And this made me think of a post I wrote donkeys years ago on an old blog which is now down. And in the same breath, about a post on this very blog, right at the beginning, before I had even taken down the old one.
There is undoubtedly power in visualisation, commitment, and authenticity, whether you call it prayer, or not. I would add to Jenna's exhortation to 'write it down', two further pieces of advice.
One is, be careful what you write down (pray for, blog about) and the second, when it comes, don't fight it!
Here is the link to the early post on this blog.
And here is the long ago post which was part 2 of 3:
Monday, December 18, 2006
When We Were Still Far Off .....
The second part of my glimmer of the day, is an old story, anyone who knows me will have heard it a dozen times.
Now, I grew up in a nominally christian, CofE household. First, I have to explain to the largely American readership here, that being CofE (Church of England) household is something it's pretty tricky to relate to, when you live in a country which has always separated church and state. For 400 years, the Church of England and England have been one and the same thing, and 'CofE' is the default religion - that really is true, if you are born in England, you are 'CofE' unless you opt out. Now some families are more observant of this than others, and mine was fairly observant.
I strayed away from all that for a good few years, and the sin and depravity I sunk into, I do not really want to dwell upon, because astoundingly, I am forgiven. But oh, I was a long way off.
Now I believe that God watches over his elect, how ever far off they are, and calls them gently, steering and protecting them until they come to Him.
And some12 or 13 years ago now, I was working in a stable in Berkshire - it was a temp job, I was as it turned out, at the end of my globe trotting, and in the throes of coming home - and it was nearly Christmas. I was pretty lonely. I had been travelling for years, and I was rootless and sad, and the people I was working with in this temp job were not too pleasant. I was a bit of a mess, I drank too much, and ate too little, slept to little and spent all my money on useless things .... but I was 'OK'!
Well, one day, I had a day off and I decided to go Christmas shopping to Oxford. It was a longish bus ride, but I didn't have anything else to do, so off I went. I spent a long, cold afternoon shopping. I was lonely and sad, and although I would be spending Christmas at my sister's house - that was a place with a lot of bad, sour, memories for me. I was starting a new job in the New Year - but I didn't yet know that it would be my last job with horses, the one where I met my lovely husband, and began slowly but surely to move in the direction of my Lord and Saviour .... that was all in the future.
The light was fading, it was grey day, a day of cold, dank, freezing fog - the bus journey was a bit alarming in poor light, on bad roads, and about half way home, we passed a village green, and back beyond the green, there was a line of cottages.
They weren't spectacular, or unusual, nor even picturesque. Just a line of one time farm labourers cottages, mid nineteenth century, not old, or thatched, or specially pretty. But they caught my eye, and from one of the middle ones, emanated light, and warmth, and some sense of activity and security.
Now I can't remember if I prayed - I could have done, it was a routine way of expressing a wish to get my own way! - or if I was in one of my more new age phases, and I visualised, or affirmed (?!) - but if I prayed, what I would have said was, God, please, I want to be on the inside! I'm so tired of being out here alone. I want to be in there. Just like that. With lights on, and baths running, homework being done, food cooking, people living and loving .... let me be on the inside.
As I said, my next job took me to meet my husband, and in the ten years we've been married, we have had ups and downs, some mighty downs, so much so that our financial troubles led us to a point we thought we'd never recover - and we've moved house a dozen times. It's important to acknowledge that despite our slow, inevitable journey toward God, we were terribly, awfully dysfunctional, and the consequences for our children could have been dire.
About three and a half years ago, we moved into this rented house, on a farm, and here we seem to have settled - over five years ago, I gave my life to Jesus, and just over two years ago, in an answer to prayer, my husband was also wonderfully converted - and although we seem always to be plotting our next move, we are learning to wait on the Lord.
There's just one thing that isn't so great about our house, and though I can live with it, it does annoy my poor dh, and that's the proximity of the main road which runs behind our house. Although we are on country lanes, we have a big road a field away behind us, which hums with traffic night and day.
We'd been here over a year, before it clicked. We're on a bus route. Travelling on a grey day, from Swindon, you would look down across the field, and see, a line of cottages, nestled in a dip. And on such a cold winter evening, in ours, you would see light, and warmth, bustle and love.
Thank you, Lord, for bringing me home.
We have since moved to another rented farm house, and the story continues, of course. - J