Saturday, 28 December 2019

happy christmas!

I keep wondering what I would have done if I was Mary! I think a lot about trusting God and letting go of things and trusting Him but how trustworthy am I? If the hope of the world would have been born through me…. would I have said, ‘let it be as you have said’ when the Angel flew by? What an incredible women she must have been, and Joseph too. And it’s making me wonder how trustworthy I am – with the dreams and hope that God may want to birth through me. I wonder what my doubts and fears and my small thinking has done to quench his hope being born so far? What if Mary had counted the costs and decided it felt like too much and chose to play life small?

Isaiah 9: 6&7

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and for ever.

It’s another wet and blustery English day and these words bring comfort to my heart! I need a Prince of Peace, I don’t know about you!

I’ve been back home since October and have been embracing working from my little flat in Starcross in the South West of England. The inevitable transition from working in a team and living in a busy community to working and living alone can be interesting! I find myself being nudged to grow in discipline as I use my days and to soak up time with my Prince of Peace. I don’t know if I was ready for that because the busy whirl, as much as I long to escape it, keeps me from confronting the things that weigh me down. I actually find it fairly overwhelming to see so much need back here – it’s a different kind of need to what I’m used to – but the darkness and deep deep struggles that people face break my heart. I’ve realized even more what a privilege it has been to work with Mercy Ships all these years and the fulfillment that comes from seeing a need and being able to do something about it. Our organisation is bursting with ‘before and after’ photos and stories of transformation, of hidden hope emerging and of joy breaking through.

In contrast, here at home I see so many needs but the answers aren’t easy. If we could fix them with surgery, I’d get stuck right in! But the needs are messy and people sometimes prefer to hide. The metaphorical tumours just keep on growing and it feels like my big heart and hands are somehow tied. I’m a dreary old thing aren’t I! I’m not – I just feel deeply and I’m learning to walk in a season where I don’t have the answers or even the skills to make it OK.

And so this Prince of Peace beckons me.

Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.

I wonder if I am ready to receive this kind of peace. As I lug my burdens around and search frantically to see what I can do, I forget that my Prince of Peace is right there. I’m trying to consciously let go; to see the world, to feel the pain, to acknowledge what is so far from His original design, but to seek my place in it, to love, to see His face and to grow in knowledge of who I am so I can be bold in the things He calls me to and to carry His presence to the places I go. I know and believe that this changes everything.

It might seem funny to some of you that I look forward to leaving the comfort of my own home to return to Senegal next month for a few weeks. The goal is to do a bit of a ‘pulse check’ – to see how things are moving along half way through the ships stay and to meet with some of our key local contacts and remind them who I am! My role as Country Director there is more for the pre and post ship phases and so I feel like a bit of a fake right now! It will be good to connect and to enjoy what I hadn’t realised was perhaps such a selfish pleasure of seeing hope re-born in miraculous ways. The rest of the year will likely see me bouncing a bit between Senegal, home and Madagascar. Sometime in the spring the plan is for me to do an ‘assessment’ in Madagascar. This will take a few weeks and is all about co-learning between us and the Government and the local health structures to see how we can best build our programs for a projected visit sometime in the next couple of years.

I’m so thankful for this different pace and to enjoy the privilege of spending time with friends and family.
Old school friends Natasha and Hayley
Ship friends Michelle and Valerie

Wishing you a very happy Christmas – may you know the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace and grow in bold faith to say, ‘may it be as you have said’ as you birth much hope in the year to come!

Love always, KWW


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