I haven’t written for ages as we only moved 10 months ago. Everything is new and that takes up a lot of mental energy! In case you are reading my blog for the first time, here’s a bit of background.
My husband and I married in 2000 and I went into Primary teaching. We moved to Hertfordshire where Neil studied with Oasis and worked as a church Youth Leader. We enjoyed that for about 4 years and then moved to Worthing, where Neil started a new Youth work job and I lazed about having babies ;). Two years later we moved to a lovely church in Angmering and Neil did some full-time youth work, whilst I continued with the baby thing.
It was in Angmering, where the Vicar began to encourage Neil to think about whether he wanted to develop his ministry in a Vicar-like-way. Together Neil and I nervously explored the thought and it appeared that God may indeed have been nudging Neil in that direction. So, after 4 years in Angmering, we set off to Bristol, with a lot more luggage and three children. Neil studied and I enjoyed Bristol, a whole bunch of new friends and tried my hand at church hopping (A popular past time of the middle classes). Two years later at the end of Neil’s course, we moved to Chichester and Neil started his Curacy. During our time in Chichester we made more wonderful friends and got stuck into the Primary School Community (which was a blast). Curacies are usually only for 3 or 4 years so we knew that there was a time limit. So 4 years later we were off to the world of Vicardom.
Which is where you find us now (hoping never to move again)! We are living in St. Pauls Cray (Greater London) exploring, making new friends and learning a lot.
So, that’s why I haven’t written for so long. When everything is new from the minute you wake up till the moment you fall asleep at night, it is hard to set your mind to anything very much!
I think it feels a bit like your life is a jigsaw (that you have carefully arranged) and that each time you move it’s as if someone has taken it and thrown it up into the air. The pieces scatter all over the place and it’s your task to set about fitting them back together again. However, each time you finish they make a different picture.
Sometimes it feels as if I have only just managed to get the jigsaw to fit together properly when all the pieces fly up into the air again, only to fall muddled.
But, its not just moving that can make you feel like this, it’s any life events, maybe a partner leaving, death or illness. Sometimes we step willingly into the changes and at other times it’s as if someone has upended our jigsaw and taken us by surprise. Neither one is easy, and of course there is no box lid to follow when putting things back together.
You and I are left with the questions: Where do we start? And What will our finished picture be in this place? Sometimes it’s tempting to sweep the pieces into the box and take them down the charity shop isn’t it!
But hang on don’t do that yet as we have a life line. We get to choose whether we include God in putting the puzzle of our lives together or not. I believe that the picture we make with God, will be better than the one we attempt on our own. In all our life changes Neil and I have just prayed and prayed. We have always been aware of our inadequacies and our inabilities to live well (left to our own devices). It’s no different being a Vicar (sorry folks), contrary to some popular belief, church workers are not made differently with better coping strategies than others. We all need a little help… or a lot.
The pictures that God has helped us to create from our family jigsaw (in each different place), have been surprising! Sometimes they seem to be made from pieces that I didn’t realise were there. God can transform the ‘us’ that we think we know into the ‘us’ he created us to be.
I wonder what picture will emerge from these funny jigsaw pieces this time? And God would you mind taking over. I hate jigsaws.