"...and she laughs without fear of her future"

Back in October, I was helping out with Adventurers (aka children's church). I've been seriously missing my Brighton babies and this was the first time I'd got to spend with young children since moving. The topic for the morning?

Does God know what will happen in my future?

My group are 4 and 5 year olds and yet they amaze me with wisdom and spending time with them teaches me, as much as I hope I help to teach them. I've been meaning to write since...but life has been overwhelming and anxiety has somewhat taken hold once more. Can't sleep tonight so finally sitting down to spend sometime thinking back on what those wonderful little people taught me.

As a group we were mulling over a few questions. Firstly...whether we need to worry about bad stuff happening?

There were a variety of answers from making friends to worrying about having nightmares. Rather than knowing whether or not to worry - the children tended to share some of their fears and worries. And so came teaching point number one:

No, we don't need to worry about bad stuff because God is always with us, is always good and will fulfill his purposes for us. (Jeremiah 29:11, Nahum 1:7, Psalm 57:2, Psalm 138:8). However, I am somewhat like the children - I am so often problem and worry focused that I forget there is someone bigger and better than all the bad stuff.

We then started to talk about what we do with our hopes and fears about the future and the most common response was "I talk to my mummy and daddy". Second teaching point:

Jesus is our heavenly Daddy and He loves to hear our hopes and fears for the future. It is so often easy to forget that God is our Daddy alongside all of the other awesome and powerful things He is. He wants us to learn to trust Him with our future. (Philippians 4:6-7)

For various reasons, I find it really hard to relate to God as my Father...and even writing about God as a Daddy feels totally alien to me, but it's an area of my faith that I desperately long to work on. I long for intimacy, to feel comforted, protected and like I'm held in the arms of the loving Father. Watching the kids run back into the arms of their mummies and daddies at the end of the morning reminded me of just how alien the notion of God as my Father is to me right now.

So where are things at for me right now?

I am definitely a long way out of my comfort zone. I am being stretched academically, professionally, personally and unfortunately that means I've somewhat neglected stretching myself when it comes to my faith. Quiet time went out the window about a month back (along with breakfast and general routine). I seem to be living constantly on the edge of burn out and when it comes down the cause? It always comes back to anxiety. I overeat, undereat, overwork, study too much or not enough, don't sleep, sleep too much, sleep at the wrong times and essentially the root cause is anxiety. That I'm not good enough, that I'm not financially stable, that I'm failing my degree, that I'm a bad friend, that I don't know what will happen in my future.  

That I'm overwhelmed and I just can't face life. 

Tonight, I was meant to be relaxing at a ladies craft evening and instead I spent the whole time in an anxious overwhelmed mess and eventually left having made barely any of the crafts, feeling thoroughly tearful and defeated. It's been over a year now since I was last truly free of anxiety, and by that I mean - aside from normal, acceptable levels of fear or anxiety. Yet one of the things that has followed me through these past months has been a particular verse...

This is a fairly jumbled post...but that seems to fit fairly well with where my mind is at. This weekend I'm spending resting in the presence of some of my favourite people and next week starts with a playdate with one of the cutest, bravest 2 year olds I know. Both of which I know are good for my heart. I'm also going to try and build back in some quiet time which would most definitely get my days off to a better, calmer start.  I would love to channel Proverbs 31 in the coming weeks and hold this verse close in the same way it's followed me through the past year.



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