Hi, my name is Andrea and I’m married to Marty. We have a 9 year old daughter called Evie. When Lyndsey asked me a couple of weeks ago if I could write a blog on brokeness; I was thrilled. When I started thinking about what to write about I took myself to a very dark place back in 2008. I was a patient in a psychiatric unit and I was very ill. I had lost my only Sister tragically to suicide and began to lose hope; I really did need a miracle.
My Mother in law was part of a Healing Ministry and had sent me a book of testimonies as well as a hand held cross. As I began to read them I was gripped. I thought I have to go to that place as I had nothing to lose. A short while afterwards I gave my life to Jesus. Things were far from good. Despite having a loving Husband who supported me and a beautiful daughter, I was lost and in a very dark place. No one could reach me. But back then, little did I know the plans God had for my life.
That same evening I was desperate for a miracle I was given a bookmark which had Matthew 11:28 printed on it; “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest”. Oh how I longed for rest. Then, in 2011 I lost my Dad to leukemia and on the same day one year later, I lost My Mum. They were in the same Hospice together. Why was life so hard? I had lost all my family, where was God? But He was right there bedside me and despite all my doubts, fears and insecurities; He never left me.
Things started to change for me a few years back as I began to accept that it was God who had ALL the answers and not me. I began seeking God and as Peter writes I began accepting that I had been called out of the darkness into the light (1 Peter 2:9). I was going through counselling and beginning to heal. God was really digging into every area of my life to bring freedom.
I truly believe God gifts each one of us in different areas. I have felt very privileged to have had the opportunity to pray with many people in and out of church. Through this I am able to share my journey and give others hope, the same hope I found in Jesus. I am learning to hear Gods voice clearly and I know He is calling me into Prayer Ministry. I know all of this would not have been possible if I hadn’t gone through all that happened in 2008. Now I have peace and joy and no matter what lies ahead I am excited to step out and do what God calls me to do and all for His glory! I know that Jesus came to set the captives free and who the son sets free, they are free indeed! (Isaiah 61:1-3).
We had been at a few churches over the years but never really settled anywhere as a Family. That changed in October 2016 when we went to Falkirk Vineyard Church. I am so pleased to say that we haven’t looked back. There is loads going on and we serve God on the hospitality and kids team. It is great to be supported and loved in all seasons by our wonderful leaders and ALL of our friends. We serve an awesome God and knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us is something we hold onto.
I have truly learned that no matter what we have got going on in our lives our circumstances may change but God never changes. Slowly I have learned to put my trust in Him and not people or things of the world. Currently I am doing a Bible study with a good friend from Church and also do a Bible study with a fab group of ladies from Church studying different books. We are all challenged but God is gentle and He always brings things up at the right time – He will never give us more than we can handle. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. I am fully trusting Him to guide me on what lies ahead.
Each one of us has a choice every day on how we are going to be. I chose joy and I thank God that He is my miracle and everything I lost He has returned twice over. If you follow Jesus; you will be changed from the inside out.
Love Andrea x
As I sit down to write this blog I feel very vulnerable. Tonight, I am sharing one of my weaknesses with you in the hope that it may help you. I want to talk about identity. I pray, that if this topic speaks to you, that you too will be able to evaluate your worth in Christ this evening.
So, identity… what is yours?
When that question is asked, what do you first think of?
Recently I attended a worship conference in England where, Dan wilt, the director of communication and resources of vineyard USA was the main preacher. I thought, naturally, that the preaching would be on worship but when he spoke on our first morning, he spoke about our identity.
Now, I am not going to try and replicate his sermon but I would like to share with you something that has been impacting me since I heard him speak. If you were to go into your handbag right now and lift out an imaginary business card to help explain to others your identity, what would it say?
For example mine could say;
Lyndsey Henderson – Worship Leader
Lyndsey Henderson – Women’s Ministry
What would yours say? Would it list your job? A position in church? Your role in your family? Or your educational attainment? What would it say?
Dan went on to say that if we are in Christ, our cards read simply. There is no reference to work role, church position or educational achievement. They simply name us a son or daughter of God.
Mine would read;
Lyndsey Henderson- Daughter of God.
We are not defined by what we do in church or out of church, or what we look like, or our talents; we are defined by being a son or daughter of the living God. What else could I possibly want my card to say other than that?! But if I am honest, is that where my identity lies - is that what my card always says? Would people who know me outside of church know that? Do I reflect this all this time? And do I even accept it for myself and stand firm in it?
Soooo many questions!
As Dan continued to talk, he spoke on striving. Instantly my heart twinged, the Holy Spirit was with me just making sure I knew He was talking to me! As I listened I began to resonate with what he was sharing. I have always tried so hard to do the best that I can do in every area I can; trying to achieve the best Pinterest life while being a full time mama and with what felt like 10 other ideas and dreams that were in my mind. I’m the person at work that just puts their hand up and says yes. And I felt God ask me why? Why are you always looking to hold on to everything, take on everything and constantly trying to be bigger and better?
Now to a certain extent this is not wrong. I do believe we should all be the best version of ourselves we can be and we should definitely fill the need in when we can. However, if I am walking the path that God has for me; there will be no striving. There will be no crawling along holding on by my nails to things and constantly pushing towards something else; something that isn’t right.
I felt God share with me that he wants what is best for us. And what is best for us is to be talking with Him about where He wants us, about where he wants us serving, where he wants us working, who he wants us to be walking alongside; everything in our lives. I’m not saying that everything with God is a walk in the park with no rocky paths, but God doesn’t want us always striving for bigger and better all the time. He wants us to be confident sons and daughters- walking in the path he has for us!
Now I could write a full sermon on serving where we are needed because I know if we need help on kids - help! And if we need someone to serve teas and coffees - help! But should I be running myself into the ground trying to achieve everything all at once? No.
In order to walk confidently as Gods sons and daughters we have to spend time with Him and know Him. I am being challenged to ask God where he wants me to serve and work. And I may not always get the answer I’m looking for; because sometimes God sends me where I don’t want to go or He says I have to lay something down. But I know my Father has the best of all plans for me. I am the daughter of the King and how else do I need to define myself?
So I encourage you tonight, that if you are always striving for more or always looking for bigger or better- then spend time with your loving Father and see what he has for you. Because, I can guarantee it’s the best!
Thoughts, experiences, and encouragement from the ladies of Falkirk Vineyard.