As many folk may know my health has taken yet more of a bashing over the past few months. And I cannot deny it is tough going. But with the loving support of my husband, determined calls to my GP and just generally digging deep we carry on.
We Carry On
Referral for allergy testing has been expedited again, along with a respiratory referral. Which I am relieved about. But like for so many folk, the wait is a long one. I am now into month four of waiting, but am hopeful it will happen soon. And that I will be a bit stronger by the time the appointments materialise. Thus helping me cope with the journey. Until then, antihistamines are my friend.
You may be wondering what point it is that I am actually trying to make. Well, it’s about God. No surprise, He is in the title.
God Is Near
During this period of little sleep, struggling to eat and mainly bed rest (which can be exceedingly boring when all you can really manage is to look out of the window). I turn to my faith in Christ. He has been a constant throughout my health challenges and I am blessed that He continues to be. Even though many a time I become luke warm and distracted. How fickle we humans are.
I came to faith in my twenties in a village church, not long after getting married. It had an active and traditional service schedule. Growing up singing in choirs, I enjoyed the return to choral song. Actually drank it in. And even though my faith life has taken me from traditional quite high Church of England, through overseas Mission Church, to Methodist, Evangelical to online Church and local church outreach online. Still at the route is that traditional reflective background. I always feel drawn back to it. Still using the prayers I learned, using them during my own private prayer times. Those from Compline are beautiful.
Contemplative Prayer Walks
During lockdown I became aware of Contemplative Prayer Walks via Facebook live stream on a Saturday morning. At that time, I often couldn’t wake up early enough to take part live. So I would catch up with the recording. This is via the church of St-Martin-In-the-Fields London. Located near to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. The prayer walks are frequently in London. And during lockdown featured the deserted silent once bustling streets. Which are bustling once more.
Morning Prayer Live Stream
I remembered to check into their Facebook page recently. And noticed that they streamed Morning Prayer. I was awake, feeling really unwell, and listened in. What a joy to escape my ill health for 30 minutes. With my prayer request for my dear mother-in-law mentioned. It meant a great deal. I now aim to take part every week day. And also use the Daily Prayer App. Which for Morning and Evening prayer has an audio option. Thanks so much to a friend soon to take on their first church, who gave me the intel. Sadly no audio for Night prayer.
I miss church life, being unable to attend. But I seriously miss traditional formal church. Not for everyone I know. But the liturgy is fabulous. Prior to this health blip, I wouldn’t have been awake to be aware of it being available in real time. But I am currently off any medication which might potentially cause a problem. So now I refresh my water from the bedroom fridge, mix a *Complan and listen in. (*Vitamin enriched powder drink.) And am refreshed and thirst quenched, in more than one sense of the word.
Anyway. Two years after first listening into the prayer walk. I have enquired about their online Contemplative Prayer Community. It seems geared to people who cannot attend church. I had no idea. I am really being taught to lean into God. Seriously lean in. Not keep dipping in and out. Had I recovered by now, I wouldn’t have discovered the gem of morning prayer or had the courage to make enquiries about the online Nazareth Community. Which is global. Something I am used to already, having Christian friends across the globe who I interact with online. Some I know well and have shared life with. Some I will never meet. I will think on the info provided. As I don’t want to sign up then duck out a month later.
Philippians 3:12-13 NIV 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 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 toward what is aheadHoly Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Most of Christian life is online or on paper. Rarely in person. It has been that way for the past 18 years. And I have grown considerably from the obsessive doer and burned out Sunday school teacher I once was. And am definitely going through another period of growth.
As believers, we must realize that we have a way to go. We have not arrived. There are still some things ahead. We still must press on.Bayless Conley
So even though I have pleaded desperately to God. Struggling to cope. He enriches my life yet again. And doesn’t leave me isolated or alone. And a quote the other day from Ann Voskamp really made me think. Think on today, not tomorrow next week or next year. Embrace the abundance of today.
Abundance is not about having excess. Abundance is realising you have enough.Ann Voskamp
I will let you know if I progress to joining the online Nazareth Companion Community. I will certainly be giving it a lot of thought.
Have a blessed day⚘