Tag Archives: God

Broken is not a way of life…It is a stage in the cycle!

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Today I am catching up on a none Kenya related post (maybe I should start a 2nd blog for this type of post) but I need to write this as its kind of cool, heartfelt and has been waiting to be typed up for a while. When I say a while….I wrote it on Tuesday 17th April so things have changed….

Today at Church (yes church on a Tuesday…crazy huh?) we were talking about the cycle of multiplication and how there are 4 major stages you go through in the cycle…

  • Being ‘taken’ by God – wanting to go deeper in your relationship with Him, giving everything over to Him.
  • Being blessed by God – This one is kind of obvious.
  • Being Broken by God – yep, this is what you are thinking, going through HARD times, breaking down the bad things, breaking off the negatives.
  • Finally, distribution – this is like evangelism almost, using what God has done in your life to improve not only your life but hopefully the lives of those around you.

If you are a none Christian reading this, which I know many of you are, then you may not think these stages apply to your life. You would be partly correct… but please read one!

If you have given your life to God then I know you, just like me are sitting in AT LEAST one of these stages. Have a think; you may be surprised as to where you do fall.

I gave my heart to God almost 3 years ago after a REALLY broken past (at the time I didn’t realise quite how broken, it is only looking back I can see it) and a pretty serious life event which I won’t go into. It was the best thing I have ever done.

I have been round this cycle a few times, giving my all to God, being blessed, broken and then using the lessons learned to help others.

I am currently sat in the very much broken camp. I was blessed in a few ways and now have a pretty huge hunk of breakdown happening. And weirdly, it doesn’t scare me. It did, believe me it did. No one wants to feel like their life is falling apart around them, and boy do I know how that feels (and no I am not being over dramatic….I have been there!) But despite the fact that someone I care about is currently in hospital not doing so well and on & off suicide watch, my job doesn’t challenge me any more, I don’t really have any money to enjoy the amazing city I live in, my best friends are HUNDREDS of miles away, my current living situation will be over in July and I am still trying to battle with some deep-rooted personal issues (wow that is a LONG list) I know this period is something that will set me up for something amazing. I am being moulded for greatness, and that can ONLY be a good thing.

Yes…I want to shout at God sometimes, more than sometimes to be honest. When I get a message that James has got worse not better, when my job makes me want to scream, when I see bad things happen to good people…I often get cross with Him. But I think this is healthy. Find me a HAPPY relationship that has been going for 2 years or more that has NEVER had an argument and I will give you a million pounds. I gave this advice to a friend of mine, get emotional with God, cry out to him, be cross, God will probably go…GOOD, I am pleased you are getting emotional at me, it shows you care!!! And guess what…she got cross, and God answered her!!

For anyone who is struggling with the concept of God…and I have done in the past. Being broken hurts like HECK, sometimes it is hard to see how there can be a God if this is happening to you. I get that. No, really I do. But try handing that pain back to God. Say a prayer. Yep, you may feel stupid, that is normal but you will see (it may take time….a long time sometimes, which is often disheartening) that you come out of the other side, stronger, more faithful, more equipped for life and definitely more blessed.

Thanks for reading, I hope this has had some effect on your way of thinking today, feel free to ask me questions on it and I will answer.

Gemma
xx

Now…I wrote this a month ago almost – things have changed a little since then. I was 100% broken, not handling the whole James thing very well, not handling my job at all and really wanting to quit, feeling very lonely in London… Since then I have quit my job (a HUGE faith step) AND dealt with the James situation quite well to the point that I feel at peace with it all. I definitely feel like I am moving out of the broken camp and into the next stage. This has come through some serious prayer and being surrounded by some amazing people who all know who they are. I want to thank you all for being there in ways that some of you don’t even realise and as I continue on this next step I continue to pray that you all remain in my life. #Iamthankful

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Clarification

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This week I have had a bit of backlash over my trip.  So much so that I am writing this entry with tears running down my face. So I am sorry if this is poorly written.

Tonight, I have been told that what I am doing is a huge waste of money and that I obviously just want a free trip to Kenya paid for by other people.  This all came out of an innocent tweet to the guys of  the #rugbyunited community wondering if anyone could donate prizes to the raffle.

I am happy to take on board people’s opinions and yes, there are people to help closer to home and yes it is costing a reasonable amount of money to get out there.  But what is it to them how I spend my own money and if people want to donate, (a number of people do and have, for which I am very, very thankful. full on thank you post coming soon) then great!

You all know that this whole trip has come from a belief in God and a word I received back near Easter.  This isn’t a ‘oooooooooooh I fancy going to Africa, how can I get people to pay for me to go’ kind of thing.  No, this is something I have had on my heart for a while and want to do something about.  If I had no ties in the UK I would quit my job and go out there for an extended period to help as much as I can, even establish my own charity or look into ways of aiding others.  These are both things I want to do in the future and yes, this trip may indeed help that but my primary reason for going is to fulfil something God placed on my heart.

It’s strange because just this evening I was discussing with my Church the idea of being judged and persecuted for your faith.  Now, I don’t mean persecution in the ways of old where you are fed to the lions.  I mean suffering for your faith in a modern way.  Being bullied at school or work for being a Christian, not getting a job because you refuse to work Sunday’s, being left out by your friends because they are doing something you don’t agree with through faith.  During the discussion I could honestly say that I hadn’t found this so  far on my faith journey.  Today I fear that changed.  I feel like anything I say to this person is going to be shot down, I have been told that my Christian attitude is terrible and all I am doing is ‘helping my own soul’.  I have never ever been judged in the way this person judged me today.  To be told they hope I do not need the NHS any time soon is just disgusting, almost hinting at meaning the opposite of what he stated.  I haven’t publicised what has happened in my private life recently but what I will say is I have never been more thankful for the work of the NHS and other emergency services.

So, to clarify and put to rest any doubts that any of you may have… I am not going to Kenya to swan around and maybe do a day in an orphanage to make me feel better.  I am also not doing this to “cleanse my soul” so to speak or even at the detriment of a UK-based charity.  In fact, the only reason I have gone public with this whole trip isn’t to say ‘look at me look how amazing I am’  goodness knows I wouldn’t do that! (why would I need to, I am awesome enough already 😉 ) I wet public to see if I could raise some funds to help me get out there to make a difference to these kids lives.  I do it at home for Kids Church, why not for others?!  I am loving the support that I have got so far.  People are amazing.  Your kind contributions will not only be making an immediate difference to me getting there, they will also help provide much-needed equipment for the kids and care workers alike!

Long overdue!!!

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I genuinly don’t know where to start with this post! It is beyond overdue and I have written draft after draft only to delete and start again!

I have so so so many updates for you all so this MAY be a super duper long post! SORRY!!

The major one is obviously Kenya related….I am all booked onto a flight, have paid all my money to the guys from @TravellersWW who are making it all happen and have started to have my vaccinations!!! Only 2 things left to do….get insurance and RAISE SOME MONEY!!! Oh and send off my CRB forms but that’s a whole different story!

I want to take a few seconds to thank a few amazing people who have already gone above & beyond for me!  Obviously my mummy (yes, I occasionally still call her mummy) who has purchased my flights & insurance as a 25th birthday present, My wonderful friends Sarah Stainthorpe, Emma Warnes & Leanne Iles who have already popped money into the fund.  Sophie Child who has given me idea after idea & been there to keep me going through 3 weeks of fasting! And finally, the guys on twitter who are sharing this blog – @trevorlarge (#Rugbyunited’s founder & all round good guy) @danieljlist (tech savy helper-outer) @swagsy14 (writer of a seriously heartfelt blog) and last but by no means least @chefmarkpeters who has not only spread the love but has donated an exceptional prize for the soon to come auction/raffle.  You guys are amazing and genuinely want to let you know how much your support means to me!

Ok, moving on from the words of thanks…I think I need to share with you some of the reasons that this post has been SO delayed….I meant to do this AGES ago!

Last weekend, I escaped the hustle & bustle of London Living and headed to the Surrey countryside for a church retreat.  Yes, that’s right I am a practising unashamed Christian.  In fact, not just a Christian, a kids church leader.  I am really active in my faith and fully believe in the power of God to make a difference in a situation.  (This is the bit some of you may want to skim read)  Earlier in 2011, at a church conference, I felt God put Africa as a nation into my spirit, it is somewhere I would either end up or end up having a strong connection to.  This just confirmed my own idea that I should be aiming to get involved in charity work and since then I have been applying (unsuccessfully) for events jobs in charities.  I now really feel that this trip is a God thing.  Firstly, without the movement of a ‘higher power’ I would never have the time off work to go out there. Secondly, dates etc have just fallen so perfectly and 3rd and what I feel is the most important, I have taken a HUGE faith step for this trip.  I did not have the funds in my account yesterday when I hit that pay now button!!!  Over last weekend, through some serious prayer & after a couple of very similar prophetic words, I know that God will provide! I have faith in His power and nothing can shake that.

Ok, I think we need some info on EXACTLY what I will be doing out in Kenya.  I got all the forms through from Travellers last week which has all the info on where I will be & what I will be doing which is crazy exciting!!!

I will be based in Diani as you all know, working in the Born Again Orphanage & Peace Village.  Now I have searched & searched online and come up with very little in the way of info but the support pack I have been sent offers this:

In the orphanages we work in, the children are from as young as 2 through to 18 year olds.  

The work we do in Kenya enables you to care for and teach the children. The orphanages we work with are very poor, which is why they are so grateful for help from our volunteers!
The main objective of these projects is to improve the lives of these children in any way possible.

By the sounds of things these kids just need a bit of love & someone who has time to play games etc with them as the staff are all so busy with the day to day running of the place!!  I am so excited about getting out there & being able to give something back to the world.  I am so so blessed with a roof over my head, parents & family who love me, an amazing bunch of friends and a job that pays the bills.  These kids have nothing and it is through no fault of their own.

Back to the fundraising bit

On 01/02/12 I set up an IndieGoGo page to help me raise some money.  Within 7 hours, I had raised $100, right now the total stands at $220, that is 31% of my $700 target which is crazy!!! Obviously I am not there yet but this is just proof (to me anyway) of the power of God to move in my life!!!  If any of you fancy visiting my wonderful campaign please do – http://www.indiegogo.com/Kenyan-Care-Adventure?a=407801

Pub quiz update is to come soon, I am looking at a venue this weekend and am hoping to hold it on teh week of 13th or 20th February in a central London kind of area!

I need your thoughts on the raffle/auction issue – I have one amazing prize donated by Mr Mark Peters who has offered to cook for the winner at their own home, the only thing you would have to do is supply ingredients!  If no-one wants it, I may just get him to cook for me!!! Check out his website for pics….mmmmmmmm.  I am also looking into a possible meet & greet with the quins team after a home game, I have to sweet talk someone but hoping for it to come good.  There is also the possibility of a night at a 5* hotel being donated as well.  Would you guys bid on these things or would raffle tickets be a better option?! – thoughts in the comments section!!!

Ok, that is DEFINITELY enough info for today! I have so much more to tell you all but I don’t want to bore you (and its gone 1am)

Love to you all and if you love this….share it!!!!

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Those of you who follow me on twitter (@gemma_fox) will be more than aware of my recent drama filled rollercoaster of a life.  There are housing issues, job complaints and to top it off, man confusions.  The combination of these 3 things has led to some serious tears and childish strops.  The most recent of these occurred today…well by the time I have published this, yesterday, and was the main reason I started writing this blog.

Now, so as not to make anyone reading this stop straight away I am not going to delve too far into the details as they are not necessarily essential to the basis of this post.  The reason for the most recent outburst is an email, or should I say lack of email from the man.  He is currently in Africa on a 3 month volunteering scheme (which in itself is a totally different and drama filled story I am certain none of you would want to read).  Now, it has been 2 weeks since he left and I am yet to receive an update…I put this down to lack of internet in the Kenyan wilderness he is apparently inhabiting at present.  Imagine how I felt seeing a facebook update, and not an exciting one, a profile picture change!

After about 20 minutes of tears and general grump, I remembered something James had told me to take a look at before he left.  It is the poem I am about to share with you, the poem which he loves so much he is having an abridged version tattooed onto his back, the poem which having never read before I instantly also fell in love with.  Re-reading it again today instantly instilled a sense of calm and made me re-evaluate the whole ‘facebook update’ issue, so I felt the urge to share it.

Desiderata – Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence. 

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit. 

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass. 

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. 

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labours and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy
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Having done a little research in order to make this post worth reading, I have discovered that there appears to be a great debate as to whether Desiderata has religious connotations.  As a Christian, I can happily say that the words do help to highlight my faith, sections such as:

“You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

Simply remind me that God created me, he has a path for me even if I cannot see it as yet.   The ‘things to be desired’ (literal meaning of the Latin Desiderata) outlined here are just ‘fluffy’ versions of lessons laid down in biblical texts, Proverbs for example.  I am not saying it IS a religious read, far from it, James is not religious, in fact he has admitted to me that he struggles with the concept of a deity that can ‘allow’ bad things to happen to good people (let’s not get started on that here), and he likes this text so much he wants it to be etched onto his skin!

Whatever your opinion on the texts undertones I hope that it inspires something in you as it did in me.  Without James pointing me towards this, you would not be sat reading this post.

Inspiring words…