“A story about the fear of missing out (F.O.M.O)”
I’m Jasmine. I’m married to Andrew and together we pastor FVYOUTH. We have 2 wonderful wee boys Seth (3) and Henry (6months). When Frankie asked me to write something for the women’s blog I started to think what the heck could I have to say that would really be encouraging or insightful. I’d managed to dodge this blog for a year, so why now?!
I am not a front of house anything, never mind insightful speaker/writer! I say the wrong thing more than I say the right thing. 😂 I figured the timing was perfect. I could share whatever happened at the National Leaders Conference I was going to be attending the next week. I was sure God was going to do amazing, renewing and ‘compass resetting’ work in my life at NLC as he had done before. Great! Sorted! ✅ However God had a different plan... CHICKEN POX!!
Those nasty little red spots meant I had to stay home with my two wee boys whilst my husband and a whole crowd went off to NLC. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement... NLC was always a highlight for me; awesome teaching, amazing ministry time and meeting friends across the vineyard. And of course my favourite thing... dance parties till 10pm with my 3 year old at the back to the incredible worship.
But rather I would have to sit at home stuck inside changing nappies and entertaining my high energy 3 year old (who doesn’t show any sign of ailment other than the polka dots) and miss out on it all… I prayed so hard for a miracle that the spots would just evaporate, but God had other plans. At first I was just miserable. Poor me. I’ve got such a hard life. I’m missing out. I don’t get to hear all the chat or hangout with everyone. I don’t get to spend time with Andrew as a family during his oh so infrequent time off work.
Poor me. Poor me. Poor me! But then through the tears i started to try and see the good and search for what God’s purpose was. There’s a reason I’m stuck at home. There’s a reason I’m not there and I’m here. There’s a reason I’m missing out… God has something to teach me.
Whilst driving out to buy some comfort food (Nando’s) on Saturday night after realising I was going to be spending the next week alone with my boys I started shouting at the devil... literally shouting!!
"You will not steal my joy; You will not steal my joy!"
No matter what my week looked like I would not let him take away my joy. The joy in my boys, however exhausting they may be. The joy in Andrew getting to spend 4 days immersed in what God had for him, despite how jealous I was. The joy that I could still watch it online, despite really just wanting to be in the room... I put a brave face on, and then as i spent time with God, I felt His presence was with me as he revealed something I’ve always known but not fully grasped, something so profound... God’s presence never leaves me.
He never leaves me!! He is always there. He is always beside me and feels what I feel. He hears my joy and my sadness. He hears my thanks and frustration. And He longs for me to meet with him where ever I am. At home. In the car. Hiding in the bathroom for a wee break from the kids. Out for a walk in the -6 degrees! At 3am when my 6 month old decides this is the great time to roll about the cot.
I don’t need a huge atmospheric conference to meet with him. I don’t need incredible live worship to meet with him. I don’t need to be sitting in the shadow of incredible speakers to meet with him… God’s presence is always around me. It’s everywhere!! It’s me that needs to become present... To say to God ‘yes Lord’. I’m listening and I want to be in your presence. It’s me that needs to arrive, not God!
In the last session of NLC Katia Adams shared about joy, And how we must stand up and not let the devil steal our Joy! Yes!!!!! Find your joy in God. Even when life is hard; even when we’re missing out; even when we feel like no one sees us. Find joy in God even through the tears because he loves you!! And he’s for you. He wants to bless you.
God was chasing after my heart. I just had to turn round and see it, rather than run in the opposite direction trying to find it… God was chasing after me the whole time. He was saying, "Jasmine; Stop! I’m right here! You don’t need to travel 5 hrs and try to organise 2 kids and be stressed about naps and feeding for 3 days at a huge conference and then have a huge pile of washing when you get back and have messed up routines… I am right here!! And I want to be with you HERE!!"
Isn’t God good?!
Do you need to turn round and see that God is right there? Stop running to where you think is the place to find God. Just stop and turn round to see he’s standing right there.
Just as it says in Exodus 33:14 -
‘My presence shall go with you wherever you go and I will give you rest…’
Oh I wish I’d worked this out on Monday morning... it’s now Friday morning and oh I need that rest!! Thank you Jesus!!
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Thoughts, experiences, and encouragement from the ladies of Falkirk Vineyard.