So where do I even start?
It starts with having friends within the community, my brother studying nearby in Coventry, re-friending and starting out with my boyfriend and then everything becomes more inter-twined.
I can't say I always felt comfortable but enough to be able to visit weekends and see certain people. I got to know more people and vice versa but then relations just went down the well.
Mediating for an unexpected situation didn't end in a way I thought it would've. My friendships became broken, emotionally I had been drained and I was misunderstood and seen as the 'bad person' in the end, despite fully explaining myself and having prayed about it all. However, I believe that a friend and I were used by God at the time: due to being the only people available, the Spirit was leading with wisdom, correct words and authentic care for our brothers and sisters. I never really like drama, but after that, I couldn't stop facing and entering more, even though I was doing the 'right thing' or what I thought was.
Relationships are not easy anyhow, but we really came to a roadblock of complacency and negativity. I ended up wrongly trusting and went against my gut: for which then the results hit me like a slap in the face. I became so hurt, betrayed, confused, disappointed and low and however hard things are physically, emotionally and spiritually: I never take time off work and for this, I took my final two weeks off placement. That physical discomfort you feel in your stomach and constant upset and hurt when anything related to the situation came up, couldn't go away at all. The oddest thing was that I still loved by the grace of God and could not even be angry at the entire situation and I knew it was Jesus and only Him who stopped me from losing my head. Everyone around me displayed anger and frustrations in my place instead, because I couldn't in any way.
I relied on Jesus so much more during these past 4 months. I prayed so hard all day every moment, started journalling, continued my devotional plans, made the effort of fellowship, listened to worship songs only and even slept with the light on to physically remove the darkness. The tears never stopped and I battled so much with my feelings, emotions and also the guard that shot up to the ceiling straight away. It had taken me so much to bring the wall down and it just went up again in a second. I fear so much now and I had to rely on knowing God's love and protection to feel remotely safe anywhere or with anyone other than my home family.
Currently, I still battle with my personality and nature to how I want to deal with the effects that this situation has left on me, my relationship and the community around us. Birmingham doesn't give me good vibes and I battle with listening to God bringing me to an uncomfortable place, where there is a need to be filled and with choosing some place else to start this next life stage anew.
I will talk about my emotions, mental health and trust in relation to these situations and how I am still dealing with them in a different post (mental health section). But lately I have seen and felt the goodness of God at times in Birmingham. Jesus has been inviting through the community: through sisterhood, new friendships, discussion and conversation and also through worship and sermon. I can't say that this overrides all the negativity and anxieties that I feel when I go to Birmingham; however I am trying to see the goodness, the joy and positivity that God brings instead: to take a new perspective. I don't want to fear what is ahead of me and to embrace for I know, what God has brought me to and planned ahead will forever be good.
I want to be able to focus on the reasoning for why God has been putting this city into my life so much more prominently, other than for visiting my boyfriend and co. I'd like to genuinely love the community without hard feelings, without bitterness, frustration, panic and insecurity; but that will only come with Jesus's strength, grace and love. I have applied for 2 jobs, both based in Birmingham hospitals, so we shall see what will go on: but I truly pray for clarity, closure, resolution and also peace and I would love it if you could pray for me too.
Love Hol x x
"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." -2 Timothy 1:7 ESV