Welcome to the Patchwork Blog! I hope you enjoy reading my random thoughts about life, Jesus and the freedom he offers.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Home is where the heart is

"Front door",
I painted this from a friend's photo
One of my dreams for a long time has been for a home of my own. I have lived in tied accommodation for 15 years now. Fifteen years of knowing that where I live is directly provided by my employer. The last two years have been the most difficult of those because I have been working directly out of my flat. I am currently the manager of a block of retirement flats. All the office stuff is in my living room and I work out of that living room. I am on-duty or on-call all the time I am at home. I can only be fully off-duty when I am away from my home. 

My longing for a 'real' home has been so strong that it is almost a pain. I long for a place that I can decorate how I want.  A place that doesn't have 25-30 year old carpets of dodgy colours and/or patterns. A place that I can put whatever colour I like onto the walls - even black if I so choose (I wouldn't actually!). 

But what is behind this longing? Is the colour of the walls and carpet really so important or is there something else going on. I have realised for a long time that I want a place of my own because I want to feel secure. I want a place where I am be myself with no fear of judgement or ridicule. The colour of the walls in one sense is immaterial. 

Over the last 20 months since I came back to God my faith is growing stronger all the time. My relationship with Father God is deepening all the time. I have been learning to go to Him for my emotional needs not just other people (or worse keeping the pain locked in or eating it away). I have been learning to lean on Him. 

The other day I was sitting on a bench at Seaford beach overlooking the sea. It was beautiful. I realised something in that moment. I realised that God is now my home. My security is in God more than it has been before. A home of my own is no longer as much of a need as it was. It is something I would love to have one day but it is not a need for security anymore. God fulfills that need now. My heart didn't really have a home before but now my heart's home is in Father God not in a dream of bricks and mortar. 

I am in a time of turmoil at the moment. I have handed in my notice at my job managing the retirement flats. Not only have I found it really hard living-in but it is also incredibly quiet here and I spend large amounts of time alone doing nothing in particular (although it did give me the time to write my book). In the end the boredom and isolation finally got to me and I gave my 2 months notice 4 weeks ago. 

This rather wonky looking house is the view from my
sister's villa in Spain. (someone needs to teach me about
perspectives in painting!!)
This means that in 4 weeks time not only will I have no job but I will have no home either. I have friends who have generously said I can have a bed for a while until I get settled so I won't be on the streets. I am applying to care agencies (something I have done before) to get  work as a home carer which would give me an income. I have had days when I am wobbling emotionally and feeling anxious but I am surprised how 'together' I am most of the time. It is testament to how much God is changing me. He is now where my heart is and so He is my home. I can relax and know that God is in charge of it all! The amazing thing is that God is far more stable than any building I could live in. He is always there and will never let me down. Allow God to give your heart a home. 

Don Francisco has written a lovely song called  'Give your heart a home' . It's one of my favourites of his. The link will take you to Don's website where you can not only listen to it in full but also download it for free if you like. The chorus has lovely words...

"If you're tired and weary, weak and heavy laden

I can understand how it feels to be aloneI will take your burden, if you'll let Me love you,Wrap My arms around you, Give your heart a home"

Sunday, 19 August 2012

On the winning side

My last two posts, Spiritual Battles and seeking the healer not the healing  have been about my being set free from my compulsive overeating. I am so pleased with the way this is going. The worst that has happened with my eating is making unwise choices when I am hungry. When I am  no longer hungry I stop eating even if it is chocolate. I am learning more to encourage myself in the Lord as King David of Israel did thousands of years ago. It is working.  I am still learning and only just beginning but I know now I am on the winning side!

Tonight I am feeling anxious about something. So I decided to sit down with a tin of biscuits to finish off my evening meal. Like a sort of test to see what would happen. Would I go back to overeating? The worst I could do was one bourbon and one custard cream. Given how much I used to put away this is NOTHING! I looked at the tin after my 2 biscuit pudding and didn't want any more. I put the tin back in the kitchen. Yesterday I was at a party, with a buffet. I only went up once. And yes I ate more than I would ordinarily but that is normal behaviour for anyone at a party. I am so pleased. It is about 4 or 5 months later and  I am slowly losing weight (very slowly) without trying. I feel almost normal around food! It feels like a miracle!

"Journey Home" painted by me on 5th August 2012
I feel like I am on the last leg of my journey home from the difficult time of being held captive by compulsive overeating. It feels wonderful, and exhilarating. Just to think that this time two years ago I was still locked into the pain and desolation of no longer believing in the existence of God. I have come so far in two years. God is faithful and loving. He is kind.

It's all part of my learning to allow God to be to me all that I long for. Home is a huge part of my desires. More on the idea journeying home on the next blog post.