Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Notes on bonnet-wearing.

I had a bit of an epiphany today.
You know those moments when the penny drops?
When things begin to make,
if not complete sense,
then at least a bit more sense than they did before.

Over the past few weeks my depression has been causing me quite a lot of difficulty.
My struggle with it has been well documented on this blog.
In conversation this afternoon,
 I was talking with a friend about a decision I was struggling to make.
I joked about the inner voices that were telling me different options.

As I told her what the strictest version of myself was telling me to do,
I suddenly had this picture in my mind
of me
In full Salvation Army uniform
Button-up collar
And....

wait for it....

Bonnet!

I know!

In other words, it was a flash-back to the version of myself that existed 20 years ago.
There is photographic evidence available on request...

It was the me with a huge sense of 'duty'.
The me that said yes to everything that was asked of me.

The me that showed up
stepped up
and spoke up.

And was quite vocal about those that didn't.
I questioned their commitment.

I've changed quite a lot since those days.
Thank the Lord for that.
I've learned that it's not about me,
but all about Him.

I've given lessons in how to say 'No'...
You start with your tongue on the roof of your mouth,
Just behind your teeth,
Practise!
It gets easier....

I've learnt that God,

Father,

isn't the one making the incessant demands on me.

And that self-care isn't self-ish
but essential.

I'll complain to anyone who'll listen about
'the glorification of busy'.

And yet....
Sometimes
It would appear that I don the uniform
the bonnet
the highly polished shoes and straight seams
(only in my head thankfully)

and I wag the finger
and use words like ought
and should
and why aren't you?

Now don't get me wrong.
There are times when my roles as
parent,
wife,
friend,
and Salvation Army officer
mean that I need to step up,
roll up my sleeves,
and get on with the job.

But maybe,
just maybe,
someone else could do it just as well as me.

And I need to rest in the presence of the one who prompts,
equips,
and strengthens.

It turns out God is much kinder to us than we are to ourselves.

Stop.
Breathe.
Feel His presence.

He knows...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Karen....the wisdom in these words is really moving and so helpful to someone else struggling with their human weakness following my illness. To wait on God is something I need to do, my family need to do, my Church needs to do, my Denomination needs to do. We are not saved by the glorification of works....God simply calls us to be. To be his servant, waiting on him as he wishes. God bless you and Chris and once again thankyou

Karen Sandford said...

Thank you so much. Praying you know God's presence as you make your recovery x

Julie G said...

Remember those bonnet days too!
Yes, like you I've been learning about God's kindness and sense of humour!
Am so glad that he loves and accepts us as we are.... With room for improvement each day of course, but in the knowledge that he's I control of that too.... Just need to let him a bit more often!

Pam McCredie said...

Thanks Karen