The past week has been strange and a little bit life changing.
Firstly, I will no longer be jetting off to California in less than four weeks. Some very underhand things have been going on and I feel like, if I hadn’t pointed out any flaws in the trip, I wouldn’t have found out until I got out there. When I informed the people I was going to be staying with that my flights were non-refundable it was like they started trying to save face, telling me I could still come out and that it would basically all be fine. It became really sketchy and putting more money into it would have probably ended badly. Living isn’t just about having experiences, it’s also about making the right decisions, and sometimes settling for not flying 5000 miles away to throw even more money down the pan. Losing £800 leaves me with a pretty horrible feeling in my gut, but I would rather lose that now and learn from it, than ten years down the line when I don’t have the security that I do still have in life.
God won’t waste this (I’m already gaining wisdom from it), and the best part is that His plan for me, without California, is becoming wonderfully clear. On Thursday I’ll be going for an interview to get on a TEFL course in Belfast. Most of you know that, originally, I was applying to do the course in September but, keeping my change of plans in mind, I decided to apply for August. This means that I’ll be able to be looking for jobs in the land of the Scots that start in September (wahey!!) and that I will have the qualification a lot sooner. However, I understand that I shouldn’t jump the gun, and if I don’t get on the course this also means I can look for jobs that start a lot earlier. Either option is brilliant and exciting and I couldn’t be happier.
Finally, one thing that’s become clear to me only over the past twenty-four hours is that I think I’ve been putting words in God’s mouth over the past two weeks. I’ve been talking a lot about how I think God wants me to get out of my comfort zone and find a church community here and really get involved with it. But today, and last night, I’ve been wondering if it’s the exact opposite. You see, I’m a very sociable person. I like to be around people and the thought of having that comfort in N.Ireland sounds pretty nice, pretty ideal. But is that what God wants from me, while I’m here for a few months, to get involved with a community to just leave again? I have no intentions of staying here and yes, we need fellowship, but I have a great Christian family and tonnes of Christian friends. It isn’t easy or comfortable for me to sit in my house with all this spare time. In fact it terrifies me, the silence terrifies me. So maybe it’s time that I started to see the benefits of silence, to spend more time with God, to be grateful that I really can have that, because I haven’t had this for a while. How many times in life can you really, truly have that?
Maybe I’m not flying 5000 miles across the world or planning to move to a big city, but I’ve discovered that it’s the simple things that make life great. To live in Stirling, to see the rolling Ochils every day, to sit down with a cup of tea and a good book after trudging back and forth to Glasgow or Edinburgh (or wherever I work) in the rain, to be a part of a really great church family, to be close to all my great friends and be able to call my family any time I want, to have a little home there would be just fantastic. The thought of it makes my heart smile the biggest smile I think it’s ever smiled.
I love to travel. I think I’ll always have slightly itchy feet. But having a brilliant place to come home to is what makes travelling so wonderful, to know that God has given you somewhere to just be yourself when the party has ended and the dust has settled.
But, for now, I’ll just focus on the one who deserves all the glory, because without Him this adventure can’t continue, and I wouldn’t want it without Him anyway.