If you’d like to pray for the work of east to west then here are all our latest prayer requests and things we’re keen to thank God for.
I don’t know whether you’ve experienced this, but there are times in life when we face a period of growth which is especially intense, painful and difficult. It affects our sleep, generates anger or frustration and leaves us feeling like a shadow of our normal selves. Those around us, in trying to be helpful remind us of key bible verses such as “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) or “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” (James 1:2), but that can often be unhelpful and, certainly in me, generates the reaction of ‘shut ya face!’ We find that what we want is not words or sentiments, but someone to lighten the load, to help carry the burden, to stop whatever it is that we’re going through… and I wonder if this is because we lose sight of hope… the end, the reward or the ultimate growth.
I’m going through this type of period at present. My natural inclination is to become introverted, self-reflective and even experience bouts of melancholy. By nature, I’m a bottler – someone who bottles things away, suppresses them and crams even more on top… the difficulty of this is that like a fizzy drink that’s been shaken, the contents will spray out everywhere when the lid is opened. So, this time, I’d trying to do it differently. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m in this painful growing period of my life, but I’m choosing not to allow it to define me for this period. I’m talking to people around me and sharing my current experiences and asking for both their wisdom and insight. I’m also reflecting on my own life to see where or why this is happening and whether there are lessons I’ve missed along the way, and I’m attempting to be honest and open with myself and others (hence writing about it here), all with a view to avoid the dreaded ‘bottling’.
I don’t know how this period of growth will ultimately affect and change me. I don’t ultimately know how it will shape who I am and how I view things, whether faith, family or work, but I do know that approaching it with openness means I’m not likely to take it out on those I love and care about. I find this quote from car manufacturer Henry Ford, really helpful: “Those who walk with God, always reach their destination.” So, whatever happens and whatever growth occurs, it’s by walking with God, that means I get to where He wants to me get. That’s the hope, end, reward or growth that I’m fixing my eyes on.
TIME TO PRAY
This month we’re praying for Paige Coleman, east to west Relational Support Worker at St. Paul’s Catholic College in Sunbury. Paige joined the team at the beginning of the academic year and is doing an amazing job on building on the work of Adrian Laws who left in July 2018.
For St. Paul’s Catholic College:
· I spent some time supporting the Yr9 retreat days. It really opened my eyes to how many are struggling with school, home or their own identity. Please pray for wisdom as I support them moving forward.
· Please pray for both the Yr10 and Yr11 students currently facing the pressures of GCSE's. As this pressure builds, pray I’d be able to support them well and help foster the resilience and confidence they need to help them through - I couldn't imagine having to do my GCSE's now!
· Pray for St. Paul’s Heads of Year, who work tirelessly throughout the week (and often their weekends too!) to support all the students in their year, always putting the student’s needs first. They have also been particularly welcoming and supportive of me in my role in school.
· My Grandad has been diagnosed with Parkinson's and my Nana is supporting him on her own. Pray for them both as I know this is a struggle for them both.
· My Dad is in a job which he doesn't enjoy, and which requires a lot of travel. He is really tired, and we’re so grateful he continues to do this to support the family.
· Please prayer for my boyfriend Dan, who is struggling badly with anxiety and depression. He’s working through this and needs a lot of support. Pray that God would be present and help those around him offering help and support through this difficult time.
· Please pray for my Mum, who holds our family together. Give thanks that she is an amazing woman who works ceaselessly without complaint to serve others. We are really blessed to have her as part of our lives.