Time to prune back the branches!

On Saturday last, I went to my best friends wedding which was amazing. I love that they have been together for almost 20 years and still wanted to get married, and celebrate their feelings and devotion to each other. I’ve seen their relationship blossom recently which is so nice to see after they’ve had 2 kids and grown up together. Highlights of the day were seeing her friends who I went out partying with in my 20’s helping my kids on the playground.

I am also really excited at the moment as I have got a new job close to home, which means I will have more time with family and friends, and less time on the M62! It also means the end of an era working in Bradford for me, which I’ve really enjoyed, but have found it difficult at times to keep a smile on my face when I’ve been missing the kids or had a bad nights sleep. The work has been really interesting and I hope to bring alot of what I’ve learnt to my new role.

 In my current job I’ve found the office politics difficult and at times felt undermined, or passed over for projects I wanted to do. I’ve also found it really difficult to work with my manager, and times just wanted to quit, its been the support of friends and colleagues who really value me that has helped me carry on, along with this blog!

In the past I have also had personal relationships which were really challenging, and I’ve ended up getting hurt. At our last “inspire” event we heard from a lady who had gone through over 10 years of domestic violence, and it brought back memories for me of some experiences I had before I met my husband and got married.  It reminded me how far I’ve come, and how impossible it would have been for me to live the life I have now without God’s love, and the support of my church family. I learnt as an adult in my 30’s that God’s love is unconditional, and sincere, and without expectation. Before this, I had wierd connontations of what love is, what God might expect, and this made it difficult for me to make the right choices.

I think God likes blossoming relationships, and fruitful experiences, and relationships that help us grow and develop. He doesn’t really want us to have to deal with people who have unresolved anger towards us, or to pick up the pieces of a broken heart for it to be smashed to pieces again. This is not where God likes us to use our energy. He does want us though to lean on him, and let him into our lives, so that we can use his strength to persevere and carry on when its not so easy, and sometimes things that seem like progress just need writing off as a bad experience. This passage from John 15 is one I heard Joan Sergeant preach about last year and it has stuck with me..

John 15

New International Version (NIV)

The Vine and the Branches

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.