social spark Aisling Beatha: Some Thoughts on Last Year's THEME!

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Some Thoughts on Last Year's THEME!

Well, if you haven't already, go read the post below, which is a direct copy and paste from the post I made back in January 2008 about my "theme" for 2008.

What do I mean, by a "theme" for the year, where did the idea come from?
I am a member of an online group of women called "Women at Home". I have known some of these ladies for years and years! A few years ago someone mentioned about seeking God for a theme for the year and some of the rest of us picked up on it. The first couple of years I actually got before God and sought, and asked, and questioned. As you can see from part of the post below, it is not always an simple process, and your theme for the year may well be worked out in ways you do NOT expect. So, for instance, 2 years ago my theme was "seeking God for MYSELF, not relying on others" and it was the MOST isolating year of my life! Another example is one of the ladies has received her theme for this year and has asked all of us to support her in prayer, her theme is "patience" and we all know if God wants to work patience in you, you're heading for some trying times.

So how do you "get" a theme, I mean, what you just ask God, or what?
Pretty much, yeah, and for some people he doesn't answer, sometimes he just wants you to wait and see, for others it drops into their spirit straight away, and in a moment you KNOW, whereas most of us think about it over a few weeks, and take our time, listening to what God is speaking to us, both directly and through his word.

What was last year's theme?
Like I said, go read the post below to get a good idea of how I saw my theme at the beginning of January last year. But in short, my theme for 2008 was REST!

How has that worked out in my life over the year?
It really is quite funny looking back at it. I mean, I know that I knew all along what my theme was, but I never actually spent time thinking about it during the year, or working on it, or anything like that, it just happened.
I started 2008 knowing that I was having some medical symptoms that I suspected were sleep apnoea related. I had tried to seek medical advice previously but had been rebuffed by our family doctor who would not refer me to a specialist. As my symptoms began to worsen, and I realised I had less and less energy, needing frequent daytime naps just to get through the day, falling asleep sat up at the computer desk, and even, at times mid conversation with my family, I knew I would have to face the doctor again. And I was prepared for it to be a battle, I was prepared that I would need to FIGHT to be heard.
Alongside that, hubby and I had been struggling in our role as small group leaders at church. We had taken on what turned out to be an incredibly difficult group, for various reasons. I know all groups have their share of issues that the members are going through, but ours just seemed to have everything at once, marriage breakdowns and ultimate divorces, death of an adult son, etc. The pressure from that, added to other things we had going on, meant that it all came to a head and I knew that I, at least, had to quit as a small group leader. I had tried waiting for hubby to join me in the decision, and other things, but in the end, I HAD TO make the jump first. We HAD previously tried to get help in our role, but had not been heard, we had even tried to quit before, but had been persuaded to stay. I was prepared for this, too to be a battle, I was prepared to have to FIGHT for what I knew God was doing in me!

So, here were two situations in which I was totally expecting a battle.
When I finally got up the courage to approach the doctors again, yes they wanted to do all the blood tests to rule out all the other causes of tiredness and yes they chased down some rabbit trails but in the end I got my referral to the sleep clinic! PRAISE GOD. I went to my first appointment and for the first time in relation to these symptoms I felt like I was really HEARD. It truly felt like God had gone before me and prepared the way. he totally took me seriously, but me straight on the list for a sleep study, suggested a few other tests to rule out more serious issues, and even said that although my weight is an issue in sleep apnoea, that he understood how hard it was to lose the weight, with the condition, and that we could get treatment in place first and then worry about the weight later.
He also has referred me to an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) doctor to see if taking out my overly large tonsils will solve the problem permanently. BUT he's still following his own treatment plan at the same time.

Small group leading? It was awesome. We hold no blame over the couple who currently lead the ministry at all, and they were absolutely fantastic, totally coming to terms with where we were at, apologising for not having realised before and giving us the space to step back with no repercussions. I do want to get back into a small group though. I am missing that level of interaction, but I know that right now I just cannot LEAD another group, I need to be IN one though.

So, two situations in which I expected battle and found nothing but the way already prepared before me.
A year in which physically I was forced to take more and more rest as my symptoms grew.
A year in which I tried to make much more of a focus on getting to "soaking" meetings, where we just sit on a comfy sofa, or lie on the floor and rest while appropriate worship music is played over us. Sometimes someone prays and sometimes they don't, but we just SOAK in God's presence.
Then, at church family camp I had the most amazing experience.
I wasn't sure about how attending camp would affect my sleep, and not being able to nap during the day, etc, but I went anyway, figuring if had to hide out in our unit I would. There was this one meeting, and worship was awesome, and I was singing and dancing, and then the tiredness, slowly began to come over me. And I got to a point, where I could not dance anymore, but I still stood and sang, and raised my hands. And as the tiredness grew, my hands came down to hold on to the seat in front, and then I had to sit down and eventually even stop singing. I could not even muster to the energy to do that. I COULD NOT fight the sleep, I could not DO anything for God in that moment, I did not even have the energy to think through the words of the song in my head, it was all I could do to just BE. And in that moment I felt the nearness of God like I have NEVER felt it before, I felt His love and His closeness, and His passion, and it overwhelmed me. I mean, seriously overwhelmed me. I could DO NOTHING, and in that moment He came to me. I could DO NOTHING and in that moment He poured out His love on me. I could DO NOTHING and in that moment he came to dwell with me. I could do NOT ONE THING to make myself acceptable to God, I could not earn it in any way shape or form, I could not even keep my eyes open in the worship service, and in that place, He expressed His passionate love and care for me.

And how is the year ending?
Well here I am, it's now 2009, and I am heading towards treatment for my sleep apnoea before the end of the month, an appointment with the ENT in February, and one way or another, finally getting a proper night's sleep, so physically at least, I WILL be rested!

And 2009?
Well, that is another post in itself, watch out for it later.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know that I knew about your camp experience Zoe. That is just AWESOME

    ReplyDelete
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