A Nottingham Epilogue

I was encouraged recently to realise that, if we’re leaving a place for the right reasons, then we’re leaving because of the friends we leave behind, the experiences we’ve had. They’ve been preparing us, shaping us, helping us, to be ready for the new challenges we face. We’re not running away, but pushing doors, not fleeing difficulty, but seeking challenge. Our friends don’t stop being friends, in fact seeing them just becomes more special in the new context we find ourselves. Moments more treasured.

As I reflect on my eight years here I am amazed how much God has been changing me and opening my eyes to the diversity, complexity and joy of this world. Through hard times and good I have been blessed with great friends, reminding me of God’s love, my sinfulness and the joy to be found in all of life’s quirks and randomness. For day trips, meals out, random encounters, film nights, pizza nights, holidays, bad days, good days, I thank you all. As a reward, please accept free accommodation in Prague…

I read a really interesting article about how our 20s are the most formative years of our lives and it has been a delight discovering who God made me with you all (http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/20-things-every-twentysomething-should-have). These eight years have enabled me to grow in confidence, explore creativity, go on a lot of trips to the pick and mix shop, expand my horizons in many a way, not to mention getting half decent at teaching (a more nomadic friend of mine recently commented ‘You have a profession!” Yikes! Am I supposed to be professional then?). Wonderful experiences all, on reflection.

This is not an end, but a beginning, not a full stop, but a comma. A new opportunity to enjoy God’s bountiful goodness, a new perspective to appreciate the truth of the gospel, and an opportunity to meet, and be met by, fellow travellers. I’m not looking to reinvent myself or leave behind my boring life, but just to step out on faith, as I am.

It has been a delight saying goodbye this week – I have spent wonderful times with wonderful people who are so dear to me. I am sad to leave, of course, but I am expectant of God’s goodness because I can see how he has used each person and situation here in Nottingham to enable me to reach this point. So it’s your fault I’m brave enough to leave really…

And I’ll be back. Count on it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s