Welcoming In 2017: Notes On Faith and Surrender

I woke up to the sound of my alarm, a rarity. It was 5am. The sun would rise in 47 minutes. ‘Twas a goal of mine to see every sunrise this year. But my head was spinning. I had slept on the floor. I don’t remember falling asleep. I just remember scrambling to plug my phone in. That must have been around 3am. Only two hours earlier. Yuck.

There was little possibility of getting up. Let’s be honest. So I rolled myself over and returned to my slumber. Five hours later I rose, at last.

That was NYE. A fun night spent watching the fireworks over Sydney Harbour and dancing with random groups of Brazilians and Canadians. My knees bear the scars of such antics. I think an impromptu game of limbo may have been the culprit. But we won’t ever know for sure.

It was now NYD. Cloudy. And a bit windy. Not ideal. But still a trip to the beach and a dip in the ocean was a necessary cure to my hangover pain.

I wasn’t entirely ‘with it’. My mind was a bit scattered. I didn’t really know what to do with myself. It was Sunday, however…

‘I wonder if there was a church service on today?’ I asked myself.

There was. At 5pm.

‘Perfect’, I thought, ‘enough time to grab one NYD beer with friends at the pub at 3 and then head in to the city for some spiritual healing’.

Of course, that was the plan, though surely enough the prospect of fun times with friends won out and, before I could say ‘Beach Burrito’, it was 1am and I was swimming in a local rock pool cooling myself down from the hours of dancing that came before!

I don’t remember exactly what time this finished up. Needless to say, the following day was a write off too.

‘Paul The Introvert’ now needed some time to recharge the batteries. It was time to go back to the beach; back to my place of calm.

The end of 2017 provided some interesting challenges. Challenges that I did not expect to face. It left me with a feeling of emptiness and in a place of intense soul searching.

Financial stress loomed larger than ever. My mind had become a constant flurry of numbers, dates and deadlines. Debt had slowly been rising amid my exploratory steps over the past six months.

And whilst I feel so much closer to the man I’m meant to become, still there seems to be an impassable gorge between myself and the final few puzzle pieces I need to discover.

How was I to find the answers to these questions I was asking myself?

I gazed over the ocean and wrote in my journal:

What good is this stress doing? I can only do what I can do, right? If indeed the time comes in which I am stuck, then I must ask for help. What other choice do I have?

It pains me to say this; to have to concede defeat, again. Though not yet. There is still time. I just don’t know where to start.

Wait, why am I still trying to figure this out myself?

God, please help. This is you now. I cannot do this alone. Please show me what it is that I must do. This is all that I ask.

I closed my journal and laid back down on my towel. Less than five minutes later, between the sound of waves crashing, I hear a noise. A notification. An email. Never have I sat up so quickly. I stared at the subject line. I could barely believe what I was seeing!

Could it be?


An opportunity. The opportunity. The opportunity for which I had been waiting!

Words escaped me. I cried.

What is this that I keep doing? This erroneous belief that I must find all of the answers myself? That I am climbing this Everest alone?

Why do I so often forget the enormous power there is in prayer? The enormous power there is in surrender? The enormous power there is in faith? Faith even as small as a mustard seed…

God’s wonder surely does continue to amaze; His love remaining constant despite my sometimes wayward steps from His intended path.

And whilst this opportunity I speak of is far from secured, I can only ask now for your prayers too. If this is in fact what God has intended for these next steps in my journey, I do hope that this opportunity will come to fruition. And, if not, I trust there will be something better. Just as there always seems to be.

Patience, now.

Prayer, always.



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