BlogsThoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral
The Tapestry of Life
By Matt Wilson, Jubilee Church Wirral
Having a clear vision from God does not always mean we see God’s big plan.
I am writing this and reflecting on what was an amazing, emotional, inspiring, difficult, blessed, (and a thousand other adjectives) 2022!
At The Keswick Convention in 2016 I met Tim Morfin, the CEO of Transforming Lives for Good (TLG).
TLG is a charity with three strands – each working in different ways with some of the most vulnerable and broken young people in our country.
When I met Tim, TLG had 12 Alternate Provision Schools that worked with young people who were at risk of permanent exclusion from their mainstream schools.
God gave me a vision to see a school open in Wirral. In September 2021, after five years of prayer and many meetings with many different people, the go-ahead was given for a school to open in Hoylake, in partnership with Hope Church.
In October 2021 I was appointed Head of Centre for the school and on January 4th 2022 I started my new role.
Building work was still being done and there were many things still to be put in place and so the school opened to pupils on March 7th.
The next 10 months can only be described as a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, twists and turns, highs and lows. Far more than I have time to go into!
During the five years of trying to convince people that we needed a school in Wirral, I wrote this in my presentation:
“We may not be able to change the whole world, but we can change the whole world for an individual young person.”
On October 31st, we received the very sad news that TLG had decided, for various reasons, that it could no longer support the 11 Education Centres around the country and that by the end of the academic year all centres would cease to be a part of the TLG charity.
This news was difficult to accept. Jonny Brennan and the congregation at Hope Church had invested so much into the school and this news was devastating.
On 19th December 2022, nearly 10 months after opening, the school closed. We ended with a day of celebration of what the pupils had achieved and a Christmas dinner, cooked by Jonny, Sarah and Sheila.
The legacy of the school will live on at Hope Church and Jonny is keen to explore further opportunities of a similar nature in the future. In fact, as I write this he is going to meet up with a pupil who was with us from the first day to the last and who Jonny has agreed to continue to mentor at his new placement.
However, for me, the TLG adventure that has been a part of my life for nearly seven years has now ended.
On Monday this week (January 23rd), after 26 years of teaching children, I started a new job teaching numeracy to adults for Wirral Borough Council.
The vision we are given may only be a small part in God’s big plan. When things don’t turn out the way you thought they would, it can be difficult to accept.
Proverbs 19:21 says “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
God is weaving a tapestry and he knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.
Often we can only see the mess of random threads at the back of the tapestry, but those threads are working for His good.
While that can be difficult to accept and hard to understand at times, without those threads the front of the tapestry wouldn’t be quite the same.
Although the school was only for a short time, God does not make mistakes. All who were involved are certain that it was His plan. Over the 10 months we were open we helped not just one young person but eight. We pray that what we have injected into their lives through God’s plan will help them throughout the rest of their lives, and maybe change their direction.
On the train down to Birmingham in December for our last get together as TLG Education Staff God shared this poem with me by Corrie Ten Boom. I shared it with the staff at TLG and with the congregation at Hope Church. I think it is an apt way to conclude. Thank you for reading.
My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colours
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skilful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.
Matt Wilson, Jubilee Church Wirral
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