Hello, Frankie here! Tonight I wanted to use my turn posting on the blog to invite you into what God is doing in my life right now. This post has been whirring around in my head for a while and I’m so glad to finally feel ready to share it with you all.
So I’m sure you’ll join me in being glad that the storm that was life towards the end of last year has calmed and I’ve found my balance again; just! I remain forever thankful I no longer cry everyday, dread leaving the house or find it exhausting just putting on a brave face. I have (with incredible support) completed the hardest days and the hardest tasks- but hey, I’ll be honest; I still haven’t decided what to do with my beautiful, unworn wedding dress that is still hanging in a kind friends house. And the wedding rings- they lie in a plant pot in my and Chana’s living room, because that’s the only place I can bare to keep them for now. Those decisions are hard and they aren’t for now. But the wounds aren’t fresh anymore, and to be honest I don’t even remember they are there most of the time- praise God! But as all wounds heal; they itch. They itch as if to remind me it’s okay they’re still healing, and some days they hurt more than others.
But God has has led down an interesting path these last few months. I suppose I expected a whirlwind new plan, new calling and new adventure. And while I remain expectant for the whirlwind seasons of the future; currently God has been showing me something quite different. He has continued to quietly whisper ‘Be still’ , Do your duty’ and prompted me time and again to ‘choose abundant life.’
One morning not so long ago, while lying in bed God prompted me to turn to Proverbs 31 in my bible. Jackpot I thought, hoping for a verse about a new calling, new path or maybe even some more out there instruction to start weaving (v.13). But I felt God draw me to verse 27:
‘She suffers nothing from laziness’
Basically God said ‘Frankie don’t be lazy.’ Great. Off I went and told my friends- Gods telling me to be tidy and less lazy. Again. And a few days later God prompted me again to read proverbs 31, drawing me to verse 15 which reads as:
‘She rises before her household’
I’d never heard (or had chosen to ignore) of God telling anyone to get out of bed earlier- but apparently it’s a thing; I checked with A LOT of people. Then it got really hard; God asked me to turn my car radio off and commute home in silence. A whole hour in the car. In silence. What even is this God?!
But He said it, so I did it.
I tidied my life. I went to bed earlier (affectionately known among my friends as #10.01) and set my alarm earlier (#6:30). I decluttered my chaotic routines and found a new motivation for work (in a moment of madness even agreeing to a spot of guest lecturing?!). I try my best to commute home in silence at least once a week- often on Tuesdays- and have been embracing taking life at a slower pace than perhaps I’d like. And after I made these changes, I began to wait for that new adventure from God. Where was this obedience taking me? What is He doing with this stuff? But surely God kept saying quietly and gently only ‘Frankie, be still.’
But now I know exactly what He was and is doing. God was slowing me down; not allowing me to ignore, mask or distract myself from engaging in a process of allowing peace to return to me. In these silent spaces and tidier, quieter moments He is helping me process- and not just the events of last year but things from years ago that I have never taken time to deal with. I’ve come to understand this time as a beautifully hidden season that has impacted every part of my life but remains, mostly, uncomplicated by chaos and something I only have to invite others into when it’s felt right. Last year was messy and so very uncontrollably public that this hidden season is soothing beyond compare; a sweet sanctuary for rest, reset and recovery.
The quiet spaces have prompted me to pursue therapy to help those fresher, niggling wounds. On Tuesdays I turn up and tell my therapist about the tangible fear of my life falling apart and how it brings paranoia and over analysis of every conversation I have and every single decision I now make. I tell her how hard I now find it to trust people not to reject and abandon me with no warning. I tell her about the sickness in the pit of my stomach when I think about being vulnerable and pursuing new relationships. I tell her about my deepest fears, how I don’t want brokeness to be my life song. She listens and sometimes she validates my thoughts and other times she challenges them. But most importantly she helps me towards the point of navigating into the future, all with God at the centre.
I try hard not to cry and I laugh awkwardly as I struggle with being the one being counselled and not the counsellor. And believe me this process is harder than I ever imagined. Often I don’t sleep well afterwards and the terrifying nightmares I had just after I received the news that changed this part of my life are back. But that’s okay- unsettling things that need healing is going to move the sediment right at the bottom of those stormy oceans! And after counselling I go home to a calmer life with established routines and a steadfast support network. And I am still. And all is well because He is there.
He is healing me through prayer, conversation and prompting me to say my fears out loud so I can acknowledge and work through them to a place of healing. He’s teaching me to call out my fear as fear, abandonment as abandonment and not to diminish experiences for fear of the judgement of others. God is teaching me to give my psychological healing a name- the name of Jesus! The extent of this healing is vast and it’s life changing. He is telling me that with Him, no matter what the future holds- abandonment or not; He will never leave me. For me, feeling truly free to hold on to this promise of God’s faithfulness has been profound. Profound healing, I wouldn’t have felt within a hectic routine, a loud commute or without obedience to God.
Silent commutes home have helped me work up courage to make phone calls I’ve avoided for months and to make financial decisions I have been putting off. But silence has also led me over and over again to a beautiful place of forgiveness of those who have hurt me, true repentance for the minor and the major and time and again to the overwhelming knowledge that God is good.
This calm sea feels strange. I certainly don’t wish another unforeseen storm, but a small calm wave of excitement might be welcomed with open arms! I’ve had years of moving around (6 moves in four years) with new jobs, new friends and planning for the future. Adjusting to routines and no end date for how long I plan to stay in a job or city is new for me. But the faces of those around me who excitedly tell me the ‘best is yet to come’ is enough to keep me going when the quiet, calm waters feel a little lonely.
And perhaps I dare to dream this time of obedience, simplification and healing is God preparing me for a huge family of messy children of my own or preparing me to contend with a busy married life, a new career or anything and everything in between. And that really is the most beautiful thing about my current season; I have slowly and tentatively began to dream again.
And over this season I declare ;
Lord you are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand- I will NOT be shaken. -- Psalm 16:5-8
Thoughts, experiences, and encouragement from the ladies of Falkirk Vineyard.