Friday, 9 November 2012

The Potter's Hands - Gina

Gap year series HERE WE GO!

So this is a series to give everyone a little glimpse into what we've each individually been doing on out gap years. It's called The Potters Hands (Not because of Harry Potter as I originally thought) but because we've each given this year to God and we now want to share what he's done with it so far...One of the reasons we created this blog was to keep each other updated as we each ventured out on our individual gap years, so here's the first installment!

I was wracking my brains as to a cool and quirky way which I could show this, and I realised that my gap year coincides with my instagram pictures! I'm going to write too, and I'll try and be concise!

Sarah's send off to Falmouth . beauty whilst bike riding . a stay in Swindon with Eve .

So far it's been a year full of hardship. I think I wandered into it with a little naievety, expecting to 'get a job', 'earn money', go away to Africa and come back with life-changing experiences! In a sense that's still going to happen, but God's had a LOT to teach me about it and myself in the process.

I didn't just 'get a job' as I expected, there was many weeks of trailing round town with CV's, hopefuls and then dissapointments, hurts and tears as I was rejected. I found the odd one day job, and eventually settled into part time shifts with the school kitchens. This is excruciating as it means being around the school I have supposedly just left. To start with it brought back a lot of memories, and it felt like I was drowning in the old ones while I was supposed to be making new ones.
Not being around my friends every day was painful, I felt so lonely suddenly and so miserable knowing that it wasn't going to change. But God has taught me that I don't need to find my happiness in earthly things - I thought that was just money and clothes and all the rest, but I think it means things like friendship too - and that true happiness resides in HIM. So that brought me up short, and meant that I began to tenativlely seek God more and more.

toasties with Eve . Transform interview travel with Abbie and Milla and Kate . Milla 'performing' at Reading train station .
The dissapointment didn't stop there though...God still had more to teach! So I expected to go with SMILE  a crosslinks organisation to Uganda. I went to the interview. Got a place on the third team. But ended up not being able to go as they couldn't find the leaders. Crap. This threw me into a whirl of 'what am I going to do?? What if I never go away? aaaaahhhh'. BUT, God is soverign and it all worked out for the best.
I've currently got a place on a transform team to go to Tanzania with Tearfund. This is clearly where God wants me to be. It has such a better feel to it than the SMILE one ever did, the interview was soooo relaxed and I met some really nice, notatall intimmidating people there! I think what God was trying to teach me was that, in the words of C.S.Lewis 'not to put your heart in the future.' (Screwtape Letters) The bible says that where your heart is your treasure is also. And what C.S.Lewis was getting at was that you shouldn't put your heart in things that could change so easily and dissapoint you. You should put your heart in the present and praise God for the things that he's given you now. It's changed my whole outlook on life and I love it!
Mentioning 'Screwtape Letters' I've been trying to read some Christian books to become a lot wiser and more knowledgable about God and the bible, and to get my head around some issues. I would seriously recommend the 'Screwtape Letters' - I know that Kate would too. It is so amazing and it's written from the devil's perspective so you have to constantly be reversing it in your mind, reverse psychology works!! It's taught me so many things that I can't go into, but go and find out for yourself!
Another book (I don't want to turn this into a book-review post but I have to mention it) is 'Desiring God' by John Piper. I know Abbie would also recommend it. It's amazing. Give it a read. It has some amazing views on joy i.e. our purpose is to glorify God by enjoying Him.
bike ride with milla . monopoly with Kate, Milla and Abbie .
So I'm currently spending my days in the paradox of dreading and yet needing the call from Julie to tell me there's work in the kitchens. I find it so difficult as it's so hard to get on with the people there, and I find it quite lonely. But I try and use the time to myself to pray for all of them - it is my mission to pray for them constantly so that at least one of them starts to question God and look at Christianity. I'm trying to be a light for God there, his ambassador in that place. I have had one conversation with someone, but I desperately want more. And all for His glory!!

To sum up: The gap year so far has been hard and will probably be harder but it's brought me closer to God! And I have had some fantastic times with friends aswell. There should be another post, post-Tanzania with tons of pictures and stories, so keep reading! I will be so impressed if you read this, hopefully there will be more stories from the others to come.


  1. This is incredible and makes me realise how much I miss you, dear Gina! WOOOO you got into tearfund :D (this highlights how much better we need to stay in contact....!!) Massive joy for this. Feeling all sad and nostalgic now but SO excited by all God is teaching you. May you fall even more in love with Him this year. <3 Love you big time xxxx

  2. I love this post! It's awesome to see through your story how God works for the good of all who love him despite hardships and how important trust in him really is! xxxx


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