Monthly Archives: January 2014

When trouble comes – cling on!

As a baby, I kept failing my hearing tests, so had to be taken to a big hearing centre with specialist equipment.  The expert delivered their diagnosis to my Mum, “We know she can hear because she moves her eyes in the direction of the noise, but she needs to turn her head to pass the test, you just have a very wilful little girl”.  Haha.

will·ful adjective \ˈwil-fəl\
: refusing to change your ideas or opinions or to stop doing something
: done deliberately
Merriam Webster dictionary
Baby Meg When trouble comes   cling on!

Chuuby chops = little version of me with my sister

It seems I did grow with a wilful streak, this could easily be seen as a negative character trait, but it has actually served me well.  It especially did so in the most painful season of my life.  Besides, I prefer to think of this wilfulness as a description of my resolve!

1re·solve verb \ri-ˈzälv, -ˈzȯlv also -ˈzäv or -ˈzȯv\
: to make a definite and serious decision to do something

My marriage broke down on a Saturday.  The following day was Sunday, so my legendary Mum volunteered to stay home and look after me whilst the rest of my family went to Church.  There was only one problem – I had no intention of missing Church, I knew where I needed to be.  So wilful me I resolved to be there.

It was a guest speaker that day, I don’t remember what he was preaching on, but I remember exactly what God spoke to me through him – “Cling on!”  As soon as the words left the preachers mouth, tears were streaming down my face; that word was for me.

The next two preaches, the same word was confirmed to me via two different preachers, “Cling on with everything you’ve got!” and “Cling on!

Why did God say it three times?  I believe it’s because He knows me and knew I’d doubt whether He was really speaking to me.  In addition, there was a battle going on, not just for my marriage, but my heart and my mind too.

There’s a number of ways I clung to God, in this post I’ll talk about two of them.  God willing, the others will be covered in future posts!

Cling to your faith in Christ

The enemy, not just satisfied with our dead marriage, and my prodigal spouse, he seemed to want to destroy my faith and me too.  There was only one problem – he picked the wrong woman!

 

Cling on1 When trouble comes   cling on!

Cling tightly to your faith in Christ and always keep your conscience clear, doing what you know is right. For some people have disobeyed their consciences and have deliberately done what they knew was wrong. It isn’t surprising that soon they lost their faith in Christ after defying God like that.

1 Timothy 1:19 (TLB)

This verse really speaks for itself:

  • Cling tightly to your faith in Christ
  • and always keep your conscience clear, doing what you know is right.
  • some people have disobeyed their consciences and have deliberately done what they knew was wrong. It isn’t surprising that soon they lost their faith in Christ after defying God like that.

Choose to praise and worship God 

Choosing to praise and worship became my default setting when things are rubbish long before our marriage broke down.

I implore you, if you’ve not already sorted your default setting, don’t wait for the troubled times to come before deciding what your response is going to be.

The world looks to offer much to assist in these times – alcohol, drugs, revenge, harm to name a few, but their effects temporary and harmful.  None offer the lasting peace and relief that comes from being in the presence of God.

Cling on with everything you’ve got!”  That one came as things were getting worse, and I felt I didn’t have a lot in me, that was ok that, I just had to cling on with everything I had and He would do the rest:

I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’
Don’t panic. I’m with you.
There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you

Isaiah 41:9-10 (MSG)

He does exactly what He says He will!

God is immense!

Megan When trouble comes   cling on!


Can these dry bones live?

We love this song!  I realise it’s not everyone’s flavour, but it is a huge reminder to us of a significant time in our reconciliation journey.

We’re totally blessed to be rooted in our Church for many reasons; one reason is the epic teaching we receive at every meeting, every week, without fail.  Amongst the epic teaching, there have been some pivotal preaches for us.

This post is based on what we learnt from the account of Ezekiel and the dry bones.  Everybody has seasons of dry bones; it’s that place that once had life and hope, but now looks hopeless.  For us, it was our marriage, for others it’s health, friendships, relationships, unfulfilled promises, careers, anything really.

Ezekiel 37:1-10

The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me to and fro among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’
I said, ‘Sovereign Lord, you alone know.’
4 Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”’
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.”’ 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.

Three weeks before we heard the teaching on this passage, our 5 month reconciliation journey looked like a failure, I’d had enough, I’d told Ian I was done.  We weren’t looking at anything like the beautiful resurrected marriage God had promised us, it actually seemed worse, both of us to blame for very different reasons.

I thought I was being given another chance to end our marriage, but this conflicted with what we both knew God had said.  God spoke to me that evening through a guest speaker “When God says it – God will do it”.

It’s safe to say, we were in a valley of dry bones, a hopeless place, at the time I was thinking more like obliterated bones.  That night, God was asking us “Can these bones live, can this marriage live?”  It needed a response.

We learnt that our response in the valley is determined by the realisation of our position, our position in God:

  • The hand of The Lord is on me (verse 1) – throughout the Bible, however it’s phrased, the hand of The Lord is powerful, this changes everything!
  • I’m His ambassador – authorised representative of God in my world.  2 Corinthians 5:20

For those three weeks I’d set up a tent of acceptance, camping in my valley, thinking to myself “this is just the way our marriage is now, I tried”.  In this preach, I had some choices to make, was I going to choose to believe God, to obey Him, prophesy to the dry bones around me or was I going to sit in my tent of acceptance?

camping Can these dry bones live?

We were encouraged to introduce the ‘facts’ of our situation to the truth of God.  Oh there were many ‘facts’ and statistics that I’d read about our situation; they weren’t good.

That evening in Church, toe-to-toe, hand in hand, we prophesied over our marriage and each other, both declaring what God had said, and what we were believing for.  The pain was very raw, there were tears, but we did it.

Something shifted that night, there was still a lot of work to do, but our hope was renewed, our faith increased, and I reckon there was a party in heaven!  Step by step, life was breathed in to our marriage

Although our marriage isn’t in the valley anymore, we do have other ‘dry bones’ in our world, we are convinced that God is able, and we’re reminded that we need to speak truth and life over those circumstances.

So if today you, like us, find yourself surrounded by dry bones, there’s some decisions to be made – will you choose to believe God, to obey Him, prophesy to the dry bones, or are you going to set up a tent of acceptance in the valley?

You choose!

God is immense!

You can listen to the preach we heard for free on Itunes here!

Megan Can these dry bones live?


It’s in your mouth!

Jelly beans, Ian’s favourite sweets, he LOVES them, is it only me who finds many worthy to be placed in the category of wrong?  Now I’ll only eat pink or dark green ones, apparently I’ve eaten one too many of the wrong ‘uns, that left a nasty taste in my mouth, more for Ian then!

Jelly Beans Its in your mouth!

I’ve experienced the nasty taste that comes from my words too, only the effects of this nasty taste have more lasting, and harmful effects, not just on me.

What we think about affects what comes out of our mouths, It’s in your head post talks about the thinking part.  It’s no surprise then, that whilst I was struggling with bad thinking, my words mirrored that.

Around 5 months into our reconciliation, we arranged to meet with a godly couple we trusted, we were in a mess.  In my head it was clear what the issue was, or rather who the issue was – Ian, I thought if someone told him off, pointed out how out of order he’d been, that would solve our current load of problems.

Imagine my surprise then, when the conversation was not directed to Ian at all, but my words, the power in my choice of words, and what I was speaking over our marriage, over my husband, and over myself.

Fruit or Poison web Its in your mouth!

They were full of grace towards both of us, and what they said made sense but I left their house feeling offended.  I didn’t stay offended, I recognized that my choice of words was harming my marriage, my husband and myself.  I knew I needed God’s help to change my choice of words permanently.

Proverbs 18:21 confirms that this is God’s stance too, we get to choose whether the words we speak kill or give life.  In any situation I had a choice, was I going to dish out some fruit or poison?  On the subject of dishing out fruit, my fruit palm trees (above) were a hit in the summer, my sister asked why I’d bothered, for if you were wondering too –  I could have just put 2 kiwis, 2 satsumas and 1 banana on a plate but everyone knows pretty food tastes better right?!

Choosing what I spent time thinking about, and changing how I spoke went hand in hand, at the start it was very deliberate effort, intentionally choosing to speak good and life at every opportunity.  It took my feelings some time to catch up with what I’d decided, but by the grace of God they did!  Deliberate effort turned into habit.

I wish I could say that this is all neat and tidy now, never an issue, but whilst it’s not as it was, I do slip up still.  The good thing, the slip-ups aren’t normal anymore, and so any negative talk that comes out of me leaves a nasty taste.  This nasty taste is my indicator that I need to get forgiveness and flip up the way I’m talking, so is now a gift!

One thing I know, God never knocked back a prayer I made to help me change the way I thought and spoke.  He wants us free!

God is immense!

Megan Its in your mouth!


It’s in your head!

New years eve 2013, Ian took me to Edinburgh for the firework display (we love fireworks!).  I was really cold, so Ian picked out a wooly hat, but my “that won’t fit me” didn’t stop him trying to get it on my head, fail!  I asked the shop assistant if they had any big hats, she responded by asking me what sort of big, “like for a big head”.  I may as well have shouted to all in earshot “QUICK, everyone check out my head!” haha.

Velvet helmet Its in your head!Mind movie moment happened right there and then: 11 year old version of me, excited to get my own horse riding gear.  The hat, I knew the exact one I wanted, one of those pretty velvet cap ones with a bow at the back, in navy blue.

The expert fitter brought out a few junior hats, they didn’t fit, no panic, he brought out a few ladies versions, they didn’t fit either.  Full embarrassment came when much to everyone’s amusement, even the men’s version wouldn’t fit me!

skull c Its in your head!

I ended up with a more roomy man’s skull cap, my Aunty got me a stretchy, navy blue cap to go over it, this softened the blow of not being able to fit in the pretty one!  That was the day it was established that I have a big head, but big brains need bigger casing right?  Haha.  The good news, 29 year old me got a girly wooly hat in Edinburgh that fitted – great success!

This mind movie makes me laugh now – it’s harmless.  Whilst Ian and me were separated though, I started having mind movies with a more destructive nature to them, my perception often worse than reality.  I thought they’d stop when we reconciled, instead they increased in frequency and destructiveness.  When it wasn’t a mind movie, it was just my own thoughts naturally settling on the abundance of bad stuff that had been or was going on.

Ian too was struggling with what was going on in his head, God met us both right where we were at, we had to learn how to take our thoughts captive.

‘we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.’
2 Cor 10:5

God wanted to give our thinking an upgrade, this is how He did it with us, He showed us:

  • We needed to remind ourselves that He was with us, for us, and that He was way, way bigger than anything we were facing.
  • We needed to make the decision to change our thinking and get thankful
  • We couldn’t just decide not to think about the bad stuff, we needed to swap those thoughts with God thoughts, what He says in His word.
  • We needed to truly believe and speak out what He says in His word.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

We didn’t get to choose what thoughts popped into our minds, but we got to choose what happened with them when they didn’t line up with true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy.  For me, I had to have the good stuff I was going to choose to think about ready before any destructive thoughts came along.  I needed the thought change to be swift or uh oh – I was in it.

As we spent more time finding out what God says, and who He is, then thinking on those things – a small change, we started to see bigger changes in us and our marriage.  Most obviously in me: the frequency of mind movies and bad thinking bobbing in on me reduced significantly to extremely rarely, my attitude towards Ian and the task of rebuilding our marriage improved, and as what I thought about improved, so did the way I spoke to and about my husband.  The atmosphere of our hurting marriage started changing for the better.

Neither of us are perfect in our thinking, but wawaweewa there’s been major progress, I’m never going to stop being thankful for this.  The good news is that God always has upgrades for our thinking – the next one in His word!

‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!’
Isaiah 43 18-19a

God is immense!

Megan Its in your head!


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