Friday, January 06, 2012

6th January

So then today I’ve been thinking about my identity again. Who am I? I married Jane in 1973 and today I really can’t imagine what it was like to be 21. That person is not who I am anymore. And it’s not just youth, the years of living as a husband and father have changed me completely. As has my faith journey as a Christian, yes despite my teenage years as a committed church-goer I most certainly was not living as I should have been in many ways. But then again I’m still on a journey seeking to sort myself out and learn how to live a life that pleases God. But I like to think I’m a bit further down the road. Two things haven’t changed though, I loved Jane… and also my guitar, don’t say it, of course it was in that order!

And this was one of the last photos taken whilst Jane was with me. Ok, the hair’s gone and I’m now wearing a hoody rather than my wedding suit, which came with serious flares and platform shoes; but the man inside what about him? If the two me’s from my past could ever meet they’d have almost nothing in common… just Jane and the guitar. A bit like an alien encounter. In 1973 my love for Jane was a very selfish love and my pursuit of God and Godliness non-existent. I lived an outwardly moral life, loosely based upon Christian principles for sure, but my understanding of God was arrogantly self-determined with little regard for what he had to say about himself. Any self-discipline and restraint was ignored when I really wanted to do something. The Lord was gracious though, as always, and when I was ready he revealed himself to me; and then he showed me how to truly love my wife. In 2010 my sole focus was in caring for Jane whilst fervently seeking God for his favour. With every ounce of effort I could muster, I laid my life down to care for Jane and sought to give her the best possible life at that most impossible of times. Absolutely everything she requested or even slightly fancied I made every effort to provide. And I actually enjoyed the light relief of searching for a shop that sold trifle late in the evening and when she asked for chocolates Thornton’s happily sold me their biggest box at a discount for some reason. When she died I was wrecked as a person. She was my everything. I was devoted to her and only her since the day we’d met… ok, I still have my guitar but that means absolutely nothing without Jane to sing with me.

Well this is a slightly strange snap I’ve just taken… c’mon it’s not that easy lining up my tripod and a self-timer! So how am I doing in 2012? Of course the hair’s coming on nicely though I can’t say if it’ll be permanent. Jane always cut my hair and the last time was a few weeks before she died. She was on oxygen so needed to sit on a chair whilst I sat on the floor, but as always she just wanted to live as normally as possible. And often when I get my guitar out I just start to cry as I remember the daily routine of Jane and me singing to the Lord as part of our devotions. In her final couple of years she started to learn how to play the tin whistle which was great fun. But just as often when I play, I lose myself in worship as the presence of God falls upon my home, as he has so many times over the years. I love God with every part of my being, he is everything to me. Without him my life would remain a wreck, with no real substance for hope to work on. With him I know that my future is totally secure, and actually both today and tomorrow things will work out just fine as well. I may get sad rather too often but I’ve not forgotten how to enjoy life. My kids and grandkids have lost their mum and nana; they don’t deserve to lose me. So the guy from 2010? I’m trying hard to step out of his shoes and embrace the new me. I’m now a widowed single looking for new life, seeking to dream some dreams and do some good. I’m also a free agent with little to tie me down, the world is my oyster… apart from a little work as dad’s taxi last week and maybe child-minding tomorrow. Ah well, I wonder if I could ever play in a band again... just a little problem with M.E. to give the boot now.

Romans 8:39 ‘nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God’ (NLT)

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