I've been thinking about this last year and how God has transformed me. If I had the chance to re start 2013 without all this rubbish stuff, would I do it. Would I pay the price? Would I sacrifice my relationship with the God of the Bible? No. The work that God has done in my life is more precious than silver, gold, or any earthly treasures this world has to offer. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true. Once you know Jesus, everything changes.
But it has been a great source of frustration in the process. I was sure that God had been building me up for something, giving me invaluable tools to serve in His Kingdom, to help people, to show Gods love for people. I started to think about the story in the Bible where God has promised that Abraham will have a son called Isaac and Isaac would become a great nation. Then, God tells Abraham to go travel for three days up a mountain and kill his beloved son! Abraham doesn't even question God, nor does he explain his thoughts and feelings. At the very last moment, God speaks to Abraham and tells Him not to harm the child. But then, what was the point in that? There are many reasons, but there is one has struck a nerve with me. God already knew the outcome of the situation. Was it Abraham, Isaac's, or both their faiths that were being tested? I think it shows to Isaac the extent of trust and faith that Abraham has for God. It shows that strength of the link between God and Abraham; you can't piggyback on someone else faith. Abraham knew that even if he did have to plunged the knife into his heart; somehow, God would make it alright. I feel like I'm on that three day journey up the mountain, trusting in God's promise of salvation and knowing that He will make it all right. Another case study. John The Baptist. He spent forty years in the desert, doing goodness knows what. It was only until the very end that his ministry exploded with the fire of the Holy Spirit; I guess he also must have felt quite frustrated. How peculiar, that God should choose this path.
But then came the clincher. It occurred to me that when Jesus was born, He would of spent the first thirty of years of his life learning to be, well, human. His mission only lasted three years. He must have been so frustrated! I bet He must of though that there was so much more he could do if He had a little bit longer time on this earth. But He knew of a deeper, greater truth. He knew, that for in order for everyone in the world to meet Him, He had to leave His physical form and send the Holy Spirit to continue on the work because the Holy Spirit is not bound by time or space.
Thinking about these stories in the Bible has completely changed my perspective on my life, once again. I don't feel short changed anymore. I feel like God is telling me that we are still on mission. The mission He gave me was to live my life in a way that shows how much Jesus loves other people. Not by beating them over the head, or using scare tactics of Hell, but by offering them a free gift, no strings attached. That is my primary mission. There are so many more things I want to do for God's Kingdom, but that is not the task God has set me to do. Everything else will fall into place with or without me. Nothing is impossible with God; seriously, you cant make this stuff up.
When It became apparent that I was terminal, I told my university. If, I'm completely honest, I did feel quite short changed at the fact that I had been in the University of Leeds since 2007 and nothing to show for it. But out of know where, I get a letter saying that they have awarded me 2:1 BSc Hons in Human Life Sciences. It completely blew me away! Prior to this letter, I had just decided to let sleeping dogs lie, because, afterall, I wasn't going to be taking it with me. There was another spin off desire that I have that I thought would never come to pass, given my circumstances, and that was to give some teaching about being a medical student and having a terminal illness; from a holistic perspective - that also seems to be be falling into place without me doing anything extra. This has also had the knock on effect of significantly reducing my perceived pressure of turning this blog into a book. My task is to tell my story, God will choose how He wishes to do that; then I will get to go home.
I was thinking about Christmas time,and how I would be spending it in hospital. Apologies if I've already talked about this before; it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish between reality and dream state. But there is a melancholic beauty that surrounds this concept. Jesus was born, homeless, in a stable next to animals and their poo. He was born into a mess. But, He was born for people like us. For people who's lives are out of control and their seems that no one can save them from their pitiful squallier. For me, spending Christmas day in hospital, provided I'm not at deaths door, is a privilege; I get to share a small part of that experience with my King.
From early child, I was always mesmerised by the story of the Ugly Duckling. I always considered myself to be fat, an underachiever, and just generally disgusting. But that story gave me hope because eventually that ugly duckling became a beautiful swan. There was a point in my life, after I was recovering from the first cancer and I looked into the mirror and that story popped up into my head and I thought to myself "I've arrived". Finally, I felt acceptable, beautiful, I felt a prayer had been answered. But I look at myself now, and I seem to have reverted into an ugly duckling version of a chipmunk. But I get it now. We all start off as ugly ducklings, because of the sin and evil in the world. However, all is not lost. It is God that transforms us through this life into his beautiful swan; His beautiful bride. It is when we see Him face to face the transformation is complete. This is a little bit random, but hang in there with me. I was thinking about when Jesus says that "In my Father's House they are many rooms, I am going to prepare one for you". I can almost see Jesus in in Workman's gear painting my room and doing a bit of DIY - He was a carpenter by trade, you know.
So how do you let go of control? The key is to follow your deepest desire. Not your deep desire; but your deepest desire. Before, I thought my deepest desire was to be married and children, but there was always a tiny something in the back of my mind that wondered if that would be enough for me. I always longed to be married to have that person would cherish me, never let me go, be faithful, always love me. There is nobody who can fulfil that desire of mine apart from Jesus - He is my deepest desire, and only He can fill that space.