As I look forward to starting Staff Work in under a week now (eek!) I was thinking about how much changed over my Relay year, particularly after my first term. How things got slightly less scary, how I started to see a few things more clearly and how I learned to love Jesus more and more. I got to be a part of some really incredible things and like the rest of life, it’s a learning curve where I grew and grew. So like before, here are some reflections from the time throughout the year.
‘I was nearly crying in the worship at the beginning – surrounded by a roomful of people who really love Jesus. People who know what it means to follow him and want to do it anyway and who just want to worship with their whole hearts. I was given another small glimpse of what it might be like in eternity and I’m really happy … “God’s primary will for your life is not the circumstances you inhabit, it’s the person you become.” … It’s such a blessing to work with these guys and be part of this massive team. I love them all. Such grace abounds.
Even if I didn’t realise it before, as she said that I think I realised that this [staff work] is what I really want to do, it just seems so scary and far off, I guess I never really admitted it as a genuine possibility before.
It was dark upstairs and on the way back down I missed the top step and then all the others after that. I go to touch my shoulder because it really hurts and it feels like it’s come apart and there’s just a big gap where my arm should be … I tried to speak Arabic … The Russian doctor comes in and asks what I do – I find it hard enough to explain at the best of times, let alone now! … This is it, this is what I’ve been afraid of, here goes. He looks me straight in the eye and says “just close your eyes and think of Jesus.”‘
‘Just as I thought this term was so chill compared to last and Relay was getting easier, I fall down the stairs and get smacked in the face with a load of idols.
After about two hours of or so of some really good time with God, I’ve realised a few things: Firstly and most importantly, I’ve realised that Jesus really is enough … I’ve also had a brand new realisation of grace which is really great. Realisation of how silly I’ve been at times … Not many people can say they’re buzzing off Lamentations but I’m practically skipping all the way, I can’t stop smiling and I’m still praying praise as I go.
This is so cool! After years of praying, I’m so happy! Keeping praying for continued fruit.
This week, my arms feels like it’s been ripped off and stuck back on with lego.
This really is full on fresher set up; small strip of floor in long narrow room with walls covered in photo collages, grim kitchen with piles of washing up, random TV, broken phone, remnants of alcohol, Cards against Humanity, everything screaming fresher. I’m not sure if I actually feel like a fresher again or completely out of place and I’m not sure how I feel about it.
“Failure is finding success in the wrong things.”
We were driving along singing the Greatest Showman as loud as possible so that we were singing along as loud as we could and still couldn’t hear ourselves and our little friend banging along on her little xylophone. I think this is what Heaven might be like, at least, I hope it is. Complete pure joy without a care for anything else but this moment.
At the end, I turned to her and said, “what did you think of that?” She just said, “I’m convinced.” She paused and said, “I was sceptical before, but now I’m convinced.” I hardly knew what to say, I was so taken aback! … Shortly after, I just did it, I asked her if she wanted to follow Jesus and she said yes!
By the end of the evening he took an Uncover John with a keen interest to read it (after talking deep chats about the resurrection) and took an interest in their Connect groups (weekly Bible study) and was connected to CU members all because he was in the right place at the right time in the lobby! And I was going to leave my post welcoming because I thought it was pointless. He didn’t even know what STORY was a few hours ago!
I’m on such a Jesus high right now! God is doing such wonderful things here in Swansea right now, he really is saving! I can’t stop smiling.
Someone gave their life to the Lord on Tuesday night and came back the next day saying he had just had such a great day and was really happy. Someone else who has been going through a really tough time and was in a low place saying this was the hope she needed. Still someone else, a strong atheist, took an Uncover and read the whole thing cover to cover and came back the next day with notes on every page .. I’m going home pretty tired now but buzzing to do it all again soon!’
‘But we’re having fun, without really a care for anyone watching, we’re really just messing around. But I’m a strong believer that actually mission should be fun and I hope we can show people that tonight if nothing else, even if we really have no idea what we’re doing. Because who really does anyway?
It turns out, it wasn’t just funny and ridiculous, it was wildly inappropriate … To be honest, I think as Christians, we often take ourselves too seriously, well we certainly didn’t tonight.
Alarm set for 6.30 this morning to be in the marquee at 7.30 and what a joy! So many students here for optional worship before prayer to dedicate the week to the Lord … over 100 people here! People say they want to follow Jesus! PTL! … People are becoming Christians at every event! I can hardly believe it!
Off to Oxford for my STAFF WORKER INTERVIEW! Scary times but I GOT THE JOB! Again, can’t believe it, then back to STORY and set down until 1.30am. BUZZING.
Overwhelmed by the week, not a day went past where someone didn’t become a Christian. Worked 97 hours this week but so worth it.’
I have been so so blessed this year in what I have seen and been a part of. Things often seem scary at first and it can be easy to forget the good gifts we have been given. But, as I recently read in 1 Samuel, “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the LORD has helped us.'” While change is often scary, it’s important to remember, ‘thus far the LORD has helped us’ and why should this be any different? And as I wrote back in January after a conversation with some very wise friends, ‘They make me feel like, with God’s help, I might actually be able to do Staff.’ Here I raise my Ebenezer, hithered by thy help I’ve come, And I hope, by thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.* 🙂
*Song: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing