Last week I got my official letter confirming that I've passed my probation period at work. PRAISE GOD! Before I moved to London, I was weirdly detached and calm about the move: yes it was scary, but ultimately two things could happen: "Either I will be fine, or it'll be awful and I'll have to move back home'. Looks like (for the present at least), it is the former, and that really is purely by God's grace. I'm no longer a 'newbie'; and its strange that London is becoming day-to-day for me. It's bizarre to think that when I arrived at my job three months ago, London was enjoying the Indian summer and the 2012 games; I complained about the heat on the trains and watched Usain Bolt triumph sitting in the evening sunshine on Blackheath.
I've spent the past few weekends travelling back to Birmingham for birthday parties and hen parties. 'Going back' is always interesting: I felt overwhelmed and emotional as I glimpsed the university's clock tower from the train; and it was beautiful time spent catching up with my friends.
The memories aren't wholly great, though, and I haven't been away for long enough to forget the sometimes very bleak times of the past year. I can go back, and remember; and rejoice that God pulled me (very much kicking and screaming) from a place I'd been so happy, in order to move me on to a fresh place, with dozens of new challenges but also new chances for recovery, joy and development. He's been so incredibly faithful.
However, a little voice accompanied me as I walked around the familiar streets I still regard 'home', which possess so many sweet (and some rather more bitter) memories. The voice says: how long? How long will you be peaceful, plateau-ed, strong, 'well', in your new place? Yes, things aren't always amazing but I'm managing, I'm coping. This is, though, at least partly a survival technique: I'm in a new place with a job to do and rent to pay. I can't get too comfortable- I can't allow the fear to take over. I suppress the thought, how long before I properly get used to things and my fear rears its head? How many more times will I have to move and throw myself into new scary challenges just to ward off my anxieties a few more years?
Whilst this concern should not be ignored, I have to once again refer back to my previous post on surrender. I can't know the future and I can't actually control it. I'm very much in my Father's hands. This doesn't make me a robotic, fatalistic automaton, incapable of decisions or free will; it just reminds me that I am actually not independently in control. And again, this isn't a cause for fear but for joy, as the One who is, is so incredibly powerful and loving. Who knows what the future holds for me? All I know is that things are okay at the moment.