I’ve almost finished my year in Sheffield. I’m in the middle of the dreaded dissertation write up and yet strangely calm. I mean, I’ve even managed to find time to write a post about what the future holds without stressing. It’s like a miracle has happened.
So what has happened this year?
Mostly, I’ve done a lot of learning. I’ve learnt all about public engagement and digital analysis. I know how to create a digital heritage project proposal about comic books. That’s just the academic stuff.
More importantly, Sheffield has taught me:
- That being part of a big church won’t automatically make you new friends or find me a boyfriend.
- Being introverted doesn’t mean you want to be on your own all the time.
- Even when you think you have nothing left to give, God gives you something more to give.
- Taking a break to do something new can remind you what you loved to do originally.
- Sometime doing what everyone else is doing is the wrong thing to do for you.
I’m now looking to the future. I don’t have a shiny new job to go into. Once again I find myself preparing to move home.Yet God has one more lesson to teach me while I’m in Sheffield.
There are times when God’s plan matches your plan. There are times when God’s plan is a MILLION times better than your plan.
I’ve had a long hard think. Hardly surprising as I’m not moving into the single ladies flat I had been designing in my mind. (FYI, it has a kombucha fermenting area AND a drinks cabinet) I’ve come up with a list of choices I have to make:
- I can pursue a career or I can pursue God.
- I can be independent and broke or I can be part of a community and able to save.
- I can struggle to fund my blog or I can find a way to make it self-sufficient.
These three choices all boil down to one decision. And we all have the same choice to make.
We can insist on doing it our way or we can live fully with God, family and friends, looking forward!
Tackling the Future
If you were to look at the bare facts of what my future holds, it wouldn’t look I have much going for me. I’m going back home when I wanted to leave and returning to a church I thought was too small. But if you look beyond the bare facts, it’s a different story. Going home means having the flexibility to focus on digging into the gifts God has given me. Belonging to a small church provides an opportunity to be part of a community of all ages.
There are two areas where I believe God wants me to be digging into: teaching and pastoral care. Yet these are two areas that are far from being exclusive of each other. In fact, it is in combining them that these two gifts really shine out, through ministering to others.
Ministry is the opportunity to carry out whatever it is that God has in store for you. This might be opening up your house to youth one night a week who just want somewhere they can eat cake, drink hot chocolate, and chill. It might look like buying two meal deals at lunch to give one to the homeless guy sat outside the corner shop. It might mean sharing your testimony with a friend.
For me, ministry happens online. Here, on this blog, where I can share something of what I’ve learnt and am still learning. Yet this is my opportunity to bring together my passion for the Bible with the love I have for dressing, eating and living. And to hopefully do so with the love and grace that Jesus walked and talked with.
Why do I feel this is where my ministry is? Because it is where I come alive. Writing these posts is what motivates me. Whether it’s a new recipe to enjoy, figuring out this whole style thing, or looking at what the Bible really says about real life challenges, it brings me to life. The best bit about doing this all through a blog means that I can share it all with you guys.
I Need Your Help
If this blog, or whatever it is right now, is to become a ministry, it cannot just be me. Me, on my own, typing away on my computer, is not going to build a community or ministry. I need you!
So how exactly can you guys help? Well, the obvious one is prayer. If this ministry is going to work, then it needs to have God’s blessing and support. So the more of you who are praying for this ministry, the more likely it will be to succeed.
For those of you who are looking to get a bit more involved, there are two main ways. Firstly, are you a writer? If so, then why not write something for us? We always need recipes to develop; tips on dressing for modesty and style; help living out what the Bible says.
If writing isn’t for you, there is one other way you can be part of this new ministry. During September, I’m going to be releasing a reader survey to find out what it is you guys want from CounterCultural. CounterCouture. Even more controversial, if CC.CC. is really what you need. You can be a part of deciding what happens to this ministry by filling out the survey. Simple as that!
So What’s the Plan?
I’m making my choices. I’m choosing to pursue God’s plans, even when they take me back to places I thought I had left. This also means I’m going to start digging into the gifts He has given me, figuring out where they are leading me.
I want you to be part of that. Whether you pray, write, or fill out a survey, you can be a part of this ministry.
The post Making Choices, Tackling the Future and Digging into God’s Gifts first appeared on CounterCultural. CounterCouture.