It's taken me a long time to find my faith.
I thought my faith was only real if I had something to show for it, an answered prayer or beautiful story maybe. All I had was a basket full of prayers that had become so familiar I didn't know how to pray another else. Every bible verse I read I wrapped around the answer I was desperately seeking.
I wanted to know I had a purpose, without or with my prayer being answered.
So God said, “What’s that in your hand?”
What's in your hand?
For me, it was the ability to write. For the first 38yrs of my life I didn't see what was in my hands of any value, instead I went searching for my purpose in numerous workplaces, different social circles, and different friends. I was like a starving lion who was desperate to eat, I needed to find my purpose. I needed to know why I was alive and what the purpose to my pain was.
My faith was slowing disappearing and I wasn't running out of hope.
"Write your story Claire. Write a book" - God. Write a book about my story? But there's nothing to tell, I'm just a like any other girl trying to find her faith. Again God asked me, "What's that in your hand?".
I'd love to say I started writing straight away but the truth is I didn't. I received confirmation after confirmation to do exactly what God had told me to, and yet I still procrastinated. I ran away and simply ignored His question and invitation. I should add that I kept begging for Him to show me my purpose and giftings during this time!
In 2019 I found myself with a lot of time at home and nothing to do, so I decided to stop saying no and I wrote my first line. I literally hand wrote my first line in a book and I haven't stopped since.
Yes it's a Christian based book, inspiring you to lead your best life, but it's also your invitation from God.
Each day, God has little invitations to say to His plan for our lives. Yes little. When God asked me write a book, He wasn't the one who told me how many pages it had to and how many copies I needed to sell, that was all me. I am convinced my book could have been a thousand words and two people buy it for God to have been happy.
All of us have been experienced pain in life at some point, for some of us it's been more an intense than others. Regardless, most of us know that bad days are hard to stand well in and find a reason to smile. That's where my book comes to life.
"If your life has been somehow shaped by pain, we have something in common. The good news is that isn't where our story ends, this is just where it is beginning." - Claire
How can pain be the beginning of anything good?
I had the same question for many years. I thought pain meant good things weren't part of my life, but what I have come to discover is the most beautiful things have come from my seasons of pain.
Because of pain...
- I found my faith all over again, and learnt how to fight for it and keep it
- I learnt the value of prayer
- I rediscovered the value of daily devotionals
- I built my vocabulary of praise and positive affirmations over my life
I have come to understand that pain isn't always a curse or something to push away.
Pain can be something to welcome into your life. Without pain I'd still be resentful, bitter, anger, vengeful, unpleasant and completely miserable. Pain has helped me grow up and heal. It hasn't been easy but it's been so worth it. I am a better friend, wife, sister, daughter, neighbour, family member, and stranger because of pain.
Do I want to do it all over again? No, but I would.
Are you ready to stand well, even if you're in one of the hardest battles of your life? I really hope the answer is yes, and so does God.
Buy your copy of STANDING WELL and start a conversation with God today!
Nothing is off limits in Standing Well as Claire shares personal excepts from journal entries, and openly explores the big questions we all ask, often silently. Her story is of one woman travelling through many different seasons - mental health, family breakdowns, suicide, eating disorders and fertility struggle - and in amongst it all finding a good, kind and loving God.