So after spending a few days at home, I realised that I've never felt more relaxed and at home than I do in Southend. And although I get on well with everyone here, and am enjoying my work, I feel its more than that. Its God's work in my heart, giving me a passion and a sense of belonging to the work that I'm doing. Everything I do confirms to me that I am in the place that God had intended me to be in.
When I think back to the way things turned out, it almost annoys me that I didn't realise how much God worked through the lead up to my application to Optimum. Although to me, it only started when I actually filled out the application - and then had to be almost forced to post it by Steve, really it started long before that. Back when I went to the SOLID weekends and spent time with the Viz volunteers, and the Taste band, getting to know about what work they did and how good that was. Back when Lindsay first came to our housegroup to talk about year-outs. That was all part of the bigger picture - that eventually I would apply to Viz-a-Viz, become a volunteer, and work for the glory of God's grace. And how wonderfully it has turned out!
Spending some time this week with my friends in Brentwood was great. I love them all and have missed them dearly. And I had a very privileged upbringing in Brentwood compared to some I've met in Southend, I don't deny that. But although the people I grew up with and spent time with have shaped me into who I am now, the ultimate change has come about through my strengthening relationship with Jesus. Almost as soon as I arrived in Brentwood this week, I felt, "I don't belong here." And I felt homesick for Southend. And yeah, I've only been here 2 months and I still don't know how to get anywhere beyond Southend High St, but God has impacted me through my work here in such a massive way!
Brentwood was, and will forever be, my past. And now I have moved on from that. Southend is my present, and at least for now, my immediate future. (Where I go after that lies in God's hands. ) And that doesn't mean that I will discount the wonderful memories and friends that I have in Brentwood. It's my entire childhood - (and my parents child and adulthoods, and my grandparents adulthoods.... you get the picture. ) But it's time for me to realise that just because I am from Brentwood, doesn't mean I will always belong, or be welcome there. My adulthood is just beginning. And now I know where I really belong - in Christ! And for now that means that I call Avenue my home. Praise The Lord!
"Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honour."