It’s been a while since I wrote on here. I understand that some people have asked where I am, why I’ve not been writing. Some have said they’ve missed reading the posts. It’s nice that they’ve been missed! This will be the first of two that I write in the next day or so. This one will explain, to some degree, the silence.
If you’ve followed previous posts, you will know that my situation at home changed dramatically last July. Fast forward to January of this year, and I found myself exhausted spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. Don’t get me wrong, I had been giving and continuing to help others (including my boys at home) as Jesus has called me to. So many questions arose. I know how people can think. I’ve been around religious people long enough to know. And sometimes we take on the burdens and the questions that arise from how we think others might perceive us and our situation. I had questioned the validity of what I do because my wife had left. Even who I am! In all of this I forgot someone really important who also needed help. Me!
Jump to March, and I managed to book a couple of nights away for myself. I called it a retreat, but it was a retreat as I felt I was led to take. I had a number of suggestions of places to visit where I could undertake a spiritual retreat. I chose where I was led to. A hotel in Bournemouth, just a short walk from the beach!
I was due to leave to drive down on a Friday and come back Sunday late afternoon. And so the evening before I left, I spent some time thinking about what I would need. There wasn’t a lot! One of the things I thought I would do was download a couple of movies or series from Netflix to a tablet I have. I downloaded a couple of movies, and then I was drawn to a series called After Life with Ricky Gervais. I’d seen trailers for it, but I really felt like I should download and watch it.
Anyway, Friday I made my way down to Bournemouth, checked in to the hotel, got in the room and promptly fell asleep for about an hour and a half. Good start! I had no plan of what to do when. It was simply go with what I felt at the time. I decided early evening that I’d walk down the seafront to Bournemouth town centre, have something to eat and walk back. That was also successful.
When I got back to the room, I thought I’d watch a movie, so I did. Then I felt like I should start the series After Life.
It became pretty clear that it was going to be full of language and some content that, whilst I spend a lot of time with people on the streets of Aldershot with multi-coloured language and hear all sorts of conversations that I wouldn’t dream of engaging with, I wouldn’t watch a program or continue to watch a program where the language is really colourful and the content isn’t something that does me good.
But….. I couldn’t stop watching. There was such a strong feeling that I had to see it through. I had downloaded the first 3 episodes, and there were 3 to download depending how I got on. I watched the first 3. Behind the dark humour was a profound look at humanity. Brokenness. Desperation. It was funny, I often laughed out loud! But the humour added to the realness (I know that’s not a proper word) that this was showing me. I downloaded the next 3 episodes.
It’s here that I must write a disclaimer. I am not in any way recommending you watch the series. I am not saying if you do it will change your life or open up a deep, spiritual experience for you. I realize now that this wasn’t a choice for me. It was a leading. By all means watch it if you want to, but don’t pin it on me if it’s not for you! 🙂
After watching the first 3 episodes I went to sleep. I woke in the morning (always a plus), showered, went for breakfast. I thought I’d go walking on the beach after I was completely ready. I got back to the room to clean my teeth etc, and then it was like, “No just rest.” So I lay on the bed, and began to watch the next 3 episodes.
By the end of the 6th episode, I was completely unlocked! I began to cry, not just a few tears rolling down the cheek like sometimes happens when I show emotion like that, but a proper sobbing from the belly type thing. And it was like that for about an hour and a half. I even had to lean out the window for air at one point!
And then as suddenly as it started, it stopped, and the presence of Peace himself surrounded me, filled me, and comforted me. And he began to show me things. Things that explained the season I had been in. How the time from October to March was absolutely necessary and unavoidable, and that it was OK.
He answered so many things I had been wrestling with. Things I was feeling and thinking over. And in an instant there was just Peace. They were settled. I made some personal responses, and felt completely peaceful about them. I know some people might question them. But I am at peace and to be honest, I really don’t care!
Now you may want to know what all those things were. Well, they were for me to know and you not to! They were between the Father and I. I have told a few people as I’ve been led to, but it’s not for public knowledge.
All I will say is this. Whatever season you may be in, there comes a moment when he will (if you will allow him to) draw you away to say, “Hey, let’s hang out for a while. I’ve got some stuff to show you.” And don’t be surprised at what he will use to show you. He is not limited in any way, and neither are his ways. He’s not so pompous and stuck up that he won’t use a TV show full of multi-coloured language and gritty content to unlock you, break you open and soften your heart to be ready for him.
The funny thing was that so many things happened the following week where people were drawn, asking me to speak about “God”, or opening up about the hurt and pain in their lives. I love how he confirms to us that, despite the difficulties still being around us, everything is OK and he knows what he’s doing. That has been my go to for over two years now, since this situation first started. “Do you trust me? (Me: Yes.) Everything will be OK.”
The last few days I’ve been listening to a song that came spontaneously some time back, that we ended up recording. It’s good to remember that, no matter how dark it appears to get, the Light shines and the darkness has not, will not, and cannot overcome him! Here’s the link!
Eat the Living Bread, drink the Living Water.