23rd April – Petria
In early March I went to Sydney with three friends from Port Pirie for a girls trip and also to go to the Hillsong conference. All three of us have varying viewpoints on a number of issues and different takes on Christianity too, but we are great friends and couldn’t wait for a girls trip together away from our small children for a weekend!
As expected, I found it hard to handle the Hillsong style conference and worship- bright lights, seating sections that were just packed full, falling confetti balloons, crazy visual effects. But now, over a month later, I’m looking back on some of the sessions that I did go to (before I wandered Sydney instead) with some positivity and renewal where initially I just saw frustration and difference.
Renewal can come from anything… even a conference, that isn’t my style. Ann Voskamp was one of the speakers and I was interested to hear from her after reading about her advocacy for refugees. I wrote some notes from her talk and then later I went for a walk to buy a journal. I took her advice and wrote down three things I was grateful for and three things that I’d given that day.
Although I’ve been slack, I have done it a few times and thought about it many more times. With the uncertainty and change in our lives since that time in early March- I’m grateful for so many different things. I’ve been able to give so much more in the last month through less commitments, more time and energy. Personally, I’ve fond the social isolation pretty tough as I love socialising. I’m always out and busy… but then I wasn’t. I started wondering about our neighbours, how I could give to them and through that I’ve got four new connections who have brought our whole family lots of joy over the past few weeks.
Attempting to reflect on where I am in my relationship with Jesus each day, through the journal, thinking about what I’m grateful for and just having faith and trust has renewed me, one day at a time.
“If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me” (Matthew 10:39, The Message)
I hope that over the coming weeks I can keep looking to Jesus and find peace in the isolation.