Thoughts from the woman in the third pew on the left…

view from the pew

Oh no! It’s that time of the Methodist year: the covenant prayer; the ultimate self assessment on the personal Godometer scale. I’m so not up to this. I’ve too many questions at the moment; too many doubts; too many wonderings; too many things I thought I knew turned upside down. Who am I covenanting to? The narrow, conservative God of my youth (I can’t do that anymore) or this newly found wide open space inclusive accepting all loving one? Is She too good to be true?

Lord, I am no longer my own but yours…

But what if that means you can let whatever you want happen to me – that didn’t work out too well for Job for a while did it? What if I’ve spent so long bowing to everybody elses wants and what I really need at the moment is a bit of confidence in my own decisions?
Do you want good things for me? Do I really believe you are good Lord?

Your will, not mine be done in all things…

Except, what if your will is to make me suffer? I can’t say I want that Lord.
Do I really believe that you are good Lord?

Wherever you may place me…

This one’s easier Lord. Whatever the scenery around you’ve always placed me near to good people; sent me good friends and substitute parents. In the driven angst of Essex, the hills of Sheffield, the wealth of Surrey, the sea air of Southend, even when I was thrown into exile, you lifted me out and placed me here. Please don’t take me out of this wide open space.

In all that I do and in all that I may endure…

Think I might have mentioned this already Lord, but I’m not keen on this ‘enduring’ business. I’m frightened of what might come next.

When there is work for me and when there is none…

Well there’s a description of my work Lord if ever I heard one: one minute a massively intense conversation about deeply personal important things; the next, looking out the window wondering what to fill my hours with. Are you in all of that? Work out your will in it Lord, even the bits that feel like nothing to me.

When I am troubled and when I am at peace…

Troubled…there’s a few people who’d say that’s my middle name. Always troubled by imperfection. Always striving for the best – is that so bad? At peace? Need more of that – definitely!

Your will be done when I am valued and when I am disregarded…

Oh this one matters more than I’d like it to. Plenty of experiences of both sides of this coin. People who could have known me best didn’t always seem to see much good in who I really am. And sometimes I am SO misunderstood Lord.
What do you think of me Lord? Am I good enough for you? I know the ‘right’ answer to that in my head. Move it to my heart please.

When I find fulfilment and when it is lacking…

Fulfilment…is that what heaven’s like? I suspect so: life and life in all its fullness. I reckon you desire fulfilment for all of us Lord. I think you made us a certain way for a certain reason to fulfil specific purposes. Denying that is gonna lead to pain I reckon. I can’t help but feel strongly about this one Lord.

When I have all things and when I have nothing…

Seen this one a bit already Lord if you’re talking about money. It turned out it wasn’t the end of the world. Not pleasant. Don’t fancy wearing the t-shirt again but I suppose I’d live. I think I’m pretty sure you’ve got it sorted whatever my bank statement seems to suggest.

I willingly offer all I have and am to serve you, as and where you choose…

Er…please see above Lord?

Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit…

Ooh er big words: doctrine, theology, penal subsititutionary atonement, is that what it was?…I digress!

You are mine and I am yours…may it be so for ever…
Whoever you are, however much I understand or don’t, You are mine and I am yours…

Be my duvet; wrap me in the warmth of love….forever…forever…

Be my hot bath; soak away the stress and the clamour of my days.

Be my big armchair into which I sink; take all the weight of my thoughts…forever.

Let this covenant now made on earth be fulfilled in heaven. Amen.

Matthew 11:28-30The Message (MSG)
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

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3 Comments

  1. This is soooooo brilliant and expresses exactly where I am! Questioning, so very very very alone. Is God really in this? Yes but it sure doesn’t feel like it.
    Thanks for being open and honest. It’s a very refreshing change!!

  2. So glad it was helpful. That’s why I write. Open and honest is scary but I almost always find I’m not the only one with my kind of thoughts and feelings. I’m so sorry you feel alone. I hope you find some peace even if there aren’t as many answers as we would both like xx

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