There was a time when I was in a very hard place due to ill health. The lack of mobility at the time had me feeling very isolated, and restricted. In the early days of my journey into isolation my husband and I went on three very significant holidays. The first was to an Easter YWAM Alumni camp, near Newcastle, NSW. Australia. The focus of the fellowship during those four days was Jesus’s death and resurrection. “The love of God.” The second holiday was to Cairns to visit friends. It was there in Cairns at a church service I received conformation God was speaking to me about Jesus being The Good Shepherd. The last wonderful holiday was to Canberra, Australia’s capital and place of power. As we travelled to Canberra, I was touched by how the people in the country towns honoured and respected the ANZAC’s
During the following years of isolation I felt safe and well cared for physically, I lacked for nothing. The biggest challenges came in the aloneness, caused through lack of social interactions with other people. I am a very social person, and just love sharing time chatting and participating in life with friends. Hence, during that period of life, I experienced loneliness and despair in all forms, but it was the lack of life that was the hardest to rise above. (I call it boredom)
Even though I had heard God’s voice, and had experienced amazing encounters I never really felt confident that what I had heard would come to pass. I never doubted I’d heard from God. I just didn’t have the confidence to trust God even though I thought I did. I knew His word and His presence but not His character, nor the value of His character.
During those months and years of my isolation I would cry out to God, and as I drew near to Him each morning, I would feel His presence and love. My days would be filled with wonderful stories to share with my husband when he got home from work. Eventually I lost that sense of being alone; and it was in that isolation where I had that “Ah ha” moment and realised The Good Shepherd cares about me. As I hear His voice, no matter how He chooses to speak; knowing His Character, (who He is), enables me to have confidence in Him and to trust that what He says will come to pass. He is so faithful.
The jewel I have taken from those years of isolation, is the understanding of my identity in Christ Jesus; who I am. I am a child of a caring heavenly father; I am proud to be a child of God. I am also proud to be identified as an Australian; because, that’s who I am. I know who I am. I also know Jesus is the Good Shepherd and I am one of His sheep and I hear His voice. He will lead me, guide me, provide and nurture me no matter what my life circumstances happen to be because He cares. Psalm 23. John 10: verse14,15