This week makes it one year since I upped and moved out from Loughborough to Manchester. (I briefly wrote about it here.) And I’ve been thinking about how much has changed in me and around me since I made the move. What’s new? What’s the same? Who’s new? Who’s the same? Many things have happened in this one year unlike no other year – good and what I’ll, in my limited understanding, call not-so-good.
For this week I thought to write about some of the ways I’ve changed, what I’ve learnt and I’m still learning in this new environment, the encounters and people I’ve met.
Honestly, I moved primarily for employment purposes. The fact that I got the job in a city close to Loughborough, temporarily lost it (read more here) and then re-received it in Manchester, in my opinion, shows the very hand of GOD. Only a few people knew till it was certain I was moving; even after, for the others, it was that I was ‘missing’ or ‘lost’ . . .lol. But hey, need to know, init? This same hand of GOD back-benched some rules to make sure I had enough to live on, in the first 3 months of Manchester.
Then my dad went to be with Jesus after many years of poor health. I was telling my brother recently that it could only have been GOD WHO was definitely with me [Deuteronomy 31:6, 8] that made me not run mad in those weeks I couldn’t travel for his burial after trying everything I know how to, and was away from my family for so long. I was in so much pain and despair, how I made it to work everyday without losing it IS A MIRACLE! #fact
Now I know when GOD says when I go through the waters and fires, HE will be with me [Isaiah 43:2], HE really does mean it. No joke!
In moving I really didn’t want to go to a typical ‘black’ church, so those weren’t in my radar when I was hunting for churches (I wrote about it here.) I found URCF and I’m very grateful to GOD I did. It’s a mixed community church and my prior years in the UK had seen me not have any close relationships with non-African but GOD is delivering me from that now because I have a community of believers around me that span the continents! And I am learning to relate with people with less melanin than me.
I’m also getting blessed regularly by the URCF folk, I feel my life getting fuller and fuller everyday. Now there are more Christians around me whose walks with GOD challenge and motivate me to draw closer to GOD than before!
One that is major and rings true for me is the prayer of Paul when he asked GOD to take away the thorn in his flesh three times, but GOD instead reassured him that HIS grace was sufficient for him [2 Corinthians 12:8-10]. Remember that one? I need to remind myself of it almost everyday especially as a teacher!
If I had my way, I’ll exclude from my classes many students but I believe GOD is using my ‘compulsory’ daily/weekly interactions with them to show me how much grace HE has provided for me. And I must be willing to tap into it. It got to a point where I had to use my board marker to write the word ‘JESUS‘ on the inside of my wrist, as I was not happy with the amount of negative hormones being pumped into my system daily. This meant anytime I looked at my watch which was many times a lesson, I was quietly reminded of HIM and this helped a lot.
Now, it takes more to get me riled up and even if I do get riled up, I relax much quicker. My level of patience has increased. My odeeshi (hide) has toughened. I respond more than react now. I’m still a work-in-progress though and I know HE’s not finished with me yet.
In summary, no matter how arduous the journey may seem now, take heart, this too shall pass. Once Jesus is with you in the boat, you can be sure of safe landing on the other side no matter how tempestuous the waves maybe or the billows roar [Matthew 14:22-33].
To your making progress, . . .