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! 

We were wonderfully reminded once again that God loves the contrite, and we felt his kindness to us in orchestrating this passage on this particular weekend. We often feel that we need to continue to be punished for something that God has forgiven. We often find it hard to accept the outrageous kindness and grace of God, in delighting  to show forgiveness.  Praying that God’s  miracle of grace smashes through our problem and all its consequences, so that people will be amazed at God’s  power and grace, and believe. What a wonderful saviour we have. 

When we are overwhelmed 

“But my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is is made perfect in weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me”

 (2 Corinthians 12:9)

There are many situations that I feel overwhelmed by. Sometimes it’s just getting up in the morning. Sometimes it’s the thought of having to find work after the trauma of the last months. I feel overwhelmed in the night when I wake up because I have a knot in my stomach and can’t remember why. I have been overwhelmed living in a new place, going to a new church and not being in a good frame of mind to be engaging and sociable. I have been overwhelmed as my children go on this excruciating journey of working things through, and I have felt pained, and been in agony for them.

I have been overwhelmed by having to drive in a place I don’t know and that’s unfamiliar.

I’m realising that it’s ok to be overwhelmed and to feel like I’m not coping. If our faith is real, and God is who he says he is in his word, then however overwhelmed we feel about everything, he will eventually see us through. We may feel that our situation won’t right itself, but I know that God is using it to teach and to shape us to be more like himself.

So, we don’t need to fear, but we do need to trust in the one who knows all, and in doing this we will make Christ known. 

I love this hymn and I want it to be my prayer;

The wisdom in listening to God. ❤️

I am slowly learning to recognise Satan’s lies. 


 He focuses on our weak areas and exploits them. 

It has taken me a fair while to understand  how Satan gets in and robs me of joy and peace. Last weekend I was robbed of everything that was good, which resulted in misery for everyone. I felt anger and bitterness and I was so taken up with “me” that I didn’t care about the impact on others. I was taking forgiveness back and deliberately causing hurt.

I am so thankful to  God that he broke through that bitterness in the small hours of sunday morning and that clarity was given. As I opened that book I was reminded yet again of the necessity to firstly forgive. It’s only when we do what’s right before God that He then begins to work in us, giving us peace and healing.

As the week has gone on, I have thought about this. Forgiveness is so huge and hard, that it doesn’t take much for Satan to get in and spoil our lives and relationships.  He loves to get in and cause friction and separation and damage. Satan wants us to take forgiveness back and nurse bitterness and resentment. We can be so easily sucked into this mind set where bitterness and unforgiveness reign, that it’s then very difficult to get onto the right path of doing the only thing that pleases God : a deliberate forgetfulness of those sins committed against us.  

So when we have been through a massive hurt or betrayal and we want to lash out because something has come to mind, what do we do?  It may be easy  in theory, but when these negative emotions arise how can we actually combat them? 

The bible says :

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you”    ( James 4:7 )

So this week at the first sign of unease,  I have been on my knees and prayed that I would listen to God and not the devil.

I have had a few situations where thoughts that are negative have come to mind. I have had to bat them away, and ask God to protect me from those fiery darts. I have told Satan that he can shake his chains, but he is bound and cannot harm me and I have told him to flee in the name of Jesus. I have known a wonderful peace this week that up till now I have not known. I thank God for his grace and his mercy in this,  and for many incidents this week that can only have come from God. Meeting new friends that I have seemed to really connect with, meeting lovely friends  that are discerning and give wise and godly counsel, unexpected phone calls and friends sending me scripture. 

Since Monday, it really feels like God has comforted and cared for me in ways that I can’t express, and most of my  worry and anxiety and fretting has abated. Wonderfully,  God has enabled me to leave it at the cross. I have felt a peace and a calm that can only come from him. 

I know so well that I need to be on my guard. That Satan is wandering around like a roaring lion seeking to rob me of  joy and peace. I can only rely and depend on God’s amazing goodness and grace.

I have been reading an article by Thomas Brooks. He says there are 10 ways to resist satan’s darts. They are:

  1. Be ruled by the word
  2. Beware of grieving the Holy Spirit
  3. Labour for wisdom
  4. Resist the first stirring of temptation
  5. Labour to be filled with the spirit
  6. Keep humble
  7. Be constantly on guard
  8. Continue communing with God
  9. Do not engage Satan in your own strength
  10. Pray constantly


Dear Lord,

Thank you that you have shown me many things about the importance of listening to you alone.  I need to look to you constantly for help and strength. I know that if I rely on my  own confidence I will drown. Help me to be completely dependant on you in every area of my life, and look to you for help and counsel constantly. It’s only by looking to you alone that I will know joy and peace. I pray that the Holy Spirit  will enable me to not listen to Satan, but listen to what your word tells me, and in so doing I will be aware  of satan’s tactics and resist them. keep me close to you.


Back to the cross I go.

Yesterday was an atrocious day. I felt bitterness in my heart from early on, and it went unchecked all day. It almost felt like I was feeling the full force of hurt and betrayal for the very first time. At 2:31 am, I had not slept a wink. The full force of bitterness was marching over my heart and taking up residence. Bitterness was occupying my heart like the enemy in war time.

In the small hours, I opened a book of daily readings at April 16. The book is called “a year’s journey with God” by Jennifer Rees Larcombe.

The verse was:

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life.”

She says:

” as Christians we feel we shouldn’t let things wind us up so we ignore the internal grazes and bruises and even pretend to ourselves that our hearts are not crushed by disapproval or unkindness or ripped open by betrayal. When Jesus said he had come to  “mend the broken- hearted”, surely He was promising to heal these wounds, but I honestly think He can’t do that without our willingness to forgive the person who has hurt us.”

I  have a close friend who often says to me, ” back to the cross you go then!” I have had to come to this place over and over again. When we let bitterness reign we allow Satan to take up residence in our hearts and minds and it produces nothing good and opposes all that Jesus says is right. 

The longer I leave bitterness, the harder it seems to hand ownership back to God. This causes strife and dissension and bitterness and hate. I was robbed of joy yesterday and in the early hours of this morning, and I found myself wondering if I had a relationship with God at all. I felt blackness and despair which was too awful to describe. 

 To react well  when we are feeling hurt is nigh on impossible. Reacting with ill grace is our natural bent. Sin from the beginning of time has manifested itself in blame and sulking. Adam blames Eve, and Eve blames the serpent.

 Sadly, very early on, we are often aware that we are going down a wrong path. We know how outrageous our behaviour is, and how unkind we are being, but getting off that road of destruction often hurts our pride too much, so we doggedly stay on it. The results are never good and never worth it. 

So the advice from my friend is key : ” back to the cross we go!”

Paul says in Romans 7:19 

“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.”

I am finding this process exhausting and overwhelming and discouraging and alarming. But its conclusion is always the same: back to the cross.