I’ll have said before about how coming away from home means that I draw closer to God. I find, in a different setting, and especially in a different country, that the surrounding unfamiliarity leads me to reach out to the unchanging and familiar. Even if I am not understood by those around me, God understands completely.
This was particularly striking this time. What struck me was the armchair in my hotel room. An armchair adjacent to the bed, like I used to have in my room in first-year Halls. The armchair I used to sit in and pray each morning, before breakfast. Those first faltering footsteps into faith were in that armchair. It all came rushing back to me; the prayer ritual inextricably linked to the place.
I am so grateful for this way in which God has gathered me to Him. I’ve needed that Cradle so much for this stay. It started with giving a workshop that put me on an adrenaline high. I had talks with colleagues, one of whom wants to begin a new collaboration with me. I feel competent. I feel wanted. This colleague talks through “double victimization”, internalizing the nastiness and beating yourself up with it, as well as the external beating. Describes the strategies students used to cope with this; strategies I used. This is not about me, I chant over and again as he talks . God, help me remember that this is not about me.
Then the emails from home colleagues and church: I’ve done it wrong again. I feel rubbish as rubbish. Full of tears, and I can’t cry. On top of that, I am nervous beyond measure for my talk; God, help me breathe, help me be clear.
But the new morning dawns, and I am clear and enthusiastic and people respond positively. And now I have to face the conference dinner, and I’m scared again.
God, please help me to put my trust in You. To lean on You for my sense of self-worth, and not on others. God, please don’t ever leave me. Stay close and be My Constant. Help me to unceasing prayer, to constancy, and to calm in You.