Monthly Archives: April 2017

Scars and all.

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Personally, I am a fan of the Facebook ‘On This Day’ feature. Looking through each days’ memories is normally one of the first things I do in the morning, I really enjoy being reminded of things that happened 2 or 3 or even 9 years ago (side note: I cannot believe I have had Facebook for 9 years!). I just love the nostalgia of seeing a photo of something fun I did with a friend or reading a conversation that has zero context and makes no sense to me years on or re-reading the cringe worthy updates from back then.

The past is important, I’ve said it before – we shouldn’t forget it. A couple of days ago I had a memory pop up on Facebook about attending my graduation ceremony 3 years ago! I remember feeling so accomplished and so excited to be starting (actually having already started) work in a job I had dreamed about.

On that day 3 years ago I didn’t know the skills I would learn, the friends I would make, the hurts I would have or the scars I would gain from that job. 3 years on, life has changed and I spent most of the day working – in a restaurant – getting prune hands from doing dishes, spilling some sort of sauce on my shoe and being at the start of another journey.

Not really where I thought I would be 3 years on from the day of my graduation! A special day where I got to get my hair done, wear a nice dress and doff my cap at some old guy I had never seen before! But, that is something I am slowly coming to terms with, I may not be where I thought I was heading but that doesn’t mean it’s not where I am supposed be going. Who knows where I’ll end up? But I am trying to enjoy the journey that is getting me there!

The adventure of life is like a train trip – bit of a cliche, I know! But as we travel along, we pick up passengers and their baggage. We collect a range of different experiences and we learn different lessons from them all. Some of them leave their bags behind or create some damage to how well we function. There are some that depart without us even really noticing but there are others that cover us in graffiti and really make a mess in our carriages.

I know that I am lucky to not have many scratched up windows from my trip so far. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have scars, they’re just not ones that you can see. It also doesn’t mean that if you don’t have scabby, pussy wounds to show off that you aren’t going through something that hurts! We all need to show empathy and patience because we don’t know what someone else is going through.

A person who looks all put together, always smiling, never seeming to have anything going wrong might be covering up some real pain. Their scars might be much more than skin deep, but heart deep. Their family might be in a crisis, they might be dealing with the loss of a friend or a relationship breakup. They may be sleep deprived from working 3 jobs or scared because they don’t feel safe at home. You just don’t know!

Each one of us has our own scars, inside or the outside, and we all have stuff to deal with. Why not use it to help someone else? We might be able to understand because we have scars from our own similar experiences. We know the way not to handle that situation and we have some strategies that helped us to get through it.

So, on this day in 2017 – look back on all the passengers that have jumped on to your train, leaving a mark and think of how you can embrace them and help others with what you have gone through.

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I get knocked down, but I get up again.

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If I have learnt one thing from this past year it would be that life is never what you expect. And also, when you think you have it figured out – you don’t! And also, that it is always worth it to keep trying when things don’t go your way. And that things quite often don’t go your way. Ok, I guess I have learnt more than one thing!

In the last couple of months there’s been stuff in my life that if given the chance I would probably have gone without. But that’s the thing unfortunately, we don’t get a choice to what comes along to test us, break us, grow us and lift us up. We do, however get a choice in how we handle it.

In the wise words of the musical genius that is Chumbawamba – ‘I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down’. This 90s classic may a be a one hit wonder, but it simply states that we need to just keep on trying. We can choose to get back up when we get slapped in the face by life’s punches.

Not that Chumbawamba aren’t extremely eloquent, but I just think it is said better in 2 Chronicles 15:7 – ‘but as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded’. There have been many moments when I have wanted to give up because it seems too hard to take the step out into the unknown when each decision I have made seems to be the wrong one.

But hindsight is a beautiful thing! I can see, looking back on the choices I have made – even those that have failed – God has taught me something in each and every one. And I am sure that in years to come I will be able to see that at this moment on Easter Sunday 2017 He had plans for me.

Maybe not ones I knew about (which drives me a little nuts!) but ones that were more than I ever could have imagined. I may not have gotten there the way I wanted, but when are my plans ever better than Gods? That would be never! He did not put His one and only son through the horrors of dying on that cross so I could not get back up again when I am down.

So when I do get knocked down, you can bet I will get back up again, and again, and again. I will be resilient. I will be brave. I will keep trying to be worthy of the death that was not deserved but that occurred to take away my sins and makes Easter a time for praise (and for chocolate!).