We sang a song this morning, one which I can’t remember when we last sang.
One which I have memories attached to, I just forgot them, until music-evoked them
(*disclaimer*- dad some things are better not read!)
I remember being at a Christian Camp with my youth group (when I was a youth)
I remember a phone call from the boy I was dating; I’d have called him my boyfriend then but now I see we had different definitions of the word.
He’s called, still drunk, and on a boys holiday to tell me he’d ended up in bed with the girl who’d cut his hair earlier in the day and apparently it was ok, “different postcodes babe”.
Like I said, he was still drunk. Sober, even with our differing definitions I don’t think he’d have been that cruel.
Then I cried more because this girl doesn’t do crying in public
I am crying in public.
Then, as is the way at camps like this, a stranger came and sat with me and prayed for me. She didn’t ask for information, she saw a peer in distress, she sat in the distress. Jesus put her there, someone who didn’t need information because right at that moment I wouldn’t have been able to give it, or felt brave enough to say it. Truth is, I knew the relationship needed to end, as brutal as it was, this revelation would keep me from going back to him.
I don’t know if it was that night or another, but I was dragged along by one of the younger Youth Leaders to a gig of “some South African guys I met on my gap year”.
Goodness knows if that was true or not but it pulled me up and it sparked something.
I remember this song, I remember it connecting with my heart, my broken heart.
I didn’t know at that moment if I could bring joy to him – my heart was so confused and my theology even more.
There was something in that moment about South Africa, Durban in particular.
My Dad had started the curiosity a long time before. Now it was being fanned into flame
All this, unbeknown to me.
Later that week as I walked around the ‘marketplace’
A gap year opportunity captivated me, it contained a trip to Durban, it stole my gaze
but the first six months were full.
“You can apply for the next six months” Durban was not included in those months
I applied anyway
And then nothing
Until late August, a phone call, a train ticket to Watford, a short interview and faith lacking me returning to Bristol believing I had lost out on not just one, but both.
God had other plans
Two weeks later I was piling my luggage into the car and heading off to Watford (and looking forward to three weeks in Durban).
Those six months were some of the most formative in my life.
This morning I scrolled on a picture from Hope & Ginger. It seems fitting. Today is a day He is reminding me, he is faithful. May I encourage you today. There are still pages to be turned.