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Viewpoint from Mary Ives 27/04/2012

Previously Area Director, YMCA Norfolk
Some of you may have read an article in the Mercury and Network Yarmouth a week or two back announcing my retirement as Area Director for YMCA Norfolk. Although this is true, I am continuing to work on a part time basis until my replacement is ready to start in a couple of months
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Sometimes making life changing decisions is hard, and for me this was one of those difficult decisions. I have absolutely loved the job I have been doing for nearly six years. In that time my own personal circumstances have changed so much that my life is almost unrecognisable to the life I was leading when I started the job. I really believe God has blessed me in so many ways that I almost now take for granted!
There are times when we need to sit back and, as my mother taught me, 'count our blessings'. This is something I have recently done and wow what a long list I have – family, friends, a lovely home, job satisfaction – to name but a few. When I was going through perhaps the most difficult phase of my life I still took time out to count those blessings!  In the words of an old hymn – 'Count your blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done'
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When I have come across difficult times or been in difficult situations my Christian faith has sustained me. Just recently some words from the Bible have been brought to my mind. Those of you who were around in the 60s will remember there was a song written by Pete Seeger based around some words from Ecclesiastes in the Old testament part of the Bible – 'To everything turn, turn, turn. There is a season, turn, turn, turn and a time for every purpose under heaven'.
I love to read the Bible using The Message version which brings a fresh approach to age old scriptures – so having the words of that song stuck in my head I turned to The Message for a modern take – there are a lot of verses but this one has stuck with me – 'There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth... a right time to hold on and another to let go'
For me this was the time to let go of a fantastic job helping people and move on to something new. A hard decision to make, but somehow I knew it was the right one. Making decisions is not always easy, but with my firm belief that God is with me in each step of my life I have made this decision – and am looking for what the next step of my life will look like. When things look bad for you, maybe remembering to count your blessings will help you to walk on to the next step of life with faith and courage


Bertie (Guest) 02/05/2012 12:06
Aah, thanks for sharing this with us. It's always hard to know whether our decisions are the right ones but I have also learned that the art of life is to know when to let go. The amazing thing is that even when we let go at a time that may not seem right, God still 'makes a plan come together' and things work out to His glory.