It’s now less than two weeks before I move up to Bradford and start working for CAP (see post below for an explanation of what I will be doing and why). I have now left Southampton which has been my home for three years and am currently back at my parents’ house, packing ready for the move. Saying goodbye has been difficult especially as Bradford is 250 miles away from Southampton, so popping back isn’t really an option! But if I’m honest, the difficulty in saying goodbye has a lot more to do with something that happened this summer.
In the middle of June I went away on a trip to Norway with a group from the Navigators in Southampton. Whilst I was out there, a good friend and member of the group, James, died in a hiking accident. The weeks and months afterwards have been difficult as I wrestled with my grief and why God had allowed such a thing to happen. It has taken me most of the summer to get over the shock and come to terms with what had happened.
I tell you this because this tragedy has dramatically shaped my summer, and is still in my mind as I prepare to move. I had hoped to move to Bradford after a restful and joyful summer. Having had the chance to recharge and recover from the stress of final year. I planned to be at my best (as if that was ever in my control). Instead I will be moving whilst I am still recovering from this loss. Feeling tired and drained by what has happened. To me it can feel like a really bad time to move away from my friends and family. It is not how I would have chosen it to happen. But I believe in a God who has perfect timing and good plans, I know he will provide me with everything I need. None the less I would really value your prayers as I move to Bradford.
I am excited about the adventure I am embarking on. I know I am going where God wants me to be and I am looking forward to getting settled and stuck in. The fundraising is still feeling quite intimidating (I have to raise £3000 for the charity over the year) although, thanks to many people’s generosity, I have already raised £700. I am someone who doesn’t really like having things hanging over me, but this isn’t something I can achieve in a few months. With the way the summer has gone, I haven’t made been able to give it as much energy as I would have liked, so I feel a little behind. It’s definitely an exercise in trust and I’m trying not to get too anxious about it.
I am very grateful to everyone who has been praying for me and has supported me so far. You are all wonderful. I now have my accommodation confirmed for Bradford so message me if you would like my address.
If you are someone who prays, I would appreciate prayer for the following:
- That the move would go smoothly and I would settle in Bradford and make friends quickly
- For progress in the fundraising and that I will feel God’s peace and not worry too much
- For courage, strength and energy to face all the challenges and new situations ahead of me
- For the Southampton Navigators, and their leaders Steve and Debs, as they plan for a new term after the death of a much loved member.