Droplets Of Water

By Kendall Thow

 

The battle was over.

She could hear the cheers and shouts as the warriors returned. She could feel the rumble of excitement and power under her feet. She could almost taste the sweet freedom that victory brought by the hands of the Almighty God.

Everywhere the joy, thanksgiving and elation could be seen and everyone felt it. But hers was mixed with nervousness. A good nervousness.

She could hear the chants: “Othniel! Othniel! Othniel!” The name of her betrothed.

As the battle was won she knew that she would become the wife of Othniel. As the excitement over the battle calmed, the preparations for her wedding began.

The day arrived that would take her from her father’s home to her new home. But before leaving, her father gave her her dowry: the land of the Negev. It was a fine piece of fertile land in a prime location but an arid piece of land nonetheless. She wasn’t ungrateful, she just knew she was meant for more.

When she joined her husband’s home she implored him to ask her father for more land that contained springs of water for the Negev. Some may call Aksah covetous and greedy but God made her wise and shrewd. Yet, her husband did not ask.

In her wisdom and courage, she took it upon herself to ask. In a moment of humility, she alighted from her donkey and spoke to her father’s heart. She asked him to bless her with extra land with springs of water to transform the desert into lands of life. Her father looked upon his strong and wise daughter with pride and granted her the blessing she asked for as only a good father knows the best gifts to give. With this blessing the land of the Negev became abundant with life which it could never have done on its own.

– Based on Joshua 15:16-19

The desert is a strange and wonderful place to be. Out of nothingness comes abundant life with the tiniest drop of water. The bulbs and seeds that are rooted so deeply to preserve themselves spring to life. In arid regions like the Negev seeds flower quickly to give off new seeds that can lie dormant for years awaiting the next rainfall. How much are we like these seeds?

So much of our life seems to be in the desert just waiting for the watering that will allow us to flourish.

We wait. We water. We grow. We wither. We wait.

A constant cycle of watering. But the life that comes from the desert after the waiting is so much more spectacular and beautiful and God-breathed.

The water of life can come in so many different forms. It can come as the promises of God. It can come as the kind word of a stranger. It can come as the devotion of a trusted friend.

Sometimes it’s just a sprinkle and sometimes it’s a whole flood. Each watering gives rise to a new variety of growth.

At the risk of carrying the garden theme too far, I will say that in each moment we have an incredible opportunity of pouring into each other’s lives. Each kind word, each effort to see the person in front of us, each act of love brings change to a person in a way that only you can bring. God brings the flood and eternal underlying springs of flourishing but we bring the watering can that transforms days, hours, seconds.

I have so many friends that keep finding themselves trapped in the desert. They have a spell where the desert comes alive and life feels abundant and full. The beauty outshines the dry moments. But then the dryness sets in again. Life overcomes the joy and pain takes the center stage. Instead of feeling full of life, they find themselves lying dormant – weighed down by the weight of the earth around them. They are a seed in need of a flood.

Aksah knew that without the presence of water her land would never produce fruit. But she also knew that out of the desert there would come fruit. She never wished away the land that she was given or the circumstances, she just knew that it could never be everything it was meant to be without something greater.

The world needs physical water to survive…we need water to live. Things can survive in the desert. They adapt to their environment. But, for me, I don’t want to just survive. I want to live and be everything I am meant to be. I want God to bring the floods and I want use that to tend to others who just cannot reach for life themselves.

Recently I was researching how, in a lifetime, we will meet over eighty thousand people. Eighty thousand people with their own deserts just waiting for water. Eighty thousand people that we can bring love to even if it’s just a smile. How amazing! We have the opportunity of helping to shape each one of those people’s lives even in the tiniest of ways.

Our lives are made up of encounters – encounters with God and encounters with others. We can never bring the change that only God can bring but we can certainly be the first sprinkling of water before God brings the whole bucket.

Kendall currently attends City Church West with her family. Her time is spent as a photographer for her business, Simply Green Photography, and as the administrative assistant for Integrate Scotland. She is passionate about spreading love through heartfelt open conversations, cooking and hospitality. She also loves running and spoonfuls of peanut butter.

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In God Alone

By Emma Gray

I have been taking part in a Bible study looking at the life of David in the Old Testament. Part of that has involved looking into the Psalms, many of which David wrote. Two Psalms I have enjoyed recently have been Psalm 62 and Psalm 27. In Psalm 62 verse 5, David says, “Find rest, O my soul, In God alone; my hope comes from him”

I don’t know about you, but if something is going on in my life, good or bad, I like to talk about it with my family and friends and often, ashamedly, the last person I go to is God. People can give us good advice. At times, they can also give us bad advice. But for our souls to completely find REST, we have to go to GOD ALONE. That has two facets to it:

GOD ALONE – Only God can give our souls true rest.  When we are troubled, when we are weary, when our mind goes into overdrive, God alone can give us rest. He’s always there, waiting for us, delighting in us and ready to give us shelter under the shadow of his wings (Psalm 91). God alone is there for us, understanding when no one else gets what we’re going through. God alone is there for us when we don’t understand his will. God alone is there for us when we need intensive care and our pain is so great. We may seek rest for our souls in the company of friends, in a good book, in a walk along the beach, in trashy TV, in a glass of wine, but God alone is where we will truly find that soul rest.

GOD ALONE – Meeting together as church, as small group, as a prayer triplet are all good things which Jesus modelled for us. However, Jesus also modelled for us meeting with God alone – just Jesus and his father. If we want to model Jesus in our relationships, yes we should be regularly going to church, yes we should be part of a small group, yes it’s good to have the intimacy of two or three close friends who are believers, but let us not neglect meeting with God alone. A meeting just the two of you is so, so precious. It’s where God loves on you, his precious child, teaches you, changes you to be more like him. It’s where we find rest for our souls.

Psalm 27 v 8 says, ‘My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.’ I heard someone speaking on the radio yesterday about prayer. He said he prays because he knows God answers prayer. Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with the man that God does answer prayer, is that why we pray? Often our prayers can sound like shopping lists of things we want God to do for us. We have been singing the song, “One Thirst” recently which contains the words from Psalm 27. I was challenged as I read the Psalm and sang the song. When I come to spend time with God alone, is my single wish to seek his face or seek what he can do for me? Am I seeking to know God more when I spend time with him? Is it just a tick box exercise that I have had my quiet time that day, or am I truly seeking his face? I know I don’t often get the balance right, but I know one thing for sure, his word is true. When he asks us to seek his face, he means it. When he says our souls find rest in him alone, he means it.

So, how about you spend time today with God alone? Seek his face and let him provide for you what you need – a big dose of soul rest.

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Emma Gray

I am married to Fin and we have three daughters, Ella, Daisy and Phoebe. We live in the country and love having our home filled with people. At the moment I am passionate about tea, music, running and doing the laundry! We can be found in Inverurie on a Sunday.

Breaking Down The Barriers

By Gill Elder

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a lot of my life finding it hard to let people in past all my barriers – the ones I’ve intentionally put up and also the ones that I never meant to. It’s always been easy to let people in to a point and then something happens and my instinct tells me not to let someone in any further, to let up the prickles and hide in my tortoise shell. Over the past few years – God has softened my heart and I’ve realised that this is not how it’s meant to be….

I’m not supposed to hide who I am, God never asked me to. I don’t need to tackle life on my own, God never asked me to do that either.

Exodus 17:8-13 has to be one of my most favourite passages in the Bible and I have been thinking about it a lot recently…:

“So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but
whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew
tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”

This is a really small verse in the Bible, but in my head, it just means so much and has been a massive part of my journey so far. It’s got nothing to do with the fight, but everything to do with the actions.

Sometimes I think when we read verses in the Bible, our reaction is a bit like “aww that’s nice” and
then we sort of move onto the next one, without even realising the impact of what is said – I think this verse is probably one of those verses.

Have you ever tried to hold both your hands up for a long period of time? After reading this passage, I gave it a go and to be honest, I didn’t manage to keep my hands up for very long – pretty soon in, I gave up the ghost and I decided that I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I don’t know exactly how long Moses held up his hands for, but what I am sure of is that it was a lot longer than I had managed to hold mine up for… and while he was holding his hands up to God and keeping his eyes on him, remembering that it is God who is in control, Joshua and the army were winning the battle. The most incredible part of this passage for me is where it says : “When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” When Moses’ hands get tired and he just doesn’t have the strength to hold them up on his own anymore, Aaron and Hur are there to lift them for him, to keep his eyes focused on God and not only does that help Moses, but it also helps Joshua and the army to defeat the Amalekites.

Part of me wonders – does Moses let them in to the fact that he’s tired? Is there a sign or do they just know him well enough to know?

I used to think that is was a sign of weakness to ask for help, but the more I grow – the more I realise that it’s a sign of strength. God didn’t ask us to walk on our own – he gave us people to encourage us, to love us, to share with us, to challenge us.

The more I look back at things I’ve done and the choices that I’ve made, the more I realise that when I have let people in to walk with me in things that are going on, my choices have always been better and it’s been easier to keep my hands raised towards God because someone has been helping me to see him. In those moments, I have had people who have been a constant support and encouragement to me, who have helped me to keep keep my eyes fixed on what God is doing and ultimately, to keep winning the fight. They are most definitely my Aaron and my Hur… but who are yours?

Who are the people in your life, that when things get tough, will stand beside you and hold your hands up for you? Who are the people that you can tell absolutely anything to and know that they won’t judge you but they will continue to love you and to walk with you? Who are your Aaron and Hur?

But also, if you flip reverse all that. Who are you an Aaron and Hur for? Or who can you be an Aaron and Hur for?

I recently felt like I had a word from God about running the race: I saw a race happening before my eyes and people were at the starting line cheering on the runners and then I saw people at the end waiting to cheer the runners over the finishing line, but nobody had managed to get to the end. I felt like God said that it’s not enough just to cheer people on at the start and then wait for them to get to the end. It’s about cheering them on up every hill, every valley, every moment when things feel like they’re going okay and every moment when they’re not… but for people to keep cheering us on, we need to be real with them about where we are in the race.

The comforting thing is that we weren’t created to walk this journey alone, we’re not meant to just ‘cope’ by ourselves. We’re supposed to let people in through the barriers and help us to navigate through the things that we struggle with… and when we become Aarons and Hurs for others and allow them to do the same for us, then we can all hold each other’s hands up and win.

 

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Gill is married to Ali and together they lead our Stonehaven site. They have a 5 month old little boy called Levi who is super cute! She’s desperate to see the love of God known in her community and to see people experiencing His grace and presence for the first time. She loves all things admin, reading and going for long walks as well as spending time with friends and family. She enjoys playing board and card games and is surprisingly good at them despite not always knowing what she’s doing – ligretto is hands down the firm fave!

Be Kind

By Katrine Calder

 

Last October one of my good friends committed suicide unexpectedly. She was a vet who was struggling with her mental health and had been working with Vetlife, a charity who work with vets who struggle in this area, particularly with suicidal thoughts. In response to her death an ethical clothing company Smith and Webb released a jumper with the words “Be Kind” on it. With £5 from every sale going to the Vetlife charity. It has taken until last month for me to be able to buy and wear this jumper.

This has been my first experience of grief. I have been very fortunate to not have lost any family. Still having all my grandparents. But God is good. It was a Sunday morning when I received the news and one of my immediate instincts was a desire to be in church. We didn’t go to Stonehaven but to the evening service to give me some time to get myself together. What a ridiculous thought. To feel too broken to expose yourself to your church family and a desire to hide your pain. But I wanted to be before my God who loves us, who ultimately loved my friend more than I did and who knows my pain.

The first time I wore the jumper a friend and I were getting on a plane. We were the last people on the delayed flight and my friend and the flight attendant began to have a slightly tense discussion. We were standing in the middle of the aisle with everyone looking at us. And my immediate thought was “stop this, I am wearing my ‘Be Kind’ jumper and we are creating a scene.” I tried to ease the situation, smiled lots and was kind. But it did challenge me. As Christians are we not always meant to be salt and light? But as I was physically labelled, I felt convicted. Had I not been wearing the jumper I most likely would have slid awkwardly into my seat. Then probably had a moan to my friend about the ridiculous situation. It is definitely not the best jumper to wear if you’re going to complain at a restaurant!

I have been shocked by how often I think of my friend significantly every day. But in my grief I keep giving it to Him. Keep trusting that He is in control and He is good. And it has made me aware and empathetic of those going through so much worse than this.

It is so hard in situations that we don’t understand. Why did that happen God? In a broken world how can God use this for his good? For his glory? Romans 8:28 says: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those that love him”. This was a verse I struggled with in the past. Not really believing it to be true. But a few years ago, God showed me how he absolutely can use bad situations for his glory, with even worse situations than this. God’s desire obviously was not for this to happen. I have submitted it to Him, sought Him and asked Him to use it. I think that has been key, saying “God I am broken, I don’t understand, but use this, teach me.” I have had conversations with friends about my faith. Even my ability to deal with grief “better” than friends has led them to ask ‘why?’ and given me an opportunity to point to God; to be honest about how He is healing my pain, how I trust He is in control. I trust Him with what I can’t understanding, and leave it at his feet.

Being kind is hard. When frustrated at work or in a rush or tired I find it particularly hard. I am naturally selfish. But I want to be light. I want to reflect God to those around me and it is something we can practice to get better at. I work on call as a vet and some people do phone at silly times in the night with silly questions. But I try and say to myself – be kind, they are just worried, have compassion. In little daily interactions with people at supermarket checkouts we can be kind. Ask them about their day, try to make their day better. Kindness is one of the fruits of the spirit, although for some reason I tend to think of kindness as one of the less important ones. Patience is definitely something I struggle with and desire more.  Kindness is something I have been practising.

If from all of this, through discipline and God’s grace, I can become kinder, then truly God has used this for his glory.

 

About Katrine:

Katrine and her husband Scott attend the Stonehaven site. Katrine is a vet who has specialised in orthopaedic surgery. She has a very hyper Cocker Spaniel called River. She is a foodie, something being married to a chef has cultivated. In church her passion is for the prophetic and building healthy marriages.

Finding joy in dark places

By Bex Elder

 

When I was little I always thought joy was an odd fruit of the spirit. I also thought that I could check it off the list. I didn’t need to practice it. Patience and self control could be tricky but joy was easy. It was just being happy. Right?

Wrong. I want to suggest to you the idea that joy and happiness are synonyms is a lie. To me, happiness is a temporary emotion but joy is an active choice and mindset. Let me explain how I’ve come to this conclusion…

Ever since I was little I was a super happy child – one with an infectious laugh, sunny disposition and content with the simplest of things. It was a huge part of my character. However, I had a complete personality shift at age 20 when I became very depressed and anxious. This flipped my life upside down. I didn’t enjoy anything I used to. I didn’t sleep properly. I cut myself off from my friends. I struggled to understand the most basic things (including the plot of Neighbours!). I was really a shell of my former self and got no pleasure from life.

I had been robbed of any sense of happiness but God taught me to practice joy and showed me the importance of it. My mum used to make me do something I hated. In the depths of my depression, she made me write down 3 things I was grateful for everyday. My goodness. That was a challenge. Sometimes they were the most simple things: someone making me food, having a roof over my head, having a nap. These may not sound groundbreaking but through this painful and excruciating exercise I learnt to appreciate what I had, regardless of how bad life was. From this place of gratitude, a deep joy developed because my eyes had been lifted. I was no longer looking down at my own life, but looking up at the king of kings who knows me intimately and wants a relationship with me. As much as I hated it at the time, I’m so grateful that there was someone around me to shift my gaze, speak truth and shine light into my darkness.

What a thrill! Now this didn’t cure my depression over night, I still take antidepressants to this day, but it did act as a turning point and allow me to begin to get my life back. I had a new perspective which allowed me to live beyond my human capabilities. One of the things that makes me laugh most is how often my non-Christian friends will say, “Bex, you can’t have been depressed, you’re the happiest person I know.”  This was never truer than this October when in the space of a few weeks my granny died and my dad got diagnosed with cancer. Arguably not a great month. My friends turned to me and said “how are you still smiling? How have you not fallen apart?” For me the answer was easy. It wasn’t me. It was because I had a relationship with Jesus. He was sustaining me. He was giving me a peace which passes human understanding and a joy which doesn’t make sense given the circumstances.

That’s not to say it’s been a walk in the park and every day has been easy. Every day we have a choice to make. We can choose joy, to lift our eyes and look to a God who is higher than our circumstances. That doesn’t mean there isn’t tears (ask anyone, I’m a crier), or questions or worries but it does mean that we don’t have to do this alone. In John 16:22 it says that “no one can take away our joy” and Nehemiah 8:10 says that “the joy of the Lord is our strength”. In our darkest moments we can receive joy and peace in a supernatural way which goes beyond any earthly understanding. By choosing joy, it not only changes our perspective, but allows us to bring life to areas of people’s lives which feel dead. We get to show people that regardless of what situation we find ourselves in, we can  point to a hope which is bigger than us, bigger than our circumstances, unchanging and faithful.

So if there’s one thing you take from this, I encourage you to choose joy and see how God meets you in that choice.

 

 

About Bex

Bex joined City Church when she was 9 months old and has been there ever since (bar a few years here and there). She works a translator and tutors part time. Bex is part of the GP massive and can often be found hiding at the back doing sound or pretending to be young and hanging out with the Encounter guys. Her all time best party trick is her sloth impression.

God for all Seasons

God for all Seasons

Eighteen months ago at the age of 60, I retired. Since then, life has changed so much. A new chapter has begun, and only God knows what I will be involved in, dare I say it, in my last chapter of life. In these months, I have spent time reflecting on my life so far and the privilege of knowing God who has been with me in every season of life.

I was raised in a Christian family in Wigan, England. In May 1976, I went to Edinburgh to start my nursing career. There I met and married Dave in 1978 and we began many adventures which I never could have predicted. We have three sons who soon will be 34, 32 and 30, two wonderful daughters-in-law and two grandsons aged 4 and 18 months.

In this life, there have been seasons of joy unspeakable, seasons of being so distressed that my heart nearly broke, seasons of frustration and anguish, seasons of laughter and fun, seasons of isolation, seasons of sweet, sweet fellowship, seasons of spiritual dryness and seasons of spiritual fruitfulness. All of this reminds me of the famous quote from Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”.

Through all the seasons, my God has been so faithful. At times when I didn’t feel God’s presence he was still there. He has surprised me many times with words given by others encouraging me to keep on going, or through words from a song or from scriptures. He knows me so well and knows exactly what I need and when I need it.

Recently I cared for my mother-in-law in our home until she passed away in October at age 87. Towards the end of her life I struggled with the emotion involved in and the tiredness that comes from broken nights but God was there encouraging me on. One song that I kept on singing was:

“God I look to you. I won’t be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like you do. God I look to you. You’re where my help comes from. Give me wisdom to know just what to do. I will love you Lord my strength, I will love you Lord my shield, I will love you Lord my rock, Forever all my days I will love you God.”

Dave and I take great comfort from the fact that Louise in her last few months rekindled her childhood desire for God. We discovered there were many seasons in her life that we had no knowledge of and it made me want to write down some of our family stories so that these seasons could be remembered and recorded for generations to come.

My God is the God for all seasons. Some of life’s seasons can be difficult to understand or even to find any sense in them. I recently came across a quote from Maria von Trapp upon whose life story the Sound of Music was based. She describes the seasons of our life as threads through a tapestry:

“It will be very interesting one day to follow the pattern of our life as it is spread out like a beautiful tapestry. As long as we live here we see only the reverse side of the weaving, and very often the pattern, with its threads running wildly, doesn’t seem to make sense. Someday, however, we shall understand. In looking back over the years we can discover how a red thread goes through the pattern of our life: the Will of God.” ― Maria Augusta von Trapp

What season are you in just now? Our God is a God for all seasons. One thing I am sure of is that He is with me for the whole journey whatever the season. Deuteronomy 31: 8 says, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged”

 

By Sylvia Pratt

 

About Sylv
I am a retired nurse. Married to Dave, we are celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary later this year.
We have 3 sons , 2 daughters-in law and 2 grandsons.
One son lives in Glasgow, one in Houston and one in Inverness.
We work for Barnardos doing respite care from time to time.
We joined City Church St, Machar in January 2015
I lead the team for Mainly Music and I am part of the MAD Minis team. We host and lead a small group.

It’s Time To Ditch The Damsel In Distress

Poor Rapunzel. How many years did she waste, trapped in a tall stony prison, apparently helpless and resigned to her fate? Left simply to watch life pass her by?

I recently found myself wondering what exactly was it she was waiting for? Someone to rescue her? Someone to give her a reason to fight for her freedom?  Someone to give her life meaning?

Did it not occur to Rapunzel as she watched her captor climb her beautiful long flowing golden hair to enter her dungeon, that the very tool that allowed her enemy to enter may also be the very means by which she could escape. She actually possessed all she needed to claim her freedom.

If I was Rapunzel I like to think I would have cut my hair, tied it to something and climbed my way to freedom.

So why didn’t she?

As I pondered this fictional conundrum I began to wonder if it was because she had been taught to believe she was a prisoner – helpless, worthless. Did she believe in some way that the world had forgotten her, or that she was insignificant, unimportant and that maybe no one actually cared what happened to her? Captivity was all she had ever known. She didn’t truly understand what freedom was.

I think in some ways Rapunzel wasn’t just imprisoned in a tower but also in a mind-set.  Because that’s what happens when we allow the voice of our enemy to be the voice we spend the most time listening to.

‘You can’t do that’, ‘You’ll never be good enough’ ‘What’s the point in even trying’  ‘Nobody likes you’ ‘Your going to fail’

As we look back on the childhood fairy tales many of us were read before we drifted off to sleep at night, I found myself wondering were we unconsciously listening to a voice that told us that as a woman we are in need of rescuing.  That we cannot fight for ourselves.

In the world today there are many movements promoting the fact that woman and men should be valued equally. And I’m excited by this.  But I recently had a conversation where somebody asked me to consider doing something in the church and a sub conscious thought popped into my head that said “You can’t do that, you’re just a girl.’

Where did that come from?

It’s not a belief my parents have taught me. It’s certainly not a belief our church holds and I don’t believe that to be the voice of my Heavenly Father either.

But still, there it was.

And as I prayed over this and brought it before the Lord I realised that the enemy looks to keep the daughters of God prisoner to the beliefs that they can’t for fear of what they might do if they realise that they can!

But I feel the days of this lie being believed in the church are numbered and the spirit of God is moving to bring freedom to the Rapunzel’s in the church.

And like Rapunzel we already possess everything we need – in Christ – to step into freedom.

The truth is the church will only be able to function to it’s full potential when woman as well as men step up into our Christ given freedom.

It’s time to stop listening to the lies and instead seek the Lords voice over our lives and to live fully in who He says we are.

I even think Hollywood has caught the wind of the Spirit over this issue and there are two movies in particular I want to highlight.

Now I’m not a fanatical Lord of the Rings fan but I do have an appreciation for these movies. There’s so much biblical truth sown into the story. But there is one particular character in the third instalment – The Return of the King – that stirs my heart every time I watch it.

Her name is Eowyn. She is part of the royal household in the Kingdom of Rohan. She longs to fight for her people and has the heart of a warrior but she submits to the duties placed upon her as a woman by the royal household to stay at home and care for her uncle the King.

But as the Kingdom of Rohan and her people are once again threatened she decides this time to disguise herself as a man, and ride into battle to fight for the freedom of her people.

Once on the battlefield the soldiers are confronted not only with the unsightly Orcs and other gruesome creatures, but also with the terrifying Witch King of Angmur riding the equally terrifying dragon like Nazgul creature.

And there is Eowyn, in the middle of it all. She begins bravely fighting but as the Witch King turns his attention to her King without thinking she leaps to his aid and bravely slices through the long snakelike neck of the Nazgul. The witch King is enraged and now turns his attention to Eowyn. As he moves towards her you can almost feel her fear. And he says to her menacingly ‘You fool, don’t you know that no man can kill me.’

In that moment Eowyn draws on all the courage she can muster and throws off her helmet allowing her long, flowing hair to come spilling out. She looks her enemy straight in the eye and says ‘ I…. am…. no…. man’ before she plunges her sword deep into her adversary and he is destroyed.

Eowyn’s destiny was to kill the Witch King. There was no man who could do it. It was what SHE was created to do. It was why she had spent years longing to fight, years feeling like she didn’t fit in and years secretly training herself in swordsmanship.

What is the destiny over your life that God has for no-one else but you? Do you sometimes feel like you don’t fit in? Maybe God has created you uniquely to be the answer to a problem that no-one else even realises exists.

A second movie I’ve come to love is Frozen!

Who is the true heroin in Frozen?

For many of the little girls that want to dress up as their favourite character it’s Elsa. She’s the beautiful princess with magical, supernatural powers. But the problem is Elsa doesn’t know how to use the gift she’s been given and instead of learning how to harness her power and use it for good she allows fear to overwhelm her. She locks herself away cutting herself off from all contact with people for fear of what she might do.

I cannot help but wonder how many women are aware of the gifts that God has given them, but instead of displaying them for all to see and giving themselves to the process of growing and learning to steward their gifts, they hide them away for fear of what people might think. For fear of making a mistake, or looking foolish or the world not accepting the unique thing that God wants to do in them.

For me the true heroin of Frozen is Anna. She loves her sister and cannot understand why she is hiding herself away from her. She wants to help. And when Elsa runs away she bravely embarks on a quest to rescue her, even putting her life in danger for the sake of her sister. In the end Anna shows Elsa that love is the key to harnessing the power she has been given.

As I reflected on the stories of these women, there is a common theme. It is love that releases them into the destiny over their lives. For Rapunzel it was the love of her Prince, for Eowyn the love of her King and for Elsa the love of her sister.

For us it is the love of our Heavenly Father.

God has created and designed you with a purpose in mind. I am realising that He has put everything we need within us and he offers us the power of His love and His holy spirit to ignite our gifts and guide us into the fullness of our destiny.

In Acts 2:17 it says ‘In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters…..’ (emphasis added)

I feel the Spirit of God wants to stir us as his daughters to help and encourage each other to continue to press into the fullness of all that God has for us. To move out of whatever mind-sets have kept us captive and into the freedom, purposes and destiny of God.

We are no longer to live as ‘damsels in distress’ but rather God is calling us to “Arise” (Isaiah 60:1). And to play our rightful, necessary part in welcoming the Kingdom of God in a world that desperately needs it.

By Hannah Shewan

Hannah currently attends the Kingswells Site at City Church Aberdeen. She works as a Physician Associate at ARI. Her hobbies include outdoor adventures especially cliff jumping and hill walking. She also loves curling up with a good book on a rainy day. She is passionate about pursuing the presence of God and freedom in Christ!