It was cold. Very cold. And so foggy.
My fingers couldn't take being outside my coat pocket for longer than two texts. They were a shade of grey blue.
Work had been tough, tougher than usual; all I wanted to do was get home. Though to be honest, I'd be far more able to cope with the intense work pressure if my heart wasn't broken on top.
Everything I've prayed for, believed in, hoped for and struggled against so much for came crashing down again at the beginning of February, but the final blow came from the main part of my hope.
I felt trapped. Caged. Like a little bird behind bars, beating my wings frantically against them. Forced against my heart, soul and will to a choice that would affect the rest of my life if I decide the way some people want me to.
When I say I spent one month crying before it became too dreary to weep, and me too weary, just believe it.
Shaking, I pulled my blue coat close around me.
The 51 bus came down the road. I moved a little towards it.
It would take a long and tiring journey to get home. The 51 takes a longer route and time than does the X.
But it was warm. It would have seats. I'd have a longer time to sleep and rest. It would keep me safe from the bitter cold and I was so, so tired. I couldn't hang on for the X one more minute, and it was nowhere in sight.
The X51 was quicker. It sped me to my destination. But I'd have to stand up. And it was taking too long to come. And it was so very, very cold.
I made a choice then, because something stirred within me as I paralleled it to this current situation in my life. I don't know about you, but I believe that God uses the simplest things in life to teach us parables.
I let the 51 go by with one wistful glance.
And chose to wait for the X.
True, it was only me fighting me in this case, and not me AND everyone around me fighting me for what THEY think is best for me.
God never called us to be comfortable and happy. He called us to be faithful. And that means we follow His call when everything stands against it, when everyone tells us He hasn't called us to it, that you've made it up in your insecurity, and when your poor mixed up head has nothing left to cling onto but the solidity of Christ Himself.
Do you know the weirdest thing? A couple of seconds later, the X51 drove down the road.
I couldn't help smiling as I stepped onto the bus.
You know how it is when God works something and it's like He's slipping His arm around your shoulders and telling you that it's worth the wait? Yeah... like that. The hope of deliverance in a whirlpool of darkness.
I'm babysitting tonight. Curled up on my big brother's sofa currently, typing this.
It's been snowing over the past two days, though it got really severe since four pm. I got out of work and was trying to photograph it. :-P Snow makes me hyper.
Huge snowflakes covered the front of my coat, and both my brown ankle-length skirt and my jeans underneath were soaked through about two inches deep with ice cold snow, slush and mud.
I found a scarf and gloves in my bag but had forgotten my hat!
Hopping on the 997, we drove off towards my brother's house. The snow was coming down thick and heavy, and I was pretty worried about the walk up the steep hill atop the Beacon.
For most of you, I guess the walk wouldn't be much.
For me, physically weakened as well as unfit, in big heavy boots and a very heavy bag, slogging through the snow with sharp icy shards stinging my face, it was.
I stopped about two thirds of the way up as a particularly big gust of wind nearly knocked me over, and looked behind me.
Thought I couldn't keep going.
Then I realised: going back was out of the question. It would be a waste of time and effort, and letting people down. To stay where I was and collapse on the footpath was equally undoable. There was only one thing to do.
It's always at the hardest part, when so much energy is spent and you're tired, weak and feel like you cannot go on, when the battle is the worst, that you're nearest to the end.
When there's nothing left inside yourself to give, there is. Because inside you dwells the fulness of Christ, and He fills the empty and gives the strength to keep going that much further.
When we are weak, He is strong and glorified through us as we give control to Him.
What would happen if trials never came? How would we ever start to be purified into His likeness? The answer is that we wouldn't. How many of us would choose to become like Christ when we would have no idea of what it could be like?
I think the problem was that my hope was fixed on a man when it should have been fixed on God.
I'm not waiting for Mr C any more. There's no hope there. But I AM waiting for him because of the God Who called me to wait for him. I'm waiting ON God.
I will be and have been called a fool by many for wasting my life.
But I ask you.
If God has called me to wait for the rest of my life and serve Him through the now, how is that a waste if I learn to give it to Him, let go and praise Him?
I serve a powerful God Who is able to save to the uttermost. When the night is blackest, it is then we are least able to see that the dawn is coming.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
It takes toughness to admit you can't and to keep going, leaning on strength beyond yourself.
Don't give up!
"Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise!"
(There's some photos down yonder, just scroll down. :))
(The snow was deeper going up the hill; promise. ;) )