Thursday, September 02, 2010

Upon Reflection - Part 1

I have not blogged about anything since last year… that's a tad embarrassing as so much has happened since then. In order to restart things once again I am going to write a four part post that will cover life since I last blogged.

Starting with the bad news, shortly after my last post my health went a little further down hill and I ended up being signed off sick with stress as well as functional bowel disease. It was a not a particularly good time.

I was talking to a friend recently about being ill and how it is vital to learn where our limits are with regards to stress. The experiences of last year have shown me where some of my limits are as well as highlighting some weaknesses and emotional damage that have been around for a long time. But being shown them has enabled some repairs to happen.

The process of recovery is proving surprisingly long in that I have had to be quite careful even in recent weeks. I am not going to say much else about this as my last blog post went on at some length about this, except to say again how grateful I am for the support I received from friends, church and family.

Now the good news! Ten years ago I made the decision to apply to be a relay worker with UCCF, a decision that would go on to completely alter the direction I thought my life was headed in, culminating in my moving to New Zealand to work with TSCF and temporarily to Canada in order to study at Regent College. Back in January I was reflecting on how much could be traced back to that point back in 2000 because I was plucking up the courage to ask Jen to marry me, which I suspected was going to be another of those decisions that would go on to have far reaching repercussions for both of our lives over the next ten years and the rest of our lives. To my immense relief she said yes! And a few months later we were married on May 1st in Vancouver, and we had an wonderful time with both of our families able to be present (despite the Icelandic volcanic eruptions) and many of our friends. We went on to celebrate it again on August 21st in the UK with more of my family and mutual friends from around the UK.

We have not had an entirely normal start to married life in that we got married, had seven weeks in Vancouver and have been traveling around the UK and the USA since then. We have now been married for four months, and are therefore still newly married and therefore very much still in the "honeymoon period," but both of us have deeply appreciated the joy of having someone who is for other person, and loves the other person as they are - with all their strengths and flaws.

This in turn has shed new light on how this is God's position towards all His people (see Ephesians and marriage as picture of Jesus' relationship to the church). Being married has also shown both us new ways that we are sinful, but has also therefore taught us more about grace as we have learned to forgive and bear with the other person. This growth in grace towards each other has also added more to our appreciation of the grace that God shows us.

There is much more that could be said, but I'll leave things for now.

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