London — one year ago
I didn't realize it until Facebook so conveniently slipped it into my newsfeed that this week marks one year since my first time visiting London. A year ago living in another country where people pronounce my name "Cah-tah" because I guess "r's" are challenging was just a thought and a very distant one at that. Of course, I was thinking about it, but Brookelynn hadn't even applied for grad school yet. It was challenging to think about it concretely. However, I did know that the winds were shifting and change was coming. Sort of how Mary Poppins knew that things were changing when the winds turned, I had a feeling I might be flying away with an umbrella to sing supercalifragalisticexpialidocious.
What's even stranger is that while I was here for business, I was doing work with the team at Apple that I now work with every day. Working at Apple wasn't even an option I had considered a year ago. During that visit though, I began to discover things about this city that captured my attention and moved my heart. I met up with people who were once strangers that turned out to be beautiful friends. There were neighborhoods I only knew within the borders of cinema screens that began to stare at me in the face. For crying out loud, I found myself inside of a prayer room that I once had read about in a book that helped in-part inspire a prayer room I helped start in Colorado Springs. Although, I was terrified, I was also at peace.
It wasn't until I was sitting inside of a Poppies ordering a plateful of traditional London fish and chips with my boss at the time that I felt moving here was a likely scenario. If I remember it correctly, I had peace about it. Don't get me wrong; I blocked that thought out of my head at times, especially when I was freaking out. However, at the end of the day, I knew we'd be moving here. I can't tell you how I knew; I just knew deep within me that this was where the Lord was leading us.
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My understanding of life is likening more and more to a spool of thread. When I look at the spindle as a whole, I'm able to construct in my mind what I want my overall life to be. I see parts of it although, most of what I see is the thread along the edge that covers up the majority of the spool, similar to how an iceberg only peeks up out of the deep while keeping the majority its being below the icy surface. I can unravel the reel little by little to reveal what's coming up next, but never too far along. Every so often, the spool will get knocked over and tumble along the floor pouring thread all about allowing visibility into the next few parts of life, instead of what's in the immediate. In the case of moving to London, sitting in that restaurant a year ago, the spool tipped over, unraveled but for a second allowing me to see further along briefly, but then quickly wound back up again to only reveal the next step. The Lord provided a glimpse, and although I could have mistaken it for the feeling in your stomach that oily chips and overcooked cod can afford, I trusted that this was the Lord's leading.
Now, I find myself typing all of this out from a quaint coffee shop, reminiscent of 2011 Pinterest trends, in the borough of Lambeth in London, England. I know I'm where I belong for now. And although I want to know what's next, I'm continuing to learn to have faith that the Lord will unravel enough of the thread when it's time to prepare me for what's to come.
These photographs are from that first visit November 2016.