No room for self doubt

Keep Satan downI had a thought; in between the madness of work over the last few weeks. It was like a scolding fork prodding my left bum cheek. The thought was simply; why?

Yes, yes..i’ve had it before. Many a time if fact, when talking about my ex. But this time it miraculously resonated with the answer. And this, because I had a conversation with a work colleague.

I must have easily been amongst 4000 other Christians over the last few weeks if you count the Christian New Media Awards and Conference, the William Lane Craig events and the Woman to Woman conference.

So the stabs and prods of self doubt shouldn’t really have been surprising. Pete Phillips (CODEC) got it right as we all piled out of the Christian New Media Conference on 16th October –

@pmphillips spiritual attack tweet

Inspired and filled with the spirit of ‘can do’ – what a dangerous Christian we are. What I now realise is that we are at our most venerable when we are closest to God.

Studying to be a Minister, working in a Christian environment, a new Christian…hungry to know more of God? All lambs.

Peter said, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Here, God can use His power and ability to shine through our weaknesses; the potential to become living witnesses of his power. Self Doubt robs Him of this.

Paul confirms this, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10)

CM. I’m shaking my head. We’ve known, and talked about how a relationship won’t work, but we’re still playing games. Something I told myself a while ago that I’d never do. Honesty always. But I’ve ended up deceiving myself.

It’s not real. And that’s not what I need.

My ex has forgotten I’m still on our account, and still receive bank statements. I see the flowers, the restaurants and the trips away. He’s loving someone else. But I won’t find anyone if I’m still bitter and letting him influence my own self worth.

A conversation with a work colleague confirmed this. We got onto the subject of divorce. When he split with his wife, who cheated on him, he was made homeless. I’ll not name names, but he was a successful DJ at the time…and slept in the back of a shop for months and months; nobody knew.

He had every right to be bitter. And he was for a long while. Reduced to sleeping in a shop, with a friend leaving him food every now and then, he turned to God and asked, ‘Why? And for how damned long?’

It dawned on him that in his bitterness, he was holding on to the past. Not allowing God to point to the future. It wasn’t until he let her go, that things started to fall into place for him and he found a flat.

I need something real now. And yes, I’ve know this from the outset really. I’m feeling low about this ‘relationship’ today. Add to this, i’m feeling low about my ex, my job, lack of money…and this low self esteem is taking up a lot of energy. Too much, I realise this. If I feel shite, I’m good for nothing. (and i’m downright sure this is sinful)

It’s not what I need. That’s not what He needs.

Blasé about dirty windows

I hit a learning curve today.

What happens when you roll out of church at 1.30ish on an extremely sunny Sunday and realise you’ve not made plans to see anyone that day? Panic?

Another thing to add to the list of things i miss now that i’m not in a relationship. To be honest, i’d not really thought about it until now. My weekends are mostly filled with friends or family. But..today was different. On the one hand i really wanted to sit in the park and just chill, by myself and enjoy the last bout of sunshine. And on the other, i didn’t want to do it alone. (I know, how sad?!)

I’m a lazy friend. Actually, no, I’m being harsh on myself. I may have mentioned before, I’m just not used to having lengthily phone conversations. This stems from years with parents who were very conscious of phone bills and basically banned me from long inane phone calls with friends. ‘You’re going to see them tomorrow aren’t you?’

Therefore, as an unconscious rule, I use the phone solely to confirm arrangements, make arrangements – anything that’s basically specific. If I haven’t got something to say to say. I won’t call you. (i hope i’m getting better at this now. I especially make an effort to text).

So, having left a couple of messages with my closest friends, and realising they were astute enough to make plans..i took the bus home from Church.

On the bus from Oxford Circus to Vauxhall, I was thinking about how much I miss my sister; and the true reason I couldn’t be joyful about her pregnancy. (I’ve not mentioned this before, but yes..she’s pregnant with her new bf) We’d only just started hanging out again.. I mean. Really hanging out. I could have called her …after her Charity Run…and gone round to make Sunday lunch at hers. Or, better still..she could have come to mine, but…

As I flicked from Facebook to Twitter, from my emails and text messages through the long journey home, I suddenly felt extremely lonely as I imagined everyone else out and about, or having barbeques. But mostly lazing in the sunshine. I suddenly felt rather empty.

If i’m brutally honest i’m just not as blasé about my meeting with CM as i’d thought i would be. But then..do i ever learn my lesson? We’ve talked it over. And because he’s thoughtful and kind i realise that the sanity check wasn’t just for him. He was actually concerned that i was ok about it all. I said, yes. I was. I don’t think it’s computing at the moment though.

Unfortunately I suddenly feel rather empty.

Belligerently i put my FB status as ‘dumping chores for sunshine’. But because I couldn’t bear sitting in a park by myself i decided to stop at Tesco and buy a whole chicken on discount, salad and rose wine… (see my drift?)

I put the chicken in the oven to roast and cleaned the windows of my flat (although I could only reach halfway so the top of the panes are still shoddy!) and vacuumed. I then ate the chicken with a lovely potato and green salad..and drank far too much Rose, on my own.

In hindsight, I’m slightly worried about the wine, as i can ‘see’ I’m obviously on a ‘downward’ mood. I have the ‘restructure meeting’ to consider on Tuesday. It’s been the weirdest two weeks, having the consultation period. No one at work really talks about it. It’s like this massive elephant in the room at every meeting?

On a plus, i’ve FINALLY ordered prints of my digital photos, and framed some of them to put around the flat. It looks like someone ‘lives’ here now. I’d noticed that the first thing that people do when they come round is look around. Especially at my bookcase, and the sparse and impersonal ‘fashion’ photos I have up. Now I have friends and family to spark conversation. It feels nice.

Despite the bout of loneliness, the TV has been off all day and I’ve been listening to my old iPod. (repeat – My OLD iPod…we’re talking The Feeling, Usher, Counting Crows, Jamie Foxx, Peter Gabriel and Elvis..not to mention concertos saved for wedding march ideas..!) I feel productive, so I can’t deny how good the day has been.

I wonder how, if i unexpectedly find myself at a loose end again, that i stop worrying about it and just enjoy it?

£2 is not a lot

I have £2 in my bank account, this should last me to the end of the month. No, that’s not a typo. And yes, it’s only the 19th…

I’d have never envisaged just how many things you actually have to deal with when you separate from someone. We had a home, shared bills and bank accounts. A shared life, so it is of course inevitable that it will be messy.

I can write reams on the emotional consequences; ripe inspiration for poetry. If I were more motivated, more eloquent, I would write more.

It’s the depression, the realisation and remembrance of the loss, the sadness that engulfs me like a wave that sometimes takes me by surprise. Like today, I feel lonely.

Physically, I think I may have psoriasis on my scalp. Sometimes I feel like clawing my hair out. And now that I don’t drink so much (this, only because I can’t afford to buy it, and not because I don’t want to.) I think my liver feels better…

The funny thing about this is – the sudden ‘coincidences’. That, although I feel down – I still have many reasons to be ‘ok’ in this situation.

For example, the free bottle of wine on Friday that was given to my friend and I because the bar didn’t have a table for us?!

The free ticket to the gig yesterday, and a lift there from a friend meant that I didn’t have to cancel because I couldn’t afford to get there…

Poem: Crackle and burn

See, the crackle and burn of your grace?
Sound sears through icy dark,
Lays a hand on my face

Like solar flares, your love purges,
Frees the mercy you promise.
Faith and trust born, merges.

Nothing could be more simple;
You. Love. Me…
And all you bestow is ample

Nothing’s more harder to understand,
Forgiveness, mercy. Grace.
Only, to take your firery hand.

2 Peter 1:5-9

Poem: Stay

‘Mighty you are’, they say
And how they revere your name
They lift their heads to heaven
Mine dips, with the heaviness of shame

I’ll sit aside and listen. But,
In holiness, did you say ‘compete’?
Chapter and verse escape me
For unworthiness nails me meek

I endeavour to catch just a glimpse
But I’m far too small to see,
Poised on the balls of my feet
Obscured by hands raised in front of me

I’d like to think that you would stay
Carry me, and heal my filthy heart
Could you touch such as me, so defiled?
I pray, ‘Please, stay while I fall apart’.

Romans 8:35 & Luke 7:36-50

I hate weddings

I didn’t take a single photo. And it was a beautiful wedding. The fact that it was at All Souls, and it’s April…grated on me. And if I’m totally honest – I hated every minute. Please don’t tell the bride.

I left the evening reception rather abruptly – dashing out Cinderella-esq after a lovely comment from one of my Fellowship group friends. ‘So, how’s Darren?’

Mortified that I thought I’d heard her wrong, I actually asked her to repeat the question!!

I’d made it through the whole day, and had kept myself together until his name was mentioned. I’m not sure what she was thinking. But she smiled…so I think she enjoyed seeing whatever look must have passed over my face?

I have apologies to make to my other Fellowship Group friends. Who, I might add, have not called to find out if I got home ok, or if I threw myself under the 88 bus?

What the hell is going on with these Christians?

I won’t repeat the unending refrain…I’m tired of it. Hearing it, seeing it in arial 11…yes, it’s a difficult month. But, I have the new flat to think about – which will hopefully take my mind off it a little. And a best friend planning avoidance maneuvers for the end of the month.

I still don’t have to think about divorce…yet.