Difficult times such as illness force some reflection on what is important in life and how to spend one’s energy, time and money. God can in fact use difficult times in our lives to recommission us or redirect us in the way he wants us to go. God has redirected me from work in International Development to work with addicts and writing this blog, something I never expected! Here is some of my story:
I worked in International Development in Geneva for 2 years and I loved it. However I became ill with Flu in 2015 and that developed into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was very unwell, my husband had to become my full time carer and I had to leave the job I loved. We decided to move to rural England to live with my parents in order to have more support. I knew that even when I was well enough to work it wasn’t going to be in International Development given my new location.
In 2016 my husband went to the Jubilee+ Churches that Change Communities conference, I was not well enough to go. He heard about their research team looking into social justice issues in the UK and thought that might be the kind of thing I could do. He got an email address and gave it to me. I told him it was a good idea and I would keep it in mind, at this point I couldn’t get up the stairs or read for more than 5 minutes so it seemed very unrealistic.
However as the months went on I gradually got better and I slowly began to engage with the content on the Jubilee+ website and I loved what they did. They seek to reduce poverty in the UK and help churches better engage with their communities.
In July 2017 I started volunteering for them, I’m currently researching Christian work with addicts in the UK and helping with R2C2 (The Refugee Resource Centre for Churches). I love it and I’m so thankful to God for providing this for me. The content is interesting, I can do it from home in rural England and I choose my own hours. God is amazing as with my poor health I couldn’t have done something like this in a job or in further study.
Who knows where God is going to take me next! What I do know is that he goes before me and I’m excited about the future. My prayer for you is that God would excite you about your future however difficult and dark your present circumstances are. I pray that God would give you peace in your heart that he has plans to give you a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). As Psalm 32:8 says: ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will council you with my loving eye on you.’
Churches that Change Communities 2018 is on November 10th 2018 in Wimbledon, it is always inspiring and equipping.