It was 2009 when we made our decision to move from Zambia to Mexborough in South Yorkshire. Accommodation would obviously be a huge consideration when making the move across the world and searching for a home became quite an event especially for me. (I love trawling through internet estate agents and looking at houses). Amazingly, and I like to see it as a definite answer to prayer we managed to get a mortgage ‘in principle’ without even being in the country, having a job contract or a definite idea of income.
Aiden (our eldest) saw the house first, on one of our trawling events. A town house that sat on an estate, on the top of the highest hill in that area. The photos not only showed the house at its best, but very definitely showcased the incredible view across miles of countryside. An incredible aspect from a house right in the middle of Mexborough.
While we still lived in Zambia we put in an offer on the house, on the opinion of friends and family who viewed it on our behalf. And our journey from the airport after we had arrived back in UK had us calling past the solicitors to sigh ‘exchange of contracts’ and at that stage we still hadn’t viewed the house for ourselves. It was quite a leap of faith.
We had so many plans of sitting in the postage stamp sized garden taking in the views over the many seasons we would be there.
We did spend many seasons staring out of the windows, as the spring colours turned autumnal, when the ground became white with snow, as far as the eye could see.
Our friend Howard came to visit and he not only admired the view but began to explain what was what, way off in the distance. Apparently beyond the fields and countryside, what we could see was Sheffield, the two ‘Norton Towers’ towering up (15miles away) gave the game away.
We looked at this view, every day, through every season, for the whole 9 years we were in Mexborough.
We moved house and jobs and decided that Sheffield (completely unrelated) was our next stop. We bought a house after viewing over 50 (that’s what it felt like). We had no idea of the area, except the house was good for our unusual family, and the distance was good for the church we wanted to be connected with.
It was a few days after moving, before we fully realised where we were. We took our two dogs for a walk, down the road, across the fields, through the woods and up the very steep hill. And as we stood on top of the hill it began to dawn on us. We were walking in the reality of the view that we had admired from afar for years.
I think the correct term for what I feel every time I climb that hill is “providence,” the timely preparation for future eventualities. I see the twists and turns of life are the different seasons that lead us along our journey. And at different times we will look up and realise we are walking in the view we have admired from afar.
I think about this in terms of the work that we do as CiCA UK. Many young people have an idea, a vision or a view in front of them that seems so far out of reach. Unobtainable from where they stand right now. I hope that what we do gives many the opportunity to walk in their view and experience the delights of seeing God’s providence in their journey.