Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I moved to London for a cup of tea.

Tea With Joy 

A dream fulfilled. It happened so quickly I honestly did not process what it means to move to another continent until I got on the plane! But all in all, it feels amazing to know that I actually went for my dreams.

I officially moved here on October 16, 2014. I arrived in London with no clue of my next step. I mean yes I knew why I was here. Yes I knew what address I should ask the cab driver to take me. And yes I knew what day school began. (Thank God for the little things, right!?) When I got off the plane I immediately asked myself how i was going to haul two big suitcases, a small carry-on, a small backpack, and a purse down innumerable flights of stairs and unto several train platforms. Thank God for Jesus. God answered my unspoken prayers and sent the nicest young man to help me carry my two very full suitcases down to the first train platform. He said he had a sister who had so many clothes (like I appeared to have) and would have hated to see her suffering in an airport. (Whew. Thank God for all those times I shopped at the mall!)
The next few days went by rather painfully. I struggled with homesickness. I even thought of turning right around and taking the next flight back to Los Angeles. The culture shock was brutal. The majority of the British people I encountered were extremely rude. Unlike Americans (or Californians to be more specific) they were abrasive, dismissive, and did not care about cute tiny girls who appeared lost, scared, or confused (and this is the only time you will ever witness me refer to myself as such..tehe).
Fast-forward x2…double speed…
When I arrived on campus during on my first day, I was overwhelmed by the amount of students that swarmed the university. (One thing attending a small private school did not prepare me for!). I was not prepared to fight my way through students to get to class! The “canteen” (cafeteria) was overflowing, I was forced to stand on the bus (woe is me!), and some of my peers lacked the word “excuse me” from their vocabulary. Again..woe is me!
Despite these seemingly small things, I was more aware than ever of God’s immense presence in my life. I was overwhelmed, frustrated, upset, and shocked. Feeling those things all at once can do something to ya! I would get lost during some of the most dark and cold nights. I realize now that despite all of these emotions, I never felt fear. As I was preparing for my move to London, my dear friend Ogechi reminded me of Psalm 23 just a few months before my move.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
I cannot even begin to tell you about the “darkest valleys” I walked through before God brought me to this point. But as I look back and reflect, this passage resonates so well with me. Although at times I did not know where I would live, where I would lay my head, or where I could comfortably bathe- I lacked nothing. Although some nights I went to sleep fighting back tears, I woke up the next morning with my soul feeling completely refreshed. And although would get lost and have no clue of my next movement, God was with me the entire way, comforting and guiding me. I could not be more at peace because of the relationship with God I came to England with- I’m so happy that his goodness and love have literally followed me from day one.
I am most excited to see how I grow spiritually and emotionally during my time here. I am already in week 7 of this journey. Thankfully things have turned around and I am most excited to see where this road takes me! Journey with me and stay tuned for more posts to come!

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