READY TO GO - Week 1

“Aww don’t worry you’ll definitely be back after the St Patrick’s Day holiday to get your project finished”.
Rewind to March 2020, I was in final year at university, doing my final year project, I only needed maybe one or two more days in the lab and the tutor told us these words.  Little did she know that over the break, the whole world would essentially shutdown and we would be in lockdown, unable to leave our homes.  This is how my lockdown story started and over the past two and a half years, I have encountered God in different ways.
I think we were all guilty of thinking that at least by the summer of 2020 life would be back to normal, but that summer ended up looking very different than most of us are used to.  Summer camps were called off or moved to being virtual; holidays were ‘postponed’, along with many other changes.  That summer I was fortunate, as I was still able to serve God by being involved in a virtual camp.  We were still able to share the Word of God, even though the campers couldn’t join us in person.  Through that experience, He taught me that He is still working no matter the circumstances in our world and that He is always working for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).  I was reminded that when we go through hard or challenging times, when we just have no idea what is going on, there is One right there beside us who does know what is going to happen.
The next year, 2020/21, was both wild and strange.  Things were on and then they were off again, we thought lockdown was coming to an end and then it wasn’t.  I spent the year volunteering at Mullartown House, refining my skills in videography and video editing, making videos for GB and trying to discern what God wanted next for me.  I applied for a PGCE at Queen’s University to become a Biology Teacher, knowing exactly  how hard they are to get on to. I told myself that if I got in, God was very clearly telling me that this was His plan for me and through teaching, I would be able to do His work and glorify Him.  Long story short, I got onto the PGCE, had a great year, where God blessed me with new friends and great placements.  I am now a fully qualified Biology Teacher and have a job in place for September, showing yet again how God works everything together for the good of those who love Him.
Another way I encountered God through this season was through church.  This may sound like a strange one, as I’m sure many of you were in the same situation.  We had virtual church for a long time and then limited numbers were allowed back in the building, and our Sunday services are still not quite back to how they were pre-Covid.  But in this season, I have come to realise just how important our church family is, how important it is to have a community around you that supports you, somewhere where you can pour into, but also can be poured into.  I have learnt how much joy can come from being amongst people of all ages who love God and want to see Him glorified.  Hebrews 10:25 tells us that we shouldn’t neglect meeting together and that we should continue encouraging each other, there is no better way of doing this than being involved in the local church.
There are so many things that I am looking forward to with the coming new year, I have a new job to look forward to and everything that will entail.  The thing that I am most looking forward to is life continuing to get back to normal.  I am an Officer working with the Brigader section and I get so much enjoyment drawing alongside the girls, finding out about them and what they enjoy, which we haven’t been able to do in the same way for the past two years.  So, I am really looking forward to GB getting back to normal!
Being honest, I’m definitely most looking forward to things getting back to normal and seeing what God has planned.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”  Jeremiah 29:11.

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