A Night To Remember (NW)

 

There’s only one question that you can say to me as a Christian that will make my anxiety levels go up, that would be, “Could you pray with me for healing?” I’ve never yet been asked that question by someone who doesn’t believe in God, I think I probably would start trembling if I’m honest with you, but I have been asked by fellow Christians.

I wholeheartedly believe in healing, I think nothing is impossible when it comes to God and I’ve prayed with my mum before for healing as she has been healed. It is something that I do believe in, however, this doesn’t stop me from feeling rather nervous when asked. Part of me is always worried that God won’t use me for the big things, that I’m not capable enough too, my own insecurity with my identity in God does play a massive part in my fear.

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New Wine was full of healing. Miracles are almost expected there but this year there was just so many and it was amazing!

One I specifically want to talk about is a guys that I only briefly met one evening, but other members of team filled us in on his story.

He was in a motor bike accident what left him not in the best of ways, he had a stick to help him walk every time I spotted him. Other members of team had been talking to him about his story and were bold enough to ask if he’d like any prayer.

He declined.

Hearing this threw me off a little. Most people would jump to the potential from getting healed, especially from what he was hurting from. But this guy declined.

He then went to explain that told had taught him so much through his pain that he didn’t want it to go. He’d prefer to be in pain just so God could teach him a little more.

That blew me away.

Fast forward to the end of the week and it’s our last night. The evening celebration has finished and it’s only really team members left over in the venue and a few youth who wanted to say goodbye to members of team. Most of the people I had been talking to was from the club one venue so sadly I didn’t get a proper chance to say my goodbyes. Whilst I felt a little bit sad that I hadn’t made any friends with the youth there, it gave me the opportunity to see what happened next.

Ready to call it a night I found the nearest group of people I knew, who happened to be some of the guys from Vibe. Huddled in a circle, very hyped up, I assumed it was just from the atmosphere but I was wrong. Not too far away from them was the guy who had the motor bike crash, only something was different. Instead of the motionless stance he had adopted, he was standing on one leg, swinging the other with a smile on his face. I then watched as he put the cane down all together and carried on standing on one foot. The others noticed as well and they were blown away, this guy was able to stand on one leg.

Eventually I had found out what had happened. Through out the week this person had wanted no prayer for healing. This was because of what God had been teaching him through his pain, but on the final night as everyone was leaving he went up to one of the guys and finally asked for healing, and do you know what?

God healed him!

I watched that night as he folded up hims cane and walked un-aided out the venue with a smile on his face.

 

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So why am I telling you this?

The obvious answer would be that it was just so amazing to see healing like that, that I’ve just had to tell people this.

The other reason being that I learnt a whole lot from this guy.

When I went to New Wine in 2016 I had the buddings of an eating disorder. It wasn’t quite the vicious anorexia I have today, it was just a very bad and binding relationship with food.

I received prayer of a team member throughout the week and the most amazing thing was that it left. I had almost a whole week free from this budding illness.

For those who have been following this blog, you will know that I do currently suffer from an eating disorder and a mean one at that.

So what happened?

I was healed from my controlling relationship with food for a week but it came back, why?

It’s something I mulled over a lot. I wasn’t angry with God that only the month later I was referred to CAHMS and learnt about having anxiety and the ED. However, I was a little hurt, why had it come back? Why had it came back so much worse than when God had gotten rid of it? Had I done something wrong?

After thinking abut it, I had an answer.

That moment of healing was to show me that a life without an ED, without a bad, controlling, binding relationship with food was possible. But just like the guy from New Wine, I’m going to learn so much from the pain it brings.

I know for a fct that if I didn’t have my eating disorder I would not have an as close relationship with God as i do now. Without it I would have no reason to press into Him. I’m learning that it isin’t my strength that I need to recover, it’s God’s.

If God took away my eating disorder last year, over even six months ago, I would have no real need for Him. But within these past few weeks, I’m learning so much about God’s love through my pain. I’m learning that I need Him so much and that He offers me a life so much bigger than the one that I so stubbornly live.

God isn’t to blame for my eating disorder, but He’d big enough to use it.

New Wine presented a challenge to me. Instead of praying for God to take away the situation I’m in, I should be asking Him what I can learn through it.

The pain might not go but I’ll have a deeper relationship with God and that’s worth it.

 

It’s not about a building (NW)

A brief introduction to New Wine

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For the past week I’ve had the privilege to serve on team at New Wine. After telling people this they tend to ask me what on Earth New wine is. My reply is usually along the lines of its a really big Christian festival.

In truth it’s far more than that.

New Wine is a place for people to come and worship God, to learn, to be ministered to, to meet people, to pray and to be prayed for. A place to spend time with God.

New Wine has always been the best week of my life.

This year was my forth year going yet my first serving on team, on my second year going I gave my life to God what was the best decision of my life. About 14,000 people was said to go this year, understandably not everyone is going to like the same thing so it’s split into different areas, some by age, other by preference of venue or style of worship.

I was working with the youth.

New Wine youth is split into several sections, I decided to brave VIBE. Vibe is one of the youth cafes and when I say cafe I mean the only things they serve is loud music, dancing and amazing company, not forgetting table tennis and Xbox.

Last year a member from the Vibe team prayed with me during the main celebration and I grew a large amount of trust towards her. In a crown of over 1000 youth she searched me out several times just to see how I was doing. I was truly touched by how much she cared. Simply by talking to me she had reflected so much of God’s love and I wanted part of that. It was what this team member did for that made me brave filing out and submitting my application for for Vibe.

Fast forward a year and somehow I made it on team. I want to my first team meeting and anxiety’s ugly head appeared. Everyone seemed to know each other what was so intimidating! You could identify what team we are from by our shirts, vibe being in the blue so it was easy to spot who was where. Everyone was smiling and hugging, what meant that they were friendly but for someone who doesn’t know social ques in groups I found intimidating, especially when from the off you could tell that they were loud and outgoing.

This being said, I came to New Wine with a determined mine, anxiety and the eating disorder had rid me of most of my friends other than a final two. If anyone could love me, it would be Christians. So ignoring a screaming mind, I socialized.

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Above is the group photo of us all at the end of the week.

I’ve read so many times how church isn’t about a building. The people in your church are basically your family, this is something I’ve spent my entire christian walk struggling with. I know there is no such thing as a normal family, but I feel that I do come from a bit of a weird family, both by blood and by church. I know I’m cared for by the people in my facsimiles, they express kindness in ways that I don’t always get but I know they care. Yet I still struggle with feeling like church is my family and opening up to them, what isn’t a knock down about my church, they’re all lovely, anxiety and the mistrust that is caused by it is just a problem.

Being on team really opened my eyes though. So quickly I felt like I belonged, was the loud like most of them? Nope. But they still accepted my and cared for me like a family would. When I became ill they thankfully didn’t listen to my stubborn attempts at refusing a night or day off and with a hug they kicked my out and told me to go rest.

This week has really made me understand that it isn’t about a building, we were worshiping in a cow shed! We wasn’t in a grand building and yet God still meet with us all, He performed miracles and I felt closer to Him than I have all year. I wasn’t at church with people I’e known for years, I was with strangers but these strangers became family.


I’m going to be taking about New Wine for a while, it’s a been a week of miracles, healing and hope. In my next post I’m going to be going more in depth of the some great things that God has done, so keep your eyes open for that, It’ll be up in a day or two.

So whilst this is a short post where I haven’t touched on some of the amazing things, I just wanted to give you an introduction to this mini topic and just explain where I’ve been for the past week.