Shadow Of Victory

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

July 14th More Midnight Ramblings

I find myself once more unable to sleep....this time because I haven't been too well and have been sleeping for part of the day/evening and now find myself wide awake and way past bedtime.It is always in the dead of night that my thoughts can turn to lets see where this leads me to .

I have blogged part of my growing up and I think I have reached adult hood in my time line...I am not going to go into details at this point of the friendship I have with my man....he is first and foremost the friend who I turn to..lean on...share with..cry and laugh with but I feel it is more to women that I am writing this blog altho if you are a man reading this ...then read on.

For the first 10 -12 years of my adult life age 19-29...I was busy doing what a lot of folk do in that period...meeting husband to be...marriage..children...settling down etc and like most young couples with children our social life revolved round family/friends gatherings.We didn't have a particularly wide circle of friends but I can honestly say that apart from 1-2 of them we have very little contact with any of them all these years later. I do wonder if the quality of the relationships didn't go deep enough to survive more than the obligatory Christmas card.

When we moved to England I realised just how much I needed friends. I spent the first 6 months of our time down here crying....I was sooooo lonely....I didn't want to be here....I didn't want to stay here...I didn't want to smile and make small talk with people who talked as if they had marbles in their mouth and sometimes didn't understand what I said either. English people lived in a different dimension to us...I didn't possess a diary before I moved here...if I wanted to see a friend I just dropped door was kept on the latch so friends could just knock and walk in...sadly down had to ring first and make and appointment and no-one just knocked on my door and walked in.

I discovered I was pregnant with our third child and this changed my life....I had to get out and make friends...and the first person I made a tentative friendship with was also pregnant...and also a Christian..( I wasn't a Christian at this point)..She was a member of Bracknell Baptist Church.(which later became Bracknell Family Church and nowadays is called Kerith Community Church ) SP was my life changer...she showed me friendship that changed my whole way of thinking . For many years I had always thought that people couldn't be trusted..shouldn't be trusted...and therefor my relationships were always quite surface and shallow and usually unable to survive any stress or conflict.

SP introduced me to others in her circle and a new journey began for me .Altho still very homesick and struggling with pregnancy way of life..settling the other two children into school and nursery I found myself opening up and sharing myself with her. Perhaps it was the new beginning I had subconsciously yearned for..perhaps it was getting away from all the trauma of childhood and starting afresh in a completely new place where no-one knew me or Chris or our background. Perhaps I thought I could almost re-invent myself and be whoever I chose to be...whatever the reasons I began to settle and feel calmer inside..less homesick..less lonely.

Little did I know that SP and others were already storming heaven on my behalf ..praying for God to draw me close..praying for God to bless me....Praying for God to show me His son Jesus. I knew nothing of this till months later...all I do know is that there was a strange sense of peace and belonging taking root. For some months as we grew fatter with with our babies..we were both due in January and our families began to hang out for walks and play dates etc SP would talk about her church and her faith. I originally wondered if the friendship would fade if I didn't show any interest in her church /religion and this was the first thing I put to the test. I told her in no uncertain terms that I wasn't interested in God...knew little about Jesus and didn't have time for church..and then waited to see what she would do or say.

I think I have said before I have a tendency to be a people pleaser ...rather than risk rejection I can sometimes be a bit of a chameleon and change thoughts or opinions to suit the person or occasion..but I felt it was important to get this out in the open right at the beginning...if she wanted to be my friend it had to be for ME alone and not whether I would believe in her God or go to her church. I wasn't anti..just hadn't really bothered before and certainly didn't want to bother now.It made no difference to our friendship and it continued to grow as we both had our babies within 3 weeks of each other and life settled into routine. I now had a firm friend...our husbands got on well....the kids were similar ages and we could all have tea together or go for walks etc and we had babysitters if needed and life was moving us on.Into this mix we also met and made friends with another couple...and strangely(!)they too were Christians and went to same church as SP .Again unknown to me they too were knocking on the gates of heaven and praying ......I wont go into all the details of my salvation and what happened with Chris and I that was an amazing year for us all ...children too....but as this part of the blog is about "friendships" I will press on next time with more of this.

I wonder how you all are?...if life is treating you good? what your own thoughts on friendships are? My prayer is that as I continue to ramble and jot down my thoughts and feelings it will lend insight into life issues that you may also be struggling with and that perhaps together we can makes some sense of the mystery that goes into relationships .May the God of all comfort bless you and enrich each and everyone of you with good friends...friends who will ,,care and accept who you are in every way.


Geri said...

You are such a blessing to me Irene! The way you open up to us is so ... oh, I don't know what the word is! Even though I don't feel as alone as I did when I first came here all those years ago, just knowing that you've been through it as well makes me feel even more understood. In the last line of your blog you captured it for me with one of the words you used - accepted. Sometimes that is still a struggle for me - to feel accepted and that I 'belong'. I have many friends now, and some of them are the really good sort, the sort I cherish because they know so many things about me but love me anyway. This feeling of not belonging is unfounded, and it is when I am feeling vulnerable and low that the enemy sees an opportunity to bring me down even further. The next time that happens can I come to you? And will you knock sense into me after first telling me you understand what I'm going through? Sorry about all the rambling - maybe I should get my own blog!!

sandra said...

I'm with Geri on this one are a real blessing. Settling into a different culture (and yes there is a difference between the north and the south of England too!!) is extremely challenging. As well as being accepted and wanting to belong there's a sense of needing to be understood too.
I too had good friends calling out to God for me as I settled in the south and even though I was already a Christian I needed that support and encouragement...also having a tendancy to be a people pleaser (a fair few similarities hey?). However I hold onto the fact that God created us to be in community and to value relationships and so I know I need to keep striving for that.
Excuse my ramblings you obviously touched on a nerve!!
Thanks again Irene and God Bless you as you continue to blog