It’s been a while since I wrote a blog, so please bear with me!
Right now isn’t the time or place for me to discuss what’s been happening with me in the past few months. Just to put it lightly – I’ve had a rough time. Actually, the first real rough time since I became a Christian. I guess the honeymoon days really have gone.
Anyway, I’ve been reading my bible daily and – well, let’s just say my prayer life isn’t quite so healthy. And I’ve felt a real distance from God. I’m hoping we’ve all been there, we’re just not confident about saying it out loud to other people. Well, even if you, dear reader, haven’t felt that, my friends in the bible have – Job felt the lack of God’s presence, so did David, and let’s face it – we’re not as good as David. If he felt God’s absence, I’m sure we all will at least once or twice in our lives and it’s how we respond to that, that can make or break our relationship with God.
So like I say, I’ve had a pretty rough time recently, and it really dates back to last summer. A few things happened (like I say, not the time or place), then just before Christmas I got hit by a delivery truck. It’s turned my world on it’s head. I’m in and out of the doctor’s office, I’m on tonnes of medication and I have some emotional damage I’m trying to work on.
I’ve been signed off work since the accident. It’s given me plenty of time to dwell on what happened, but on the flip side, it’s given me some time to dwell in God’s presence and what he wanted to do for me in my pain and suffering. I started asking questions, and it seemed to me that God had checked out on me. I thought maybe he didn’t have the answers – maybe he was making me work it out on my own – maybe He didn’t want to tell me. Whatever it was, it was really frustrating.
Part of the emotional damage is not wanting to go out. A friend of mine who has been spectacular for being there for me spiritually and actually through this mess invited me over for lunch today. She’s a neighbour, so it does make it easier for me to talk myself up to leaving the house for. As I left my flat, in the downstairs communal lobby, I thought I could smell gas. I wasn’t sure, so just shrugged it off and forgot about it, as I went over to enjoy some gnocchi, fellowship and prayer. When I returned – I could definitely smell gas.
So I opened my meter box, and there was no doubting that smell. On the box was a sticker: “If you think you can smell gas, call the emergency gas line number: 0800….” So I rang the number. I gave my address and was told an engineer would be with me within the hour. I was talked through how to turn off the gas, was told not to switch on the light, and to ventilate the area – and sit tight, someone will be there soon!
Well, needless to say – I was a little concerned about the situation. I opened the front door, propped my door open and sat on my stairs: watching, waiting. I text my friend to tell her what was happening, and tried to ring my mum to give me some peace of mind. I rang and rang – the home number and her mobile number. No answer! So I rang my dad. He answered his phone quickly, but told me he couldn’t chat. I was expecting him to be at work, I just wanted him to tell me where my mum was so I could get hold of her. Before I had said more than “Hello” he said that he couldn’t speak, he was in the dentist’s waiting room, my mum was having some work done, he’d ring back when he could.
So I was left there… waiting. The smell of gas, slowly dissipating. Waiting on an unknown engineer, driving somewhere in Cardiff; an engineer who was going to fix my problem.
He arrived, within 20 minutes and set himself straight to work. He told me that if he did find a leak it would be on either my side of the meter – so between myself and my landlord, someone would have to pay to have it fixed by the supply company – or his side, and if it was, he could fix it there and then. I was slightly more concerned for him to find out if there was a leak or not. He got his toolkit out, and found the leak – on his side of the meter. He quickly fixed it, I signed the paperwork and he was gone.
Why am I telling you this story? Well, I thought about my prayers. I know they’re not falling on deaf ears – God can hear me. I never questioned that for a moment. But maybe, the distance I’m feeling is that he’s with the problem instead of me. The gas leak needed fixing, not me. I was worried and concerned about it and what I should do, but it wasn’t me that needed sorting out. The engineer that was sent out – he wasn’t there to make me feel better – he was there to fix the gas leak, which made me feel better.
Maybe I need to see my (many) issues like that. I wasn’t functioning perfectly before the accident and I can see God working in the aftermath, but some of the issues I’m experiencing that are holding me back are only issues that have come from the experience I had. It’s not me that needs the work – it might make me feel better right now for God to answer my prayers to make me feel less low, anxious and in pain but it won’t help long term. It’s like putting a plaster on a broken arm. God isn’t into that. He’s working for me for the long term. I just need to make sure I focus on that.