So much has happened this past year and I’ve had a roller coaster of a time. It started with adding a furry four-legged friend to the household. After 15 years, my husband relented and we are now the proud “parents” of a springer spaniel called Milo. Added to this, we have also moved house, with the upheaval of packing and starting again in a completely new area.
My biggest change was that I decided to give up work to spend more time with my family. Trying to fit in all our various activities and still have time as a family was becoming increasing difficult. But I have found it very hard to adjust to being at home and not seeing people every day. I have at times felt very lonely and not sure that I made the right decision. I began to question deciding to leave a secure well paid job to stay at home where none of my work skills are needed and all the training I have received over the past twenty years is useless. I haven’t got time to do any of the things I envisaged being able to do, and find my time filled by running around after others. This is not what I dreamed it would be. Where have I gone wrong? How can I fit everything in?
It was the following song that we sang at church last month which eventually made me understand:
All that I am, all that I can be,
all that I have, all that is me,
accept and use, Lord, as you would choose,
Lord right now, today.
Take every passion, every skill,
Take all my dreams and bend them to your will.
May all I give, Lord,
For you I’ll live, Lord,
Come what may.
When William Hines was writing these words, he could have been writing them about me. How true they are. We all have skills, and dreams, and they are from God. I am who I am. I can’t be the person I think others expect me to be. I can only be who I am. I do have skills and I do have talents and I can use them still.
So I have given them to God. I have entrusted all my skills, all my dreams, all my passions to Him to bend to his will. I don’t need to worry that I am not using my old skills because I have a bucketful left. I may not be the most punctual person and I have a terrible memory for the mundane, but I hope that this will be the year that I come to understand what God has in plan for my skills.
So, I am not going to try and fit my old skills into my new life, but rather ask God to show me how he wants me to lead the life I have. A new year, new beginnings.
Claire McKinlay worships at St John’s, Wakefield