Thursday, 29 September 2016

Learning through failure...

This week I probably had one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. Since moving into our new home I have already experienced so much change. Incredible things have been happening. There was some stuff in my life that seemed to be stuck. I had a dim awareness that there were things within me that really needed to be sifted out but I just remained asleep to it all.

Yet as we moved into our house I started having a few difficulties. I seemed to hit an emotional wall and I found myself unable to get past it. I wanted to avoid it but there was no way around it. I left a lot of things behind in my old house but I could not leave behind those issues that were still wrapped around my heart. Namely one of the biggest ones was fear.

I have seen over time how God works through me in processes and again this became like a process. I found myself being stripped back bare and it was uncomfortable and painful. God wanted to remove the thing I had been carrying but it was like a rotten stinking tooth and the only way to get rid of it was to pull it out.

With all the amazing things that was happening in between the painful moments I decided to start writing down what God was saying on sticky notes. My conservatory door became the place for these sticky notes (which are orange by the way!) I needed these notes in my line of view of every day. A realisation had started to dawn on me that I had not been living the life that God wanted for me. I had still been on the sidelines, a spectator. One day last week I wrote on a sticky note, "I've missed opportunities yesterday but today I will not miss any more opportunities!" As a fresh awareness that I had too often given away opportunities because of fear was awakening in me.

Little did I know that this very sticky note would end up being lived out this week. I had my second driving test on Monday. Learning to drive has not been an easy journey for me. It wasn't so much the learning to drive I have had to battle but my own self and the way I think about things. The journey has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Its been a real journey of self learning. As my test was getting nearer I was struggling to keep in the right frame of mind. The pressure was on - I really wanted to pass my driving test before I started my second year of University. Yet I knew that somewhere deep down inside of me I still was wrestling with doubt and even whether I was worthy to be a driver.

On the day of the test I was nervous and my lesson with my driving instructor was pretty tough before the test. I made a ton of mistakes and he kept taking me back to basics again. By the time I got to my test I was not in the most joyful moods but after a shaky start I began to wake up and my driving started to become smooth and confident. When I really needed it an inner grit started to come out. As I pulled into the test centre I was yet to do my manoeuvre. Relief at arriving back safely at the test centre had started to flood me and I was feeling the effects of weariness. He asked me to do a reverse park in a bay. I had just done a perfect one when we arrived at the test centre so all I needed to do was to repeat that. It was busy in the car park so I rushed getting my starting position. I used my driving instructor's technique but something didn't feel right. I asked if I could open the car door to look at the lines. Then I pulled forward and tried to readjust my car. I thought you could only do that once so when the driving test instructor asked me twice, "Are you sure you are happy with that?" I said yes and switched off the engine. I was exhausted.

He then got out and looked around the car but I seemed to be in a daydream. I thought I was at least in the lines a bit so his next words completely shocked me. He got back in the car and I watched as he filled in my sheet and it said seven minors but he ticked fail. My heart sunk. He said "Why didn't you try to straighten up again? Why didn't you pull forward once again? If one of your tyres had been touching the lines I could have given you a driving fault". I was shocked at how frustrated he was. He was almost despairing. I then looked at him and said, "I'm sorry" and he said, "Not as sorry as I am". As my driving instructor came over and I got out I saw that not one tyre was in. Still though I had not grasped what I had happened until my driving instructor said, "That's the only reason you failed. You would have passed if you had straightened up". Then the realisation hit me. I had given up way too soon. In one moment, I gave up and I then forfeited passing the test. I was choked. I barely made it through the front door before I burst into tears. I cried for so long after the test. I hadn't been that upset in ages but the sticky note had come bursting into my mind - I had missed an opportunity. Now I understood the sticky note because I had just experienced that.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

New Home...

On Tuesday 6th September we moved into our first home together. We could not have asked for a smoother transition between houses. We collected the key to our one bedroom house in Duston at noon and drove straight to our little house! The most exciting moment was when we got to the front door with key in hand ready to step through a new door in our lives.

When we entered the house we were in awe of how much larger it looked than we first had thought. On the day we had viewed the house it had seemed so much smaller. However, we had only been in the house less than ten minutes and it was over 2 months ago since we had seen it. We spent the first few minutes running around looking at everything! We had been worried about storage and we found loads of little in built storage spaces. The colours I  had chosen for the house are red and orange and upon entering the house we saw that the kitchen tiles are red and orange! We are also blessed as the landlord left a cooker, dishwasher, freezer and washing machine for us to use.

Another thing that attracted us to this house is the beautiful conservatory which adds extra space. It is so wonderful to have a room that is full of light and so bright and airy. Its like a breath of fresh air walking in there. We have managed to fit both Jason's desk and the dining room table in there. Our lovely orange sofa was delivered on Friday (which also fitted perfectly in the living room!) And another thing I was so excited about was my bookcase! I have never had a bookcase before so this was extra exciting! When I was packing my book collection fitted in about ten boxes so I knew that I really needed a bookcase. Its so nice to see them all in one place together, although I could not quite fit all of my books on there so Jason has said I need to buy a second bookcase!!!

Even though we have only been here four days we have practically finished sorting everything. The past few days have been tiring but as I sit here now looking at our house I just feel so thankful. It feels like home already and I think this new space is really going to give Jason and I room to grow in our marriage and our relationship with God. So a BIG thank you to my family for helping us move and for sharing our lives for these past few years and here's to a new beginning for us all!