Is God enough? Can he be?
A couple of years ago I took part in a Lent course. As part of that course we had a workshop on creating found and blackout poetry from the bible facilitated by Jamie Bonilla.
I was going through a very difficult time and knowing that poetry does things to me emotionally I was reluctant to try Jamie’s suggestion that we use our own poetry as a channel to let the Holy Spirit speak to us through scripture. I was frightened of what words I might find. I was scared about how they might break me apart.
Eventually I did the exercise she suggested, on a weekend away with a friend, and I don’t think it’s overstating it to say that the words I found possibly changed the course of my life.
Is God enough? Can he be?
There were more words in my poem, but those 6 were my big question, and God seemed to be giving me a one-word answer.
But, but, but…….
I don’t like slow. I don’t like waiting. The only time my children hear me vocalize frustration is when I’m driving and no one else on the road seems to be in a hurry to get to where they are going. From behind the steering wheel I speak aloud my chastisement of other drivers and I criticise their caution. In slow moving traffic I am a constant lane changer. I think quickly. I find queuing a best avoided activity. I generate ideas quickly. One of my pet hates is inefficient use of language. If my husband can tell me something in 10 words rather than 100 I’ll be happy.
I am not very good at waiting.
At the time I did the found poetry exercise my life was in pieces on all fronts, and I didn’t know how to fill the gaps again. My faith in God meant that I was willing to trust Him, but I was looking for a quick fix. I wanted things to be better in weeks, not months or years. I wanted some yes or no answers. I wanted to either cut my losses and run or know that I could fix everything.
But God said, ‘wait’.
The thing about waiting is that you stop being in control. You are waiting for someone to act or to change or for something to happen. I wouldn’t describe waiting as passive, because it can involve plenty of squirming and complaining, writhing and irritation.
I had said that I would trust God. And he told me to wait. To wait in the life I was living. To wait in the circumstances that were present. To not take active steps to change things. It was so difficult, and I frequently came back to my still unanswered question, ‘Is God enough? Can he be?’ I didn’t know.
Years on and I am starting to understand what I was waiting for. I’ve stopped believing myself to be in control of life. I had a very limited understanding of the possible outcomes available, so if I had forged ahead I’d have chosen from a narrow range. Instead, by waiting I’ve allowed God to work. To restore. To provide. To show me that He is enough to satisfy every part of me.
I think that I will spend the rest of my life waiting.
I’m a woman of eclectic interests, and a lot of passion!
Some of the names I carry are mum, wife, writer, food lover, follower of Jesus, wanderer, researcher and instigator of family adventures.
I’ve been married for almost two decades, but I don’t feel old enough for that to be true. I have 3 children – two in their teens, and a little one. Originally from Ireland I’ve lived in England for all of my adult life. I never imagined I’d be where I am doing what I do. As a family we are very familiar with chronic health problems, mental illness and life not going according to anyone’s plan. We are also brilliant at finding the funny in everything.
Through it all, I write about my faith.
The real, messy, complicated yet utterly simple faith I have in the person of Jesus.
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