How I Stopped Worrying about Marriage

Firstly, thank you so much everyone who has commented on my posts about cold feet and dreading my wedding. Your support has overwhelmed me and helped me more than I can say. Thank you!

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So, how am I feeling about my marriage now? Nervous, I am almost 2 months away (I am sure that’s normal!), but I am also feeling peaceful, because I saw where my problems where coming from. For my best effort at describing this I would ask you to read this post here (puppets) if you haven’t already, I’d let things in my life lie dormant in me, ready and waiting to take control of my emotions and sabotage my life.

My first piece of advice if you are worrying over something – go back and pray about things in your past. Don’t dwell or chew over things, but quickly and calmly give them over to God again, let Him cut the ties from your past. Leave them with Him there.

Stop thinking what you are thinking and think about what God says. Seriously, even if you don’t agree with what the bible is saying think about it anyway. Whether or not you understand God is always right. Here’s my example – “Rejoice in the Lord always” I find this hard, confusing and it feels a bit fake – but when I think about the verse and mull it over in my mind it seems to settle my emotions down – so even without agreement God is working through His word. Amazing!

When you know what God wants you to do don’t doubt it – just trust Him and move towards doing it. I took a lot of time to pray and think about if marriage was the right way for me to go at this time in my life and He said yes, strongly, clearly and peacefully. I then started re-evaluating my decisions and that’s where my problems came. Once God says something to you – don’t let the doubts play havoc with your mind!

So here I am calm, peaceful and excited about my marriage! Good bye cold feet 🙂

Anyway, the main point of this post is to say thank you to all of you who took the time to comment, contact me and pray for me. It has been amazing and helped me so much!

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God and High Heels

What does God think about High Heels?

This was the question I was asking myself this morning whilst thinking about something I learnt in Sunday School. (For you American readers I don’t mean the adult bible study kind of Sunday School – I mean the English, kids songs, kids games and messy craft “for children” type of Sunday School – cos I’m that kind of girl!).

I led a session on “Shoes of Peace” the other week and I will admit at first that I had no idea what to teach them – so I quickly tried my best to work out what this meant to me before ending up seriously confusing them.

To me, being peaceful comes from spending time with, thinking about and TRUSTING God. When I do this I find I get an amazing feeling of “preparedness”. Like I can handle almost anything. As if I had a good pair of fit-for-purpose shoes on.

So, this here is what I imagined God’s idea of good shoes to look like….

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Kind of ugly, functional sandals – most probably worn with socks ;).

To be honest they don’t thrill me! I know this is a metaphor for “the armour of God” and maybe I shouldn’t read too much into it, but looking like a soldier doesn’t quite do it for me.

Let me take you back to my Sunday School session – that week we tipped over the edge of madness, we went from fun into the realm where parents start to *ahem* gently question your methods (whoops! Maybe we shouldn’t have created a slip hazard in the middle of the church hall – flour, water + bare feet = bruised bottoms!).

Anyway, another one of my ideas was to do a small obstacle course whilst wearing inappropriate shoes to see how hard it was, we had size 12 trainers on a 5 yr old and a pair of my high heels. To my surprise the heels went down a storm! The usually butch and boisterous boy became a sashaying super model as he deftly moved through the obstacle course.

I was wondering why I couldn’t walk that well in heels and if maybe I had got my thinking wrong about the armour of God.

Maybe for some people our shoes of peace look like this….

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What if in being peaceful and clothing ourselves with the essence of God we start to grow in beauty? What if, in those of us made to be this way, our armour of God shows itself in dignity, elegance, gracefulness and that elusive “WOW factor” most women would LOVE to have.

Here are my verses to prove the point…

Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!” Proverbs 31:25

“Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

We become beautiful by knowing and loving Jesus – yet we can lose our relationship with Him if we rely on our beauty and not completely on God….

“But you trusted in and relied on your own beauty and were unfaithful to God and played the harlot [in idolatry] because of your renown, and you poured out your fornications upon anyone who passed by [as you worshiped the idols of every nation which prevailed over you] and your beauty was his.” Ezekiel 16:15

Here’s how this has changed my world… When I look at magazines I feel rubbish, when I watch TV I feel inadequate, when I compare myself with the world I always come up short (in more ways than one – I am not a tall person!). I am not beautiful in that worldly way. Yet, I am beautiful through Jesus Christ and the peace he gives me. I am more than enough for my husband to-be, because Jesus is my covering and He knows how I am made.

Ladies let’s get our pretty shoes of peace on!

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Where are you Standing

Yesterday in church I was praying about how I’m struggling with not knowing if I will have anywhere to live in September when I get married. My mind went back to my post last week. It’s a fairly dramatic post and probably quite immature.

You see I have a problem with dramatics – I like a good disaster.

I love the rush of adrenaline and pride of “look what I am going through!”. It is so wrong, it is so immature and just plain unhelpful. After my buzz of life shattering panic (much like a sky dive – exhilarating in it’s danger) I am left empty, dangling on a bungee cord, swinging back and forth in some deep ravine, helpless and stuck. Feeling depressed and exhausted.

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I saw a picture of myself on Sunday in church. Standing around in filth and rubbish, rubbing it on my skin, smelling all it’s foulness, focusing on the rot and mould around me.

Then I saw a picture of what God wanted to offer me – a clear crisp waterfall, to clean me, strengthen me and refresh me.

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This is what I learnt – if I want to feel God’s power, if I want to experience His refreshment and joy, I have to move away from basking in my problems. I cannot be calm in a situation if I study my problems in such detail! I can’t get clear perspective if I am consumed with looking at all that could go wrong.

I need to think about and focus on God, I need to read His instructions for troubles and then I need to LIVE by them, not just forget them.

I need to put the rubbish down, stop standing in it and do what God tells me to do – Trust Him absolutely.

I need to stand in God’s truth.

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Homeless, Broke or Burnt alive?

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My string of panic inducing, unpredicted, could-be disasters took another turn yesterday.

9 weeks to our wedding and a dodgy fire certificate means we can either pull out of the sale, losing our legal fees and ending up homeless. Or at least at the mercy of any friends and family who’ll take pity. Or we can pay for the work ourselves and end up broke (who needs food anyway right?). Or we can leave ourselves at severe risk if a fire were to start. Without a shred of insurance cover and a lot of debt….

What would you choose?

More importantly how would you react? Like me with fear, anxiety and fleeting thoughts of depression?

As I was praying and at the end of my seriously worn tether I asked God what was going on.

What I heard wasn’t really what I wanted to hear!

This is not the most unstable your life will feel, things will be less secure and far more stressful later – so I need you to learn to deal with it now!

*sigh*

But Lord that is difficult! I want to cry and snap and flounce around getting sympathy. I want someone to be angry at!

My plans are put on hold so I have a right to act badly!

Oh. Hello pride….. That’s not a good attitude is it?

Sorry lord help me trust you. Help me learn. Make me humble. Make me grateful – I am so much better off than most in the world. Lord you know how lazy and proud I am, please forgive me. Teach me your way through this.

God is a safe place to hide,

ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,

courageous in sea storm and earthquake, Before the rush and roar of oceans,

the tremors that shift mountains.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

Psalm 46:1-2

Puppets

So here’s the situation, life is going well, you’re feeling good, strong and confident and then BAM! Suddenly a jerk reaction you had no idea was coming has taken control of your emotions and you get dragged totally out of synch. You’re left thinking “where did that come from? Why did I do that?”

I have a nasty habit of doing this, and I was thinking to myself and praying about WHY I do this and the answer I was given was Puppets. Weird yes, but let me explain….

Imagine a person walking around, living their normal lives making their own choices and doing their own thing. Imagine that there is a string tied to their arm, maybe their foot, or head, or hand; the person can’t see this string, they have absolutely no idea it is there.

Imagine that it got there some time ago in the past, that day when they were hurt really badly, when they refused to forgive someone, when that sin crept into their heart, when they started believing something untrue about themselves. Imagine it latched on and quietly took root in their life.

Imagine that the person cannot see it, cannot feel it and cannot know that it’s there until YANK. The string gets pulled, they react like a crazy person, out of character, full rage or fear or anxiety. The string gets pulled and they become a puppet to the one who’s holding the strings.

Not God – the other.

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How many walking puppets are lying in wait ready for the enemy to use any time he wants to?

Lets cut off these strings! These ties to the past have to go!

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead,  14 I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 NLT

Jesus I pray that you will cut all ties between us and the past and that YOU have control of those places in us. Cut off the work of the devil in my life and in anyone reading this, set us free to choose to live for You.

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Cold Feet

I think it is now time to admit that I have a serious case of cold feet. I get married in 3 months and I am freaked out. A while ago I was worried, now I am petrified (read more here).

Suddenly after all this peaceful time of being engaged and working towards a new life together I am itching to run as fast as I can in the other direction. Molehills, which my rose tinted glasses were hiding, have now turned into mountains eclipsing my view of this wedding; all I can see are faults, my faults and his faults.

I see the look of doubt in people’s eyes as they watch my reaction to marriage, I’ve heard it so many times that I “must be so excited!?!”

But what if I’m not?

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What if I dread the thought of being tied to a man who can hurt me so badly? What if I am walking into marriage out of obedience to God and not out of the rush of young love? Does that make our relationship doomed to fail?

My past and my present seem blurry and I simply can’t tell if my feelings are rational or irrational.

How does someone without a clear example of how a relationship should work know when they themselves are in a good one?

When does the memory of abuse stop shaping the life that you are now trying to live?

How do you find a voice in a relationship when you don’t know if you are imagining the problems that you have?

And yet I will trust in His unfailing love, I will love because He first love me.

Jesus is my answer, Jesus is my hope.

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God or Chocolate?

First off let me tell you, I am totally and utterly in love with food. I love the anticipation of an amazing meal, I get such satisfaction out of cooking something amazing for my family and food for me is a real life comfort, something like a warm fuzzy blanket for my stomach which snuggles right into my soul. Why is this important? Because last week I attempted my very first fast day.

How did I get on?

I did it!!!! Woo Hoooooo!

My version of fasting involved cutting down my calories to a quarter of what I normally eat. I am quite hypoglycaemic and have a very demanding job, so I felt to jump in cold turkey would be irresponsible.

Here is how I found it……………

I thought that I would be hungry – I was, but once you reach that hungry feeling it honestly doesn’t get that much worse.

I thought that I wouldn’t be able to concentrate – I had oodles of energy and more concentration than on a normal day!

I thought I would feel faint – I felt mildly faint, but after a drink of water that disappeared.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to sleep – I slept fine and fell asleep properly focused on God.

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All in all I was amazed at how easy I found this. My day was a really hectic, stressful and actually quite upsetting one and the lack of food really didn’t feature too much in my thoughts, maybe the lack of my comfort food drove me closer to God! I feel free from this sugar addiction/dependence/love-hate relationship with sweets and chocolate. I feel clean.

I honestly believe God asks us to fast for a reason. I think it has real power. My day had a focus, and that was to control a natural urge to honour God. I thought about Him so much more. I prayed so much more.

I felt so peaceful.

Today I am fasting again, and my prayer request along with this fast is that God would bless me with some deep, deep healing in my broken places. I can feel an electric current flowing from me to God and I am so certain he’s going to do this for me.

So as I finish this post I want to leave you with a verse

29 And He replied to them, This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting” Mark 9:29 The Amp Version

Is there anything stubbornly sticking in your life that just isn’t budging no matter how you pray? If you have never tried it and are physically able, why not give fasting a try?

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