Shadow Of Victory

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Locust Years

This last two weeks I have been working on what our church calls a 10/10 Sunday. This an opportunity for people who the elders / leaders feel have something to share with the church community. It takes the form of 10 people speaking for 10 minutes each over the three meetings. Usually it is 3 at the 9am meeting plus 3 at the 11am meeting and 4 at the 7pm. I have been asked to speak at the 7pm meeting and given the verse from The Lords Prayer "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us " (shameless plug to please come along and be a smiling friendly face at the 7pm meeting ).

I have worked on the talk for this last two weeks batting drafts to and from my fabby mentor Val Cottee and yesterday we agreed it was as ready as it ever would be so I can sign off on it and let it soak into my spirit for when I actually do the jolly thing. At the moment I am calm ,cool,and collected but I guess nearer the time I may be a little shaky and a bit of panic may slip in so please do feel free to pray for me . I was preparing this "talk" God began to speak to me from this verse in Joel .There are of course loads of different translations and there are two that I like....

NASB says this... "Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locusts have eaten"                    
NLT says this......." The Lord says ; I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts "

In my 10/10 preach I speak about the years of my childhood which were chaotic and mostly full of pain and confusion and as I grew up I had no real idea of what a family was supposed to be like or how to relate well to others and I was full of hurt and anger and bitterness. I talk about the way God intervened and how over time I began a journey of forgiving others and being forgiven myself . If I am honest there were many times I wanted to run and hide from God and from my christian friends as hurt after hurt surfaced . There were things I had not shared with anyone else and I found myself almost grieving for the family I never had and wondering if I would ever know true restoration. It was a times seemingly impossible to go on but God was with me every step of the way reminding me of his love...showering me with his grace and bringing restoration and healing.

Now....28 years later I can look back and see that Gods word is true.!! I may have "lost out" big time on my childhood being a growing and nurturing experience but somehow I have been enabled to create my own family and its with great joy I can say that I have loved Chris for almost 40 years ( and each year feel more and more deeply in love with him )..we have three amazing grown up children who all have spouses/partners and we have two grandchildren and a third one expected very soon who fill our hearts and lives with great joy. We may have had some tough times as they grew up ..especially as I was dealing with some fairly traumatic memories but I look at what I came from and look at where I am now and I can say with deep gratitude that God is good !

If you were to ask me what my favourite activity is ? or what I would choose to do for a weekend or day out I would always say..spend time with the family . It isn't always easy to get all of us together at one time but ask them what I say and they are sure to say "when mummy has all her chicks in the one place there she will be smiling and happy ". My family of birth and childhood may not have been the best but I can see the truth of the "word " from Joel ...that God surely has "given me back  and made it up to me " for the years the locusts have eaten .

The photo with this entry is one of my family taken in 1962.. when I was 7 years of age...yes that cute little girly in front is me ! and its the only one in existence of our entire family. It was shortly after this photo that the family really fell I treasure this photo ...altho for years I couldn't even look at it as the pain and hurt and anger made it too hard but now I can look at it and let my heart and spirit keep on releasing grace and love into the past.I encourage you to come along to one or all of the meetings on the 3rd March...not just because I am speaking (!) but because I know that God can and will use each of the speakers to bring truth into your lives. See you there xxx

1 comment:

Sandra in Bonnie Scotland said...

Irene, my dear know I can't be there in person, but will be there in spirit! You'll be "alright on the night" as the saying you x Sandra