Wednesday, November 16, 2011

16th November

Well today I had a good sit down. And that’s really all I’ve done, apart from a couple of very short walks around the campsite, just stretching my legs and servicing the water tanks. But I am enjoying a nice Tikka Masala, totally organic and vegetarian as well! So now I’m feeling quite proud of my cooking abilities… I fried mushrooms and a pepper whilst simply throwing a sliced leek in with the rice as it boiled away. The cheat was the ready-made sauce, but it’s so good my home-made version just doesn’t compare. In my eyes, considering my starting point of complete ineptitude a couple of years ago, it’s as though I’ve climbed Mt Everest. Not just cooking the curry, that was actually very easy, but cooking any edible meal is a major achievement for me. And the nervousness, bordering on ‘fear’, of doing anything in the kitchen has well and truly been consigned to history. Can’t say the same yet about the washing up…

Sometimes I just have to switch off from everything. The thought of any pressure, even perceived from probably non-existent ‘expectations’ that others could have, is just too much. As is the list of jobs to be tackled around my home. So putting myself into almost complete isolation, by travelling, is beneficial and very helpful in getting my head straight. Anyway today I needed to crash out and that’s exactly what I’ve done. Maybe tomorrow I can pick up my activity a little, I can see the Malvern Hills from my campsite and tomorrow morning looks sunny enough to tempt me away from my heating. And I’ve brought my old guitar as well as my art materials so I could really get creative… or not, let’s take one step at a time. I’ve found living without the pressure of conforming to a plan, at least during this difficult season of life, to be the best way to get through each day. As much as I can I basically do whatever I want, whenever I want. I’m privileged to be able to do that, not being tied down by any responsibilities such as a job or even voluntary work. I can’t live like this forever though; it has to be just for a season.

I find giving myself attention really difficult, I almost feel guilty. Even writing this blog, which is basically focussed totally upon me, feels almost obsessively self-centred at times. Sharing the minutiae of my everyday life, whilst being a necessary reflection of the day’s journey, sometimes is a bit weird… who on earth would be interested in what I had for tea? But I do find it helpful to write myself into a place of understanding where I’m at, and how I’m coping with this journey through grief. I suppose I could have written a personal and private journal, but I’m not sure if I would have the self-discipline to maintain it every day. So let’s go public, and, who knows, there may be others who need to know that they’re not alone in suffering the loss of a loved one.

Despite the pain of loss I do want to confess as loudly as I can… when we walk with Jesus Christ the fear of death is totally broken. And despite my lack of training, I was able to successfully care for my wife through that most challenging of ordeals, providing palliative care in the home, and it was only through God’s strength that I could do this. I miss my wife massively, but I have absolutely no doubts about God’s hand of favour upon my life. More than that I believe he could have healed her, but in his wonderful wisdom he chose not to. I don’t understand that, but I do accept it as being ultimately for good. And now I live with hope; hope of a changed future, walking in a different way, with new relationships and with new purpose. I’m certainly looking forward to all that the Lord sets before me!

Hebrews 13:5 ’I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ (NLT)

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