Get behind me satan!
Aaah well - what a rollercoaster couple of days. Things were looking rather good last week, as a couple of new youth projects are about to start and they are looking fairly organised and exciting. Everything seemed to be coming together nicely and it was feeling like a good September. I have been praying into this new stuff and I feel very strongly that God is leading the church to do these things. But then, I started having real trouble getting young people to sign up for the youth weekend that I have got planned for a week and a half's time. This was deeply frustrating as we went away last year and had the best time - it was really chilled and special and involved star gazing, beach trips and my incredibly cute nephew Joshua. However, people just weren't signing up to come. And for some reason, this got me really down. I felt really emotional about it and slept really badly Saturday and Sunday night. It was so frustrating as I knew that in the grand scheme of things it wasn't that important and it would work itself out... but I still couldn't get it out of my mind. And then, on Monday morning, I had a breakthrough - woo hoo! I sometimes cycle to N:Flame, which is a meeting of youth workers a few miles away. It is mainly up hill on the way and I started to pray as I dealt with the hills. And it just became incredibly powerful. The previous night, Mandy at church had been preaching about spiritual warfare and, as things slotted together I got thinking that maybe the way I was feeling wasn't just me being weird but maybe it was an attack from the devil... I am not the sort of Christian who sees the devil hiding behind every lamp post but there was something so odd about the way that the situation had developed and this seemed a good explanation. So, as I prayed I started telling Satan to shut up and get behind me. I prayed to God for vision about what to do about the weekend and prayed for focus to concentrate on the new projects as well. A couple of excellent Bible verses popped into my head as well and by the time I got to the meeting I felt so much better and I had a much clearer head. The other funny thing was that I had been praying out loud as I was cycling and I had been so engrossed that I forgot others could see and hear... I then realised that some of the people waiting at the bus stops looked pretty confused... oopsie. I am hoping that they thought I had a bluetooth headset or an iPod and that Get Behind Me Satan is a hip hop track.
Anyway, I decided yesterday to go ahead with the youth weekend and felt really at peace about it. I spoke to some of the young people and it now looks like 10 or 11 are going... which is brilliant and all I need to cover costs and also will create a lovely atmosphere. What is more, Revive! started today which is an after school fair trade cafe. It went really well and there were around 20 young people there, 9 of which had come off the streets and have had no previous contact with church. They were tempted in by the offer of a free doughnut with every drink but I am praying that they felt welcomed and very much at home, and felt comfortable enough to come back next week.
Even in the little things I know that God is at work and the last few days have reminded me how God has things all in hand and holds onto me tightly.