It's still summer holidays (for students and teachers) and church looks a little different on Sundays. The regular musicians are off-duty and there are no children's programmes or lengthy sermons. A few weeks ago our pastors asked for anyone willing to share a testimony from 2017.

My immediate reaction was that nothing 'big' had happened unlike in 2016 when a trip down south resulted in a detached retina and surgery for DH. Then, and later, we were really able to see how God had protected us and had been in and through it all.

I know that the same is true for this past year. God has been there through it all. It's just at times it's been a little hard for these eyes to see. 

Because 2017 has been a hard year. Work has been difficult at the best of times. There have not been the breakthroughs in prayer I had hoped for. A lot of soul searching has gone on: am I the problem? What do I need to change? Do I need to get out of the picture?

It's been tough.

Just yesterday I had an appointment in town - an appointment that year after year I put off because I dread it. I always come away feeling inadequate and incompetent (not new feelings for me) and more socially awkward than usual.

I was praying about this appointment yesterday morning and I asked if a thing or two could be switched up. I knew I would survive the way the meeting had already been arranged but if it could be changed slightly it would be less intimidating for me.

I had little hope of things changing at this late stage so (I guess because of lack of faith) I also asked that I would have the strength to survive this 'challenge'.

As I was getting ready the phone rang: Would I mind if there was a change? Would I mind? It was all I could do not to jump for joy while on the phone. The meeting went better than expected and I didn't feel socially awkward, inferior or too inadequate.

In the larger scheme of things, this was nothing big. It wouldn't have destroyed me if nothing had changed. But the fact that this prayer was answered was such an encouragement to me. I was reminded again - even though I already knew it - that God is here - in the big things and the small - and He is at work.

I don't know if things will have changed when I go back to work next week ... Some of my prayers have not been answered yet or the way I had hoped ... but God hasn't left me. He is still there and He is still working ... I've known it all along but I am so thankful that in such a little thing that He showed me He cares for me and I am not forgotten.

And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed (Deuteronomy 31:8, NKJV).