Immeasurably More

It seems a whole month has flown by since I last posted here. It has been a hectic few weeks to say the least. Last week the internship with CAP finished and I moved home to my new flat. I’m now off work until my job starts on 1st September. But I’ve found my time has been eaten up by the mountain of flatpack furniture I’ve had to conquer and all the dozens of jobs you find yourself with when you move house. However, in amongst all the unpacking and constructing, I’ve had time to reflect on my internship year with CAP.

There are so many different angles I could take when I look back on the past twelve months. In truth at times it has been really tough. There have been weeks where I wondered if I would be able to stick it out. Events unfolded that tested my resolve and sometimes the internship has been a real struggle. It would be so easy to focus on the negatives.

Back in October last year one of the other interns set us a task during some of our internship time. The task was to write a letter to God outlining our hopes and fears for the year, what we wanted to learn and gain. During the last week of the internship we were given these letters back to read. And as I read it, what I was struck by the most is simply how much I’ve learnt and grown. When I wrote this letter I was doubting my decisions to move to Bradford, missing friends and family and feeling like I would never fit in at CAP. I started the internship with my confidence at rock bottom, life was tough and I didn’t feel good enough. Now as I read this letter I can see I’ve come so far and changed such a lot.

I’m not sure the lessons I’ve learnt were necessarily those we were supposed to be learning. I didn’t discover my strengths as a manager or find a flare for leadership. The future hasn’t become any clearer. But from reading this letter, reading what I desired for this year, I can see I got immeasurably more than I asked for.

My biggest wish was to grow in confidence and belief in myself. I think as a result of some really tough years, I was struggling to see the good in myself, to believe the compliments thrown my way. My vision was clouded. I know I’m not all the way there yet but I can see I’ve come a long way in twelve months. I’ve been part of a wonderful team at CAP which has helped me to see that I have unique gifts and talents to bring to the table. To understand that I have much to offer just from being who I am. Writing this year, and the feedback I’ve received, has enabled me to see myself differently. It’s meant I could step out of myself and see myself and the battles I’ve fought from a different perspective.

One of my prayers was that I would ‘be able to help people and make a difference, especially for those who don’t have hope.’ When I was writing those words I don’t think I could have imagined how God would use them. I couldn’t have guessed that God would give me the chance to write for a mental health charity that has 1.4 million likes on Facebook. Throughout this year it has been humbling and moving to see God taking my words and experiences to speak to people. This from the girl who spent the past three years doing a degree in Mathematics!

My biggest concern about the internship year was the fundraising, it felt like a black cloud hovering over my head. I couldn’t see how I would ever reach the £3000 target. But yet again I have seen God’s provision, providing immeasurably more than I asked for. I finished the year having raised £5740, blowing the target out of the water. Thankyou to all those who helped me get there.

I started the year feeling like I would never fit in at CAP that I wasn’t joyful or enthusiastic enough. Now I can see that we are all different, faith is more than just fire and trumpets. Sometimes there is wisdom in the quiet voice of the heart. We were created different, and those differences are precious and to be celebrated. I will never be one of those Christians who is shouting for joy from the rooftops. But there is a depth and grounding to my faith that is of great value and has been hard fought for.

Outside of work I’ve had unexpected opportunities with my church. I was able to get stuck in right from the start and have been privileged to be able to lead worship there. My little church and all the people I have met there have been a wonderful blessing, and another way God has given me more than I needed.

This year as an intern has not been how I would have pictured it. Perhaps it has been different from how I wanted or planned. It has been a year of challenges, but it has also been a year of ‘immeasurably more’. I have met so many amazing people and made some great friends. I have grown more this year than I think I have in any other year of my life. I am excited to see what the next year has in store.

” Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”

Ephesians 3:20-21