Alli's Place

Where Alli shares her thoughts and feelings…

Brilliant Day!

Today was our Women’s Day at church.  The theme was “Keeping Hope Alive”. We had about 230 women from all over the area there.  I was heading up the refreshments team with Lesley which was great fun as well as full on.  It feels like we have been boiling kettles and filling thermos jugs with coffee all day!

I had been asked to give a testimony and share some of my story.  I was pretty nervous about sharing, partly because a lot of people here didn’t know and part of me kind of liked it that way.  As I said to Sue afterwards, my secret is well and truly out now!  The testimony was to be shared with Helen kind of interviewing me which made it a bit less scary.  When we met to discuss it we both shed a tear though and I really didn’t want to stand up there and cry.

The speaker in the morning was Christine Perkins and her first session was so relevant to my testimony!  the way Helen and I had chosen to end my testimony fitted so well with what Christine had said.  I used my Reflecting… blog post that I wrote after the last Women’s day, the verse I had in the gift just summed it up for me.

Strangely it was all fine and I am not sure how I did it or what I said but it seemed to go well.  I may never know whether it spoke to people there in a particular way but I trust that God wanted me to do it and that he had a message in there somewhere!

Amazingly at the end of the day Lesley had been tidying up and had found Val’s engagement ring, which she lost at the last Women’s day.  Val was truly shocked and touched!  The ring she had given up on ever seeing again had turned up!  What a perfect ending to a brilliant day!

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Reflecting…

I have been thinking and reflecting a fair bit this week.  Last Sunday was the anniversary of two years since my operation.  The two year point was always going to be a milestone as I was told that it could take about that long for the nerves to settle down and heal.  It was suggested that things could always improve after that but that as time went on it was more unlikely. 

Two years ago I hoped the surgery would be a total cure from the pain I had before and that I would have no lasting effects, it is now clear that although the pain is much less that before that my dream at that time is unfortunately not reality.  I am still in a fair amount of pain and now find it hard to remember what it is like to not feel pain and I still have numbness in my foot and other sensory loss and a big toe that does not function fully.  I have learnt to accept this and the get on with life.  I have accepted that life is easier with painkillers and now take them regularly rather than trying to cope without.  One of the hardest things has been for me to admit to myself that this is how I am and that I can’t always manage to do things that I used to and that it is OK to admit this and say to people “sorry but no I can’t lift that table” rather than doing it and suffering for my stubbornness.

Last week at the women’s day we were all given a little gift of a bag with beads and sparkles, a magnetic word and a verse.  Each one was individual as they all had different combinations.  My verse was “God is able to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” Ephesians 3:20.  Since then it has been on my mind as I often wonder why God didn’t fully heal me and why I still have constant pain to live with.  Over the last two years I have learnt to accept that God doesn’t always do what we ask for or respond to our prayers as we would like Him to.  He often answers them in a different way to what we want, but he can still do amazing things and works in our lives and in lots of ways He has done more than I could have asked or imagined.

Several people have asked me how I cope and how I stay so strong.  I sometimes wonder how this is as I wouldn’t class myself as a strong person and if someone had told me what my future would be two years ago I would have said I wouldn’t be able to cope.  All I can say is that God gives me the strength and courage to face my problems and carry on.  On a bad day I thank God that I can still walk and that I can still carry on a normal life as I know that it was a real possibility that this wouldn’t be the case.  So many people prayed for me while I was in hospital, friends and people I didn’t know, and I know that God was with me and looked after me at that time.  I felt so at ease when I went down for my operation, I knew that I couldn’t do anything and it was all in His hands.  As someone who hates to stay in bed even when I am ill I knew that having to be lying flat for 4 days was going to be really hard but some how the time flew by and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I even managed to escape from hospital a day earlier than planned so things were pretty good really!  I was so blessed by those around me, my friends were brilliant!  I don’t think I really realised how many amazing people were around me and how much they cared about me and I am so blessed to have them as my friends and I will always be thankful for them and the care that they showed me.  My Mum was amazing too, I know she found it hard not to fuss and she found it really difficult to see me ill but we also had six weeks together where we enjoyed each others company and grew closer to one another and we wouldn’t have had that time if I hadn’t been ill.  What I am trying to say is that although God didn’t heal my pain totally He has helped me is so many ways and I have learnt so much in the last two years and that is some ways he has done more good in my life than I could have imagined so it hasn’t all been bad at all! 

In case you are wondering my magnetic word was paradise and I know that one day I will be in paradise with God and then I will no longer be in pain and will be free of my earthy body.

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Women’s Day and Cath visiting

It has been a busy couple of weeks.  Last weekend was brilliant.  My church had a women’s day on the Saturday which was brilliant.  The speakers, Mary Pytches and Prue Bedwell were great and make an excellent double act, complementing each other and obviously have a strong friendship.  I was helping with the registration and information desk and I really enjoyed being able to help out.

After the women’s day I picked Cath up from the station as she came to visit for a few days.  It was good to see her and catch up and we had a good time relaxing.  On Sunday we went to church, had lunch and went for a walk around Milton country park (and got some yummy ice creams) and did lots of chatting.  In the evening we decided to go and watch Avatar in 3D which was brilliant, the 3D was awesome even if it did give me a headache!  On Monday I had the day off and we went to Ely and had a good walk around looking at the Cathedral and some of the shops.  On the way back to the car we popped into St Mary’s church as they had a prayer labyrinth set up for Easter and we wanted to see what it was like – I am pleased to say we were both impressed and they had gone to a lot of effort!  Then we went to Rectory Farm (which is really close to my house) to have a look round the farm shop and get some afternoon tea from the cafe.  In the evening I dropped Cath off at the station.

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