Seeking Harvest – Hannah’s Story
I have always loved school. I loved hanging out with my friends each day, being part of the school community and being inspired by the teachers around me. I even loved the pressure and structure of assignments and assessment tasks. Call me crazy, but I just loved everything about it.
I loved it so much that I didn’t want to leave it.
As the last day of Year 12 got closer and closer, I started to internally freak out. School had always been my safe place. It was the world that I knew and understood. By the time I was eight years old my family and I had moved eight times with my dad’s job. New cities, new schools, new friends, I had navigated that change many times. In doing so, I had also learned how to thrive in a school environment and so much of my identity and confidence revolved around school life.
When I finished my final year 12 exam, although I was doing a happy dance, I was also in a place of huge uncertainty. I was entering a new season that I didn’t feel ready or prepared for. A season that felt like winter. I kept a smile on my face on the outside but what few people probably realised was that on the inside I was really struggling. My self-esteem nose-dived because I had built my confidence and identity around something temporary.
Now that I no longer had the structure and certainty of school life and the role I played there, who was I?
The following months were like a rollercoaster. Amazing things were happening and I still had a joy for life and an excitement to see all that God had for me but at times my heart was heavy. It was like there was a little bag tucked away in there. Inside the bag was my collection of negative thoughts, unfulfilled promises, rejections, failures and disappointments. Some days I could feel the bag weighing me down, other days I would forget all about it.
It was about six months into the new year when I was scrolling through my Instagram feed that I saw a scripture from the Bible ‘a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.’ The word harvest almost leapt off the page. It was in that moment that I knew I had to do something with this word ‘harvest.’ Ideas, dreams and plans began to form in my head. I was ready to collect all God had for me, I was ready to move forward in this next season. To be honest, I thought everything would just fall into place overnight. I thought my shaky confidence and self-doubt would disappear now that I had a word from God and a new dream to focus on.
But that wasn’t the case.
It was just the beginning of a healing journey, a journey that I am still on. Through this journey I have begun to realise that every moment of everyday we are faced with choices. The choice to decide what we do with our thoughts, where we place our confidence and who we allow to shape our identity. Slowly but surely, I am getting better at choosing healthy, beneficial thoughts that serve me well.
Here are three things that have really helped me:
- Starting each day with an affirmation. I write a small paragraph that I then repeat throughout the day. This has established the habit of speaking positive truth over my life.
- Find a mentor, coach or someone around you that you can trust. We weren’t made to do this journey alone. I had to be intentional about opening up and allowing other people to help me and speak life into me
- Track negative thoughts. When someone first suggested this to me and I started doing it, I found it confronting and rather weird. However, the more I did it, the more helpful it became. This practice enabled me to understand what doubts I had, and how to identify their root causes so that I could find strategies that would be more effective long-term.
I can’t think of a better way to finish then with this story I read from a while ago. It basically sums up my story and my prayer is that my words and my story has in some way blessed you also.
“A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong,
she’s failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.
Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack,
the daughter says, ‘Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.’
‘Here, have some cooking oil,’ her Mother offers.
‘Yuck’ says her daughter.
‘How about a couple raw eggs or flour or baking powder.”
‘Mom, those are all yucky!’
To which the mother replies:
‘Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves.
But when they are put together in the
right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! ‘
God works the same way. Many times, we wonder why
He would let us go through such bad and difficult
times. But God knows that when He puts these things
all in His order, they always work for good!
We just have to trust Him and,
eventually, they will all
make something wonderful!”