Oh, the final line of this post…
In the past year and half since I changed my job and therefore my lifestyle, I have begun to plan less. I don’t look so far ahead and my five year plan has become more of a five week view.
I’m living a life I would never have dreamt of. By now, in my imagination, I would perhaps be living in a house with a garden, temporarily out of teaching, and I’d be a mum. And some of my friends have these things, my long held childhood dreams.
Gradually though, dreams morph into new ideals, new imaginings. What once seemed to be the oracle and the peak of your very expectancy, is dimmed by other growing lights. First they are small flickers, growing into the light that illuminates your eyes when you speak. If dreams remained static they could become stagnant. Dreams contain precious treasure but sometimes they seem to have less lustre in the daylight and the different circumstances.
And sometimes God says go.
16 months and four days on from my first, but sadly not only, substantial investment in South West Trains commuting train ticket, I have left the commuting life behind. Something that only a few years ago held no appeal at all – a move to London – has been worked for, prayed about and aimed towards for six months. This week, it came to fruition.
When I began working in London I had prayed about whether to move, and felt that it didn’t really matter either way, so I chose to stay and change only one major thing in my life at that time.
But in July I heard God say it was time to go, and grow where I was planted. This planting, it was increasingly clear, was in London. I wanted to be certain, and much like Gideon I laid my proverbial fleece before God.
“If I’m to move, please let someone ask me about moving today.” I prayed, as I travelled home to spend the evening in, on my own. Shortly after I got in I received a phone call from my friend on holiday in America: “Have you decided about moving?”
I grumped, ungratefully, concerned about talking to my housemate who had mentioned she never wanted to move again when she moved in, and asked for another sign. And as I turned out of the road to the chip shop (God likes to work in the every day) – in the opposite direction to normal – a truly biblical sign of a rainbow stretched the entire way across the sky. So I began to plan…
But once again, God hasn’t said to go in the way that means most to the world. I toyed with keeping my home and renting it out, while I rented someone else’s, but after anxiety and number-crunching, the crux came with this question “is your security in God, or in the flat?”. It wasn’t one that needed answering. In that moment I knew I would sell, and break away entirely from that place I had lived for 23 years of my life. A place where my dreams had begun, and been dashed, and been reimagined. This has met with confusion, why give up a place on the property ladder? But I know it’s the right move (pun intended!) for me.
I’ve got rid of my car, I’m (almost) no longer a home owner, and I rent out a room instead. I live in a house with a garden, a beautiful place I would never had dreamt of. My commute is only one fifth of what it was previously. It turns out you can take the girl out of London, and then back she goes.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing, it’s been frustrating, there have been setbacks and times when it felt like it would never come off – and that was just trying to pack. I had a house fall through close to my moving date, only to see God come through with something better than my imaginings. I’ve had to leave friends, family, friends who are like family, and it’s been incredibly hard.
But these new dreams are bright. The potential and the possibilities are glistening and sparkling. As I walked down my new road the day after I moved in, I asked God ‘what’s next?’. My heart leapt with the thrill and trepidation of the question. Truthfully, I don’t know. It’s exhilarating and daunting. The only sure thing I know is that God is, as ever, in control. And that now I live in London.