Yes, it’s true. I am moving South. (Then a bit more South, across the Channel, East a bit etc…) To be honest, I don’t know exactly where I’ll be between December and April, but there will be stretches of various lengths in other countries (as well as heck of a lot of time on coaches I expect!!)
This is a post I’ve written and re-written multiple times and never been happy enough with to post. So I’m doing it anyway. Just as it is. Here is my stream of thoughts and a brief explanation of the upcoming changes in my life:
In November 2013 I will be moving to Kent to take up an entirely voluntary (yes, unpaid) position with the Christian holiday company Oakhall. If I have passed my 1st ski instructor course by then (I’m doing it in Manchester in 2 weeks time – wish me luck or pray for me, depending on your preference/beliefs!) then I shall primarily be teaching beginners to ski, along with some weeks of leading the holidays, cleaning, cooking etc. As it is entirely volunteer-led, when you sign up to serve, you do just that. You muck in and serve wherever is needed.
That excites me you know. From week to week things will change. The point is to serve a charity, give my gifts and talents freely, and build others up around me however I can. I’ll be building people’s confidence, helping them do things with their body that they didn’t know they could do. I’ll be helping them enjoy the beauty of European mountains. I’ll be looking after them physically and spiritually. I’ll be speaking words of wisdom and giving advice when appropriate. I’ll be worshipping my God formally, informally and everything in between. I’ll be leading people to know Jesus better. And I’ll be making sure people have a restful, enjoyable holiday experience with nice food, fun activities and clean toilets!
What a privilege.
If I don’t pass my instructors course, I’ll be disappointed of course, but not devastated. I haven’t actually been skiing for very long (certainly not as long as they recommend before you start instructing!) And I want to teach people well. If I’m not ready yet, then that’s ok. I know I’ll get there in the end. I’ll be ready eventually and I’ll be a better instructor. But that will change the balance of what I’m doing over those 6 months. There’d be a lot more leading cleaning and cooking basically!
Why am I doing this? Why now? Well, that’s a long story. I won’t go into it all now. Let’s just say that it’s been a dream for a while and, I believe, God has orchestrated it to happen now.
That said, there are things I am devastated to be laying down. I never thought I could be as happy in where I’m living as I am now. It’s made me literally weep to think of leaving -yup, here I go now even writing this. I live with an amazing family. They embody joy and kindness, two qualities that I know without doubt have increased in me while I’ve been living here. This is the kind of family I hope to build in future.
And of course, I have been lucky (blessed) enough to work in an organisation I care deeply about, in an environment that cares about me as a person, with a great team, and in a role where i have been able to make a valuable contribution for the last several years.
Almost my entire adult life has been spent in this city. I’ve built closer friendships in the last 10 years than I thought possible in a lifetime. I often honestly think I am the most blessed woman in the whole world. I’ve done nothing to deserve this much, this many wonderful people, this many wonderful experiences, in my life.
I know I am giving up much.
But I know I am gaining much too. I know this is right for me. It’s right for now.
I have huge respect for the leaders at Oakhall. I am excited at the new chapter that is about to open in my life.
Don’t ask me what I’ll do after April, because I have no idea. I don’t think it’s fair or right for me to make plans about that at the moment. Who knows who I’ll meet, what opportunities will come up, or most importantly what God will say to me. All I know is that I have to go for a while.
Maybe I’ll be back in Liverpool by May. Maybe I’ll move to Jersey. Maybe I’ll stay on with Oakhall longer term. Maybe I’ll get a job in the South of England. Or maybe I’ll die – that one probably shocked you, didn’t it! My point is, none of us know what’s round the corner. All we can do is the best with what we’ve got. That’s what I’m doing. I have to go. I have to serve. It burns in me now. I know, because I know, because I know…
That’s all for now.
Oh – DON’T TELL THE KIDS!!!!!!!!! Not yet.
That is all.