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Women of Reverence welcomes Debi Jones as a guest blogger.

Helping build relationships that can breathe easily and freely brings Debi unleashed joy

She is a Pastoral Counsellor at North Hills Church, PMB, Relationship Coach, Mentor and Founder of Win. Win - Created for Connection Contemplation, solitude, beauty, gentleness, vulnerability, integrity and robust kindness fuel her.

Her favourite quote: “You have made us for yourself Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” Augustine.

Forty years of marriage and thirty five years in ministry have only served to highlight the brilliance of biblical wisdom for her.

Debi and her husband Kevin, serve on the NCMI Apostolic Team and have planted two churches.

They currently serve on the eldership team that lead North Hills Church

That their beloved adult children and grandchildren "Know theTruth and walk in it” is one of their greatest blessings.

I frolicked into June not for one second ever imagining that by the end of the month I would find myself grieving the death of one of the most significant and dearly loved people in my world - my Mum.

Her love and compassion for people plaited together with her unique ability to listen and understand was legendary. Her infectious sense of humour would have me chuckling out loud a thousand times over! Not only was she a gifted sculptor, journalist and someone who loved Jesus, but I counted her amongst my closest friends. And suddenly, she was gone. Gone. I was stunned.

As I ran with all my might to my Heavenly Father for comfort, I cried “Lord within all the unfathomable goodness that exists in You, help me make peace with your will Lord - not mine”.

I was reminded of the book of Esther, when Esther also had to let go of her ideal picture of how her life would unfold. I can’t imagine she ever anticipated the extent to which the trajectory of her life would change when she was taken away from her tightly knit Jewish community and had

to come to terms with being part of the King’s harem. I suspect she also wept hard at the thought of spending the rest of her life without those she loved most.

I don’t know the details of your personal story and what you might have lost during this recent season of Covid. But God does. He knows and He truly cares. This is why it is so important to be aware of where our focus is as we journey through unexpected loss and change in our lives.

I find it immeasurably helpful to train my eyes to look out for evidence of God’s Presence with me and not His absence whenever life is not unfolding quite as I dreamed it would!

During my times of solitude with God, I still my heart and find comfort in listening out for His voice and ruminating on the truth that God always has a far greater purpose for any pain He allows into my life, even if I can’t quite see it in the moment.

I trust Him wholeheartedly which is why I frame any place of constraint as sacred. Over the years, I’ve observed God use some of my greatest private struggles as catalysts to shape and prepare my heart for exactly where and how He is using me most in my life right now!!! For sure, I didn’t see it at the time which is why I stand so amazed now. I see the same sequence in nature as well because Spring will always follow Winter!

For me Spring is when we encounter the power of God in new life giving ways. It’s when we are filled with a heightened awareness of the sheer breadth of God’s love, not only for us but for others. It’s an exquisite time of fresh insight when He enlarges us and births more of His heart within us. For example God can’t use a woman who cannot forgive. Spring has everything to do with the outstretched arm of God relentlessly pursuing us as His daughters - calling out each of our names - inviting us into a life giving partnership with Him as the Lord of our lives.

The first signs of SPRING that emerged from the soil of my loss was when I heard the Holy Spirit say most unexpectedly, “Debs, I’m going to replace your grief with my JOY and PEACE!” And within a nanosecond, He lifted the heavy weight of my grief off me and replaced it with the lightest most beeeeeautiful peace and joy imaginable. It was nothing less than a miracle! I wanted to hug Him soooo tight! I sensed His presence with me as He redirected my focus from one of loss to one of inexpressible gratitude for the two years I’d been blessed to have my Mum living so close by in her cottage on our property.

Such is the nature of Spring.

Often the circumstances don’t change but He changes our perspective, enabling us to have a brand new personalised story to tell of God’s care. Ps 78 That’s the beauty of Spring.

As Esther adapted to her “new normal”, we see the pain of her past and the greater purpose and blessing God has destined for her life, converge in a breathtaking display of His Sovereignty. And that’s exactly what He wants to do in your and my life too!

We learn from Esther’s life that you really can’t predict the end of your story from where you’re at now, so don’t be tempted to look back because you’re not going there!

The beauty of a Sovereign Spring awaits you, so train your eyes to look out for evidence of God’s Presence with you and not His absence, for you are truly, a precious daughter of promise and destiny!!

Do not call to mind the former things See I am about to do something new; I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert....I will provide for My chosen people. So that the people who I formed for Myself will declare My praise. Isaiah 43: 18-19

Heartfelt hugs of love,

Debs xx

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