Saturday, 27 April 2013

I am Happy.

This month's blog comes with a disclaimer: there is a small chance that I am currently under the influence, that is, inebriated, with the heady, blissful fragrance of spring sunshine. 

That's right, after seemingly endless months of grey, freezing days, I am FINALLY enjoying a warm spring evening. At one point I truly did believe that the White Witch had returned to curse us with an eternal winter, but surely as my hope in Jesus has not been displaced, neither has my trust that spring would, finally, arrive.

I say I'm under the influence because it is shocking and (some might say) concerning how affected I am by this gorgeous sunny weather.

But, whilst fully accepting the role a healthy dose of much-needed vitamin D has played on my mood, I feel the need to declare that, aside from this,

I am happy.

I'm really happy.

I LOVE life.

It’s fair to say that anyone who's known me for a while knows that I would not always have said this, and I'm not the type of person to slap a fake smile on a crappy situation. I'm for authenticity - being real when things are tough, saying it as it is. I believe our hope in Jesus frees us to admit not only our blessings but our struggles and sorrows.

Last year, if I'm truly honest with you, a lot of the time I did not love life.
Sometimes (without being melodramatic), I severely disliked life. But just as I felt the need to be honest about that, I feel the need now to declare that right now, life is REALLY good. 

Most of the time, I'm not struggling with crippling anxiety. I'm peaceful and confident and fiercely determined to fight this beast.

I live in an amazing city. I LOVE it. Yes, you all get sick of me posting countless pictures of Big Ben. But I do it because I'm still so excited to be living and working in this iconic place. I'm amazed at this blessing, to not only have a job, one I can cope with, but where the people are friendly. Actually, most of the time my job is really pretty dull. But in this time and season, God's not only giving me an opportunity to develop important skills for working life, but is also teaching me about His ability to be glorified through all aspects of our work, however boring or menial.

I have amazing relationships that are life- and joy-giving, some that are deeply rooted and others that are in their infancy.

I'm at a place in life where, crazily enough, despite not knowing what my 'next step' is and without a plan, I am happy, peaceful and content. Within the last year, I've come from a place of sometimes despair, through fear, uncertainty, and through to a current place of flourishing and fruitfulness.
If you look back to my blog from 6 months ago, I was feeling daunted and very apprehensive about this new place God had brought me to. And yet embracing this new place and season of life has, I believe, been God’s way of bringing me out into a spacious and fruitful place, one where I can grow.

For that the only One to be praised is the living God, who daily shows his power in restoring broken things for His glory, and making beautiful things out of ugly situations.

When things are really good like this, I get scared – things can’t be this good, I can’t be this healthy – surely something will go wrong. And yet, in Jesus, I have the freedom to fully embrace the fact that this peace and happiness may only be a season, and could be interrupted by sorrow or relapse. However, that’s not for me to know. Right now I’m in a place of flourishing, happiness, and gratitude for all of this.

I have to remind myself that my happiness is ultimately not grounded in whether the sun shines or life looks sunny, but in my unshakeable Saviour and the hope I have in Him.