Monthly Archives: April 2014

a light at the end of the tunnel – another #OneWord365 post

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As is the point with #OneWord365, I’ve been thinking on the word I chose – HOPE – and what it means to live with hope.

I’m reading “Let Hope In” at the moment, and I’m also taking my small group through the small group curriculum for the book.  To be honest, I’ve taken a couple of weeks off from reading the book at the moment – my head is full of everything I need to remember for the easter production, and reading is hard enough even when I’m not distracted!  But the small group study has been VERY good so far.

Anyway, back to what I was saying before.

I’ve been thinking about what it means to live with hope, and I was finding that hard to grasp. So I flipped it, and thought about what it means to live without hope.

The image that immediately came to mind was one of walking through a dark tunnel.  You know you’re making progress, but you cannot see where you’re going.  Without hope, there is no light at the tunnel by which to gauge progress.  You’re just trusting that by placing one foot in front of the other that you’re going to eventually going to get….somewhere.

That image pretty sums me up for the past 2 years.  I know that God has good things planned for me. I know that all the “just keep going” (etc) comments are well meant…but when you’re walking in what feels like directionless circles, it’s very easy to become disheartened.

A year ago, the organisation I work for launched a new vision complete with a new name.  The tag-line (for lack of a better expression) to our name reads: “Freedom and Hope”.  That is what we do. We help people to journey into a life of freedom and hope. Perhaps that’s where my “hope” seed was first planted.  Perhaps.  Who really knows?

At the start of 2014, I made a conscious decision to LIVE a life filled with hope – and to find out what “a life filled with hope” looks like for me.  As I started to choose hope daily, something happened.  The darkness that I had found myself in became not so dark.  I started to see the progress I was making as I kept walking.  A light appeared at the end of the tunnel (ugh…..I hate cliche’s but this one just fits too well…!).

As always, every day is different.  Sometimes it’s harder to choose hope on a Monday morning than it is on a Friday morning.  But a day with hope in your heart is always better than a day without.

To be continued…..

 

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2 years ago today….

I was wandering along South Bank, not quite believing that I was really in London.  I had always wanted to visit “the Motherland”, and 2 years ago, the stars aligned in such a way that I was able to go – and able to spend an entire month in the UK.

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Many friends couldn’t believe that I was excited to do this trip on my own.  I couldn’t understand why that would be a problem! I could set my own pace, see whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, and if I made myself late for something, it was completely my fault 🙂

During my month in the UK, I spent about half of it with friends – old AND new.  Friends that I’d only met via social media had helped me plan this trip – and some even opened their homes up for me.  One friend, to whom I will be forever grateful, arranged accommodation for me with friends of his, when all I had asked was a hotel recommendation.

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This trip really was a watershed moment in my life – for many, many reasons – some I’m well aware of, others I’m still discovering.

It’s surreal that this trip was 2 whole years ago.  It feels like it was just yesterday that I was:

  • climbing all over the Giant’s Causeway
  • wandering around London watching film crews filming “Skyfall”
  • accidentally (yes, accidentally) ending up at Buckingham Palace
  • racing around Dublin with an amazing friend and standing slack-jawed in front of the General Post Office (you have NO IDEA how excited I was)
  • visiting monastic ruins that are insanely old
  • I learned how to pull a pint of Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse
  • I drank my first pint of Guinness at the Guinness storehouse. (I also managed to fall off my stool.  But that’s another story).
  • vising the home of Anne Boleyn (the DOOR to the building is over 300 years old!)
  • nerding out over seeing Doctor Who/Torchwood/Gavin & Stacey sites in “real life”
  • racing through the Louvre (and laughing my head off at sassy sculptures)
  • accidentally (again, yes) ending up standing in front of Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”
  • on a desert safari in Dubai with 100 US Navy Sailors (to say that was FUN would be an understatement)

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April will forever be for me, the month I spent in the UK.  It was amazing how “at home” I felt – perhaps that’s because of how I was raised, perhaps it’s just me; so many of my friends tell me that I’m “more British than Australian” (still not sure how that works).  All I know is that I’d be back there in a heartbeat if I could be.  So until I get another chance to visit “the Motherland”, my memories will just have to keep me company.

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