Items of Interest
February 18, 2013
I write this the garden is covered in deep snow! But I know that when it clears the green fingers of the daffodils are ready and waiting! To me that sums up how so many visitors to BFA feel when they arrive. Their lives so often feel ‘icebound’ and bleak but our job is to help them believe that the Lord can bring them a new Springtime. He is so GOOD at doing that!
My life has felt extremely ‘wintery’ too, during the last few months, with family tragedies and other pressures. My kind Trustees gave me two months Sabbatical and after a wonderful Retreat at the Northumbria Community I am back at work feeling wonderfully refreshed.
The arrival this week of Carol Bostock to take over the Administration - as well as helping me in all other aspects of the work of Beauty From Ashes - has felt for me just like the arrival of Spring and a wonderful new season. I’ve asked Carol to introduce herself to you all.
Hello, I’m Carol
Jen asked me to tell you a little bit about myself to go along with this photo. So here goes…. I have been married to John for nearly 35 years, some of those years were not the happiest, but marriage is one of the areas where I have seen the Lord heal wonderfully. In my professional life over the last 25 years I have managed the HR (Human Resources) function for some large businesses - and I am very thankful that I am now part of an organisation that sees the ‘human’ without considering humans as ‘resources...’
I have struggled with chronic morbid obesity all my life – at my heaviest I weighed nearly 26 stone. I first came to Beauty from Ashes some seven years ago but then ran away from God, BFA, Church and more or less everyone else when I thought I was failing to ‘live up’ to other people’s expectations and maintain weight loss. Such visible failure is very, very painful...
Nearly 4years ago I underwent gastric bypass surgery (which seems to be on the TV almost every night now!) and lost a very great deal of weight in a very short time. On the one hand, great news... on the other hand, an identity crisis because the person I now saw in the mirror did not in any way match the identity I had carried in my head for so many years. I literally did not know who I was. Round about then, when things were at their absolute blackest, God launched a rescue mission and brought me back to BFA – not without a bit of a struggle on my part!
I spent a year in the prayer room with Jen walking again through those years of failure and disappointment, but this time with Jesus, receiving His healing and learning new patterns of thinking and behaviour to replace the old negative and destructive self images. For rather more than a year I have been privileged to be a part of the BFA team, helping with the prayer ministry and the residential retreats as well as sweeping the floor and doing the washing up – and loving every single moment of it!
And now I have the incredible blessing of being at BFA every day – still sweeping the floor and doing the washing up – as well as supporting Jen in the prayer ministry and her retreats and engagements and doing more or less anything else that needs doing....
I am passionate about BFA, the work BFA does and what BFA stands for. I had lost all hope when the Lord used BFA to give me back my life and thereby my relationship with Him. I am on a journey towards healing – not the finished product yet – “but I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him...”
I am blessed to see Jesus do miracles every day here at BFA but because of my struggles with eating disorders I especially have a heart to talk and pray with those who are fighting these battles; and John and I together are now seeing couples here because we long to see Jesus transform their marriages as He transformed ours. Do come and say hello if you can!
So please do pray for me – because I shall surely need your prayers – and I am hoping to ‘meet’ you – whether on the phone, by email, in person, on a retreat or in any other of the wonderful and creative ways the Lord puts us in each other’s way.
With every blessing,
What happens at the house of prayer?
August 28, 2012
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