It is hard for me to believe that we have been here for a year. It has been a roller-coaster of emotions.
We were not unhappy to see the back of our removal company who enjoyed taking the money but didn't seem so keen on doing the work well. The majority of the boxes were cleared or at least sorted in about a week - ironically the two we left to 'sort out later' are still in the same state. Perhaps, that will be our anniversary present. ￼
I suppose our changes of settling in well were blown out of the water at the news of our friend dying at the age of 38. Our old church had only just lost us to a different place and then they were having to deal with that news. We still miss our friend and often when we see the absurd we are reminded of his wacky sense of humour. We are reminded of his love for God, his wife and child. When we saw his wife a few weeks ago we were once again amazed at the courage and trust in God she has.
I could recount the whole year's many tales but suffice to say it isn't a 12-month period I wish to repeat again soon. Or ever really. But then again I know that when we say we will serve God we do not get to order our days.
Gradually, this place is feeling a little like home. We went on our old Church's Houseparty just over a month ago and somehow that helped. It was a great weekend but I cried openly in ways I haven't done since I was a child. God gave me the realisation over that weekend that we are here and we can trust Him to enable us to serve Him.
I was also reminded that I have to be the change I want to see: Let me clarify. I can't complain that the Church, people etc are not what I am used to whilst I wallow in my upset. I have to be encouraging even when I am not encouraged. I have to worship even when the music is not as I would choose. I have to ask God to show me how I can change before I point the finger at others.
We are living in a beautiful part of the country and need to make the most of it. I have been in the sea once this year and plan to make it a regular thing - weather permitting. We also want to take our girls for long walks in the countryside that we are surrounded by.
So 12 months has past and I look forward (with trepidation) to the next 12 months to see how I will grow, what lessons God will teach me and what is in store.