A lot has happened in the last 22 months.
22 months ago, we weren't planning to move house. And yet here we are, an ordinary family of 5, planning to move in the Summer Holidays to London!
Who we are
We currently live in Aylsham and are part of Aylsham Community Church. We are; Annice (that's me - I work for Relational Mission), Tim (my husband - a self-employed builder), Esther (12), Eli (10), Jemimah (6) and Yoda the cat. Aylsham is a small market town in North Norfolk situated about halfway between Norwich and the beautiful North Norfolk coast and it takes about an hour to drive out of Norfolk, whichever direction you head in! Aylsham is home to around 7000 people, but with new estates being built, it's a growing and developing town. Tim has lived in Aylsham all his life...that's 41 years now! And I have been living in Norfolk for 13 years. We were settled.
And then came the call.
God spoke to me first about moving to London to be part of Revelation Church, Camden. I was watching their video from ENOUGH and by the last line when Stef Liston makes the call for over 40's to move to be part of the church, I knew that God was saying that we needed to go. To say that I was resistant is a bit of an understatement and I listed all of the impossible things about it to God; we can't afford to move to an area where houses cost a million to buy or several thousand a month to rent, Tim will NEVER want to leave Norfolk, the kids won't be on board with it, my ex-husband may cause some difficulties and so on. One by one over the last year and a half, God has addressed each of those things.
Tim felt God speak to him about moving to London completely independently from me, our children have been amazing at coming alongside us on the adventure, my ex-husband was so overwhelmingly supportive, I nearly fell off my chair! In fact the 'only' impossible thing left from my original rant at God, is a house.
We have so many prophetic words that have come to direct and encourage us that it would take up too much space to write them all here. This ones, given to us by someone at a Relational Mission Prayer & Equipping event, was really helpful and confirmed what we felt God had said to us; 'I see a picture of a crossroads. At one end of the crossroads, it's really rural with trees and fields and a cow on the corner and at the other end are tall buildings like skyscrapers and I feel like God is saying to you that it's time to take your gifts to the city. The other thing about the picture is that the path to the city isn't clear, but God says not to worry about that, He will make the way clear.'
God has used words, pictures, dreams, His word to speak to us and I feel like I have got to know my Father in a whole new way over this past year or so. He has been so faithful and kind - always bringing an encouragement on the days when we have felt down and despondent and has truly directed our steps at each stage of our journey so far.
Find out more
This is very condensed version of our story - to read it in more detail you can visit my blog. I really felt God speak to me about writing our story down and sharing it...so the blog seemed like a good way to do it. It's not something that I felt altogether comfortable with as I'm not great with being vulnerable in front of others and there are some people who really haven't liked it. However, the number of people in my community who are reading the blog is quite amazing and certainly not something I expected. I spoke to a Mum in the playground a couple of weeks ago, who told me that she'd read every blog post so far and that it was really challenging her to think through what she believed! Tim was stopped in a local car park the other day by someone we kind of know because they had heard we were moving to London! I'm not entirely sure what people think of it but I know that they are watching and waiting to see what happens.
This has been a hard week. The kids have had their last Guides, football, Rainbows, the end of term is approaching and we still have nowhere to live in London and absolutely no way at all of funding it ourselves and yet we are 100% confident that God has spoken to us about being in Camden this Summer....eek!
We have been praying a lot and gathering with a group of friends to pray, but something was niggling in the back of my mind that we needed to do more. I have been awake quite a bit in the night in recent weeks and started to feel that we needed to pray through the night, specifically for breakthrough for provision of a house for us. I am pretty tired at the moment and so kinda rejected those thoughts as I didn't think Tim and I could face being up all night and having to function the next day! So, as has been the case all the way through our story, when I don't listen the first time, God says something again but in a different way! I am reading through Isaiah at the moment and am up to Isaiah 62, which I read last week. It says;
'I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem...'
Hmmmm...I knew what God was saying again - give yourselves no rest...! So I mentioned it to Tim and still thought, well I don't know how we're going to do that! And then a friend of mine Sue, mentioned to me that she had felt, whilst praying for us, that there was more to do in prayer and that we needed to persevere together. She then said that she had even felt that we needed to pray through the night! OK, OK God, I'm listening! So that is what we are going to do. This Friday, 21st July, we will be praying from 8pm on Friday until 8am on Saturday. We have split the time up into half an hour slots and asked both our current church, Aylsham Community Church and the church we're going to, Revelation Church to sign up to stand with us in prayer. Without a miracle, we can't move and miracles happen when you pray.
If you fancy joining in, sign up to a slot!
What can you do?
- Pray for us as we embark on our London Adventure...we know that this is just the beginning and we are so excited about the adventure God has for us as a family.
- Pray for yourself...who knows, maybe God is stirring you to move to Aylsham to bless the church here as they send us?! We responded to the call for 'slightly' older people to move to join Rev Church. Well, Aylsham Community Church has quite a lot of 'slightly older' people and not a lot of twentysomethings...could you move?
- Pray for Aylsham Community Church and Revelation Church, Camden that God would mightily bless both.
- Pray for London. Our capital needs Jesus. I know that everywhere does, but Mike Betts says; 'What happens in the capital is important...'