Thursday, 25 February 2010

The end

Today I reach the end. My world never stretched beyond this. My plans never really considered a moment past this day. Tomorrow I reach the end, and all I know is that I’m working a night shift on Sunday. In a way it’s exciting, but at the same time it’s the most daunting step I ever took. Moving to Loughborough and starting uni were nothing in comparison to this.

I’ve been pretending to be a grown-up all week. I’ve called people to arrange accommodation and storage of my excess stuff (back to living out of a bag…); I’ve cleaned ovens and packed up pans; I’ve worked night shifts to compensate for the fewer hours I’ll be able to work this week. I’ve written newsletters and emailed trusts with the aim of furthering my career. But all the time I still feel like a little girl. Do we ever grow up? Or do we just keep playing more and more complex roles?

I was reflecting on this last night as I struggled to stay awake in those early hours. The toughest thing is that two of my best friends are moving away on the same day, and I’m really not sure what I’ll do without them. Andy and Scot have been rocks to me over the past three years… And at that point I heard a little voice say, “I AM your Rock. I always have been. I always will be.”

Every ending is just a new beginning, right? Tonight we were at the City Church “Family Conference” and there are more changes afoot, more ‘rocks’ are shaking. Not in a bad way; I think we’re just being shaken off the little stones that we thought were so solid and landing on the Rock that will never change. I’m not the only one who’s reached the edge. I’m not the only one who feels like everyone is leaving all at once. I am loved on this earth as well as from above.

One of my favourite ever songs is ‘Eternal God’ by the one and only Dave Hadden. It’s Old School- like, really- but it’s awesome. It reminds me of being a little girl, when everything was simple (Was it? Really?):

Though the earth should tremble and the oceans roar
And the mountains slip into the sea;
I shall not fear any harm, with your powerful arms around me.

I worship You, Eternal God
I worship You, the Unchanging One
Before the angels ever sang one song
Before the morning star had ever shone
You were on Your throne,
Eternal God

Though men’s kingdoms crumble and the nations rage
And rulers and kings come and go;
Yours is the Kingdom unshaken, and You’ve never forsaken Your own!

I worship You, Eternal God
I worship You, the Unchanging One
Before the angels ever sang one song
Before the morning star had ever shone
You were on Your throne,
Eternal God

So tomorrow, as I step off the edge of my life as I knew it, I am trusting in the everlasting arms that will catch me before I hit the ground. I’ve seen very little of any Indiana Jones film ever, but I’m just reminded of the ‘step of faith’ in one of them (dunno which one?) – that’s what I need!

To old endings, and new beginnings. Cheers.

Friday, 12 February 2010

God Knows My Name!

I love the dance, and believe the lyrics. Enjoy!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Horton Hears a Who

I remembered! Just watched the greatest film of all time with Andy & Scot (whilst enjoying some amazing apple crumble...though I say so myself...) and remembered what it was I was going to write. Here's where I began in December:

The story tells of an elephant called Horton, who finds a speck on which a whole world of tiny creatures live. The speck is floating through the air, at risk of annihilation, so Horton sets off on a mission to take the speck to a cave in the top of a mountain where he believes it will be safe.

Horton is the clown of the jungle. The kids love him, and while most of the mums are happy to leave their children’s education in his hands, no one really takes him seriously. That is, except for the Kangaroo who has appointed herself in charge of the jungle, and ‘pouch-schools’ her roo because Horton encourages the children to use their imaginations. When Horton sets off on his mission, she responds completely disproportionately and tries to destroy Horton as well as the speck, eventually rallying all of the other animals in the jungle to join her. Why not just let him get on with it and all will be forgotten?

Eventually, the Whos of Who-ville manage to make enough noise that the smaller ears of the other jungle animals can hear them and the speck is saved, Horton extends the olive branch to a disgraced Kangaroo and the two take the speck up to the cave together.

I defy anyone to watch this movie and not see any spiritual parallels at all. Classic lines from Kangaroo like, “If you can’t see it, hear it or touch it, it doesn’t exist!” ring true of many people’s attitudes today. The concept of a massive being in the sky beyond the comprehension and wildest imaginings of a tiny Who who’s only ever known his world, seems strangely familiar.

But what struck me when I was watching that time, and again today, was the resolution that Horton held. Nobody takes him seriously, and he doesn't even really take himself seriously. Life is just a game to him, until he realises what a responsibility he is holding in his trunk. He has the speck. The lives of an entire world depend upon him. He finds a resolution to stand up to the kangaroo that everyone is afraid of. He will risk his life on a broken-down suspension bridge. He will chase down a vicious carnivorous bird with a nasty reputation. He will search through millions of clovers to find the one that holds the world he has vowed to protect.

Often, I don't take myself seriously. I have nice thoughts and grand dreams, but that is all they are- thoughts and dreams. I feel emotional about things sometimes and I want to make a difference, but in the harsh daylight I find myself aligning with the status quo, and promising myself that tomorrow, next week, when I have a job, a house, things will be different. It's time to start making decisions now. It's never going to be easy; never going to be the "right time"; but it's always going to be right. If a daft elephant can save some tiny creatures on a speck, how much more can I take a stand to save the people on my planet.

PS- Just came across this whilst looking for images. More food for thought if you were looking.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Hope and a Future

At Christmas I started writing an awesome post about what I had learned from watching 'Horton Hears a Who' one night before going to bed. I never quite finished it and just went to post it now, only to find that I'd stopped just before I said what I'd actually learned. And now I can't remember. Typical.

So... updates. I'm living in Leeds, back in 'the Eden Project' for now, until 25th February when our contract, and this magnificent era, comes to an end. Where will I stay on 26th February? I have no idea. Like, none. I have a couple of offers in Leeds, and a dream that it might be Newcastle, but in fact I just don't know. It adds to the fun.

At the minute I'm working for NHS Leeds Foundation Trust, as an assistant in Specialised Supported Living houses for adults with learning disabilities. It's the same work that I've have for the past couple of years, only this time round I really love it. Sure it's hard, but it's rewarding and I love the tenants and the staff, I love being a part of their little world for a few hours at a time. I have a job interview on Thursday 11th for an SLT job working with learning disabilities and autism in Newcastle, but if I don't get that I'm not going to rush into getting a job in a field I'm not interested in just for the sake of it- I'll work and volunteer here until the one for me turns up. The more I think about it, the outcome of this interview is a win-win situation, and I'm happy that way :)

I'm slowly building back the life that I almost destroyed last year. I think it's fair to say I was pretty depressed, and let a lot of important friendships go to waste in my stress and despair. Now I'm trying to rebuild the bridges I may have burned, to create a new life for myself in Leeds if that is what is to happen, and to leave on positive terms if that is the way forward. It's interesting, but at last I feel hopeful of the future, whatever it will bring. The Eden era is coming to an end- couple number 2 will be married by the end of this year- but an ending is only the beginning of something new, and I can't wait to see what that will be.

"Team India" gets ready to face the Big Freeze 2010