I can hardly believe it.
Tomorrow, October 23rd, marks the conclusion of my first month here in Nottingham.
One side of me feels as though I’ve never lived anywhere else, and then another part still finds a new adventure in the day to day rhythm of my city.
This week I have been extremely introspective and even slightly sentimental. Just a year ago I had learned I would be attending Nottingham Trent for my Masters. How could I have known then how much this place would mean to me now?
Coming to Nottingham was absolutely, without a doubt, one of the best decisions of my life. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.
In the past few weeks I have seen God move in such mighty ways that there is no denying I am where He wants me to be.
At first, I thought I was coming to Nottingham for postgraduate work. Yes, God did bring me here to further my education, but I am convinced that this is just a minor part of a much larger picture God has been preparing me for my entire life.
So many things led up to this point and to this place. God keeps revealing Himself to me in new and exciting ways, and I am so excited to be a part of this adventure with Him.
It’s amazing to come to a city where I’d never been before and yet I can feel so at home. That alone is truly a gift from God and an assurance of His presence here with me.
I still find it strange that just a month ago, I couldn’t navigate the bus system. Now, here I am and I still struggle with the bus system.
In fact, I was telling my mom just the other night that I was carefully considering writing and dedicating a blog entirely to the hate-love relationship I share with public transportation. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve almost missed the bus or had to literally run to catch it, I would be doing quite well financially.
I’ve said it a million times, and I reckon I’ll say it another million . . . I am so overwhelmingly thankful to be here.
No, four weeks isn’t an incredibly long period of time, but within this span of time the Lord has grown and developed me.
I’m not the same person that stepped off of the plane in Heathrow on September 23. That isn’t something I’m just saying for dramatic effect. It’s true.
Since I have so much experience with buses, I’ll use just that to help paint a picture. When you get on a bus, the implication is that you have a destination to reach. If you’re like me and one of your bus stands is literally the last one of the trek, you will encounter various stops.
Anticipation builds as you inch closer and closer to the place you long to be. Then, before you know it, you’re there in the City Centre and you realize that all the stops along the way were worth reaching this point.
That’s how this journey has been for me. I can see the hand of God over my life, divinely leading me to Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, and (praise Jesus!) Heart Church.
All the bumps along the road and what seemed like delays aren’t important anymore because I now know that they were helping to prepare me for this stage of my life.
I can’t say I know what the future holds because just in the first month the Lord has changed my heart in a mighty way. He is leading me in a direction that I am incredibly excited about and can’t wait to share with you soon!
But that’s how God works! When we are willing, He takes us from the familiar and comfortable and guides us to the fantastic and incomparable.
Not everyone is called to move across the sea, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! My encouragement and challenge for you is that you don’t take for granted the time or place you have been placed in.
Routines and habits are snares to trap and stagnate you, but don’t let them. God has led you to the point in your life that you are in right now for a reason. He’s a gentle God and He won’t force you into anything, but His perfect plan is not something you want to miss out on. Pray that He would open your eyes to all that’s around you and that you would never lose your childlike wonder at His absolute awesomeness!
I have found a home in Nottingham, a home that I wouldn’t trade for anything in this world. That isn’t to say that I don’t love where I’ve come from, but that I’m thrilled to be where I am.
Friends are becoming family, and conversation is becoming fellowship. Surround yourself with Christians who are like-minded and seek to push you closer to God. What a blessing it was the other night to spend hours talking about how indescribable our God is!
Embrace each day as a new day, a day in which God’s mercies run new and you have the chance to make a fresh start.
You are where you are for a purpose: God’s perfect will! So, walk in Him and see where He leads.