Restoring Our Womanhood

Scrap of Faith is a Christian Crafting Site dedicated to inspiring women in their faith and in their hobbies.

Each month a new theme will be posted, with verses to encourage, with challenges to inspirire you both in your faith and in your craft. We hope that you will jump on board the journey of Restoring your Womanhood and that God will use these challanges to draw us closer to Him and also give us a purpose in our roles.

We would love to hear from those who are following along so please leave a comment, and share a link to your blog :-) Also on the Scrap of Faith forum there is a weekly thread for encouraging each other through the journey.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The theme we are exploring this month is reaching out, or evangelizing. I’ve had a pretty difficult month so far and I had barely given any thought to what I could share on this topic – just getting through each day seemed challenging enough.

In the past week, my darling Grandma was rushed into hospital and it wasn’t looking all that positive. It makes such a difference when you can ask for prayer in tough times, and to cut a long story short, prayers were answered, a miracle provided, and she’s home again – though still with a way to go to get back to good health.

And at the same time, my beautiful little sausage dog Monte, my faithful friend – died.
He was 13 which is a pretty decent age for a dog. Our little family has only existed for 15 years and he was with us for 13 of them. Leaves a pretty big hole.

So in the space of a few days there are wonderful highs and painful lows. My Gran and my Monte were great mates – both sunlovers who adored keeping each other company when she came to stay. It will never be quite the same again, even if Gran can get back to being well enough to visit us again. We all feel the void, that things have changed and cant go back to the way they were.

Sometimes I feel a weight of responsibility when it comes to being a Christian. That how I behave, how I respond, how I deal with situations reflects well or badly on Jesus. Statistics show that a great percentage of people who come to know Jesus as Lord do so because of their relationship with someone who already knows Him and loves Him. Given those statistics, it seems to put even more pressure on me and how I then relate to people - that somehow I have to be always perfect, always happy, always have it all together …well if I overlay that view on my past week of life, it’s just about laughable. Might as well give up now!

But a wise person once told me that Jesus Christ was more than capable of doing his own PR. And it was the work of His Holy Spirit which draws people to Him. So I’m relieved that it’s not all my responsibility (which really is a pretty self centred view of things anyway) – but even in difficult times, is there something I can do to play my part?

At the beginning of this year, the Lord challenged me to get real with my scrapping. I guess what He was pointing out was that there are two sides to me – the real me, warts and all, seen best through the pages of my prayer journal which chronicles my journey through life with Him… and the scrapping me, whose layouts tend to focus on the brighter side of life. The ‘me’ of my prayer journal happily chronicles both the ugly and the joyful sides of life, but the ‘scrapping me’? Well there wasn’t much warts and all there. He could see it, and wanted to see me scrap more of my whole journey – not just the brighter side.

And also during this year particularly I have been continually challenged, uplifted and inspired by one Stitching Mum on our forum, the very real Ali. She’s been thrown some complete curve balls in life, can share so honestly and openly about them, and the one thing that shines through the midst of it all is her faith in the Lord, how it both blesses her and challenges her. The wonderful thing is that people still see Jesus, and I think even more clearly, when Ali is sharing the reality of her life. It isn’t always pretty, but it’s always honest and true, and Jesus is there through it all for her – and that’s my Jesus too, that’s the Jesus I want everyone to know and to have in their lives.

Through His words to me in prayer and having Ali’s example in front of me to follow, I want to trust Him and obey, and try and be more real – and if scrapping is the vehicle He wants me to use, then so be it. For the first time I have done a layout which doesn’t feature a happy memory, or smiling faces, or beautiful photos or any of the elements which usually inspire me to scrap. I’ve tried to be real in my layout journaling so it’s not really that different to what I poured out in my private prayer journal.

Because at the end of the day, He can use me far more to reach out to others who don’t know Him if they can see that I’m just like everybody else - not perfect, don’t always have it right – but what I do always have is Him. He gives me a future and a hope, regardless of the wonderful highs, the painful lows, and even the mundane moments of everyday life. And everyone who asks Him into their lives can have exactly the same.

He never promised us that if we believed in Him we’d have charmed lives. In fact He told us that in this life we would have trouble. But He also told us He would never leave us or forsake us. We never have to be alone.

So right now, it’s a dark time for me. But I’m not alone. And there’ll be brighter times ahead too. And He’ll still be there. Jesus is no fair-weather friend. He’s with us for keeps. We just have to reach out – and be real...

Tracey xo

Digi Credits – Sometimes Love Hurts
Layout done in PSE5
Papers, heart, paint splat, note paper – WillRo&Co (Ro Rocks!)
Titles – Shabby Princess
Fonts – Century Gothic and Rage Italic

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