"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." James 4:8
Thoughts from Jo
In the next few blog posts, we will hear from some members of our church family. Enjoy a brief background and details about each person, along with hearing how the four week imposed lockdown due to COVID-19 has affected them personally. Our hope is to draw encouragement and strength from each other as we point towards Jesus.
"For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as your are already doing." -1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
My family unit or ‘bubble’ as we have come to think of ourselves lately, consists of three boys ... and me! My husband is Tony and Matthew and Daniel are our sons. Their names amuse me now as when they were born I hadn’t fallen onto the path of faith again, yet they are thrilled they can find their names in the Bible - well we all know who guided that decision right?
I was raised around faith in England when I was young albeit by my Grandma not my immediate family. My travels brought me to New Zealand in 2003 for my 'big OE'…. well that adventure turned out to be a little more than expected. I’m not sure I could pack up my life into a backpack and return now!
My faith journey was a little different however. It began by God introducing 1 person into my life. That person came to New Zealand from another country and had young children also. Our husband’s professions brought us together and I’ve often thought that she was put on this earth to do God’s work. I was reluctant at first to be involved - I had no christian friends or family, in fact a bit of the polar opposite of this. When our boys were off having an adventure together she asked if I would come and check out a new church with her - Church@109. I did and man did I feel uncomfortable singing (something which I now love!) Their family left New Zealand after that but there were others at the church whose communication and perseverance meant that I continued to come each Sunday. From here with the guidance of some dedicated people, the Long Story Short course and some close friends, my faith journey grew to a point where Andrew baptised me in the Lake in 2017.
Don’t get me wrong, the journey hasn’t been easy as many of you will understand. If you know me you know I like to be in control and ‘obedience' has been the hardest of my journey I believe.
Just recently I was presented with an opportunity in relation to my job which I had been praying about for some time. It wasn’t an easy decision and it came out of the blue but with some words of wisdom from a friend and Scripture, I decided I needed to just trust and obey; “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” James 1:22 was impacting at this time.
As it turned out I haven’t been able to start my new job yet due to the pandemic that is creating havoc over the world at the moment. Knowing the ‘control’ element of my personality this could have been very daunting yet I have felt at peace during this strange time. The Lord is still providing for me and the lockdown has brought peace, togetherness and calm to our family life which is usually rife with busyness and self-made stress. In times when many are struggling I often ponder why the Lord has brought such peace to me? I think we were losing sight of what was really important before the pandemic and this is His way of guiding me back to the path He has laid out for me; “I cry out to the God most high who fulfills his purpose for me.” Psalm 57:2
To anyone who is feeling pain and stress during this time, I encourage you to remember the Lord is walking beside you and he has a plan. Faith was hard for me at first but I’m getting there and If I can learn to trust and obey there is certainly hope for others. You are never alone.
5/12/2020 09:51:49 am
An amazing story of God at work... I loved it, Jo, and was encouraged. Judith xo
11/27/2022 08:44:58 pm
Hi great reeading your blog
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Our hope with this blog is that we can hear from different voices in our church. May we chose to draw near to God and be inspired by each other.