I stopped working in the NHS on the 5th August. It is currently the 7th of September. Technically, I’ve been on holiday for more than a month now.
It has definitely not felt like a holiday.
Which, actually, is a bit odd : because its shared many of the same components as a holiday.
- We had a period of time at home, packing, planning, preparing.
- There was the travel, the cars, the airports, the planes, the baggage, the endless screaming of young children.
- Finally, we just spent a week in a reasonably nice house – just like a self catering holiday, the kitchen was functional, but lacked a pizza cutter. And, like a vacation, it was a week without any particular purpose, no job, meeting new people, but knowing that any relationships would likely have a limited life expectancy.
I feel that the real difference from a holiday and our last few weeks has been simple: this was not what we planned for.
Just like being unemployed, I suspect, does not feel like a holiday; arriving in a rural town thousands of miles from home to discover that you are not meant to be there… is not exactly relaxing.
My prayer life is usually a mix of two things:
- Simply spending time with God, trying to be in His presence and hear from him.
- Talking to him about specific concerns, needs, hopes, and people.
The last week, I’ve switched to a different model
- Spending time with God, trying to be in His presence and hear from him.
- Having no idea what to pray about since I’m not sure what we want, need or expect from life whilst we are stuck in the wrong place.
Happily that means I get to focus more on 1, and less on 2: but I’m looking forward to getting a home, a workplace, friends and a place to live out our calling: we feel God wants us “to be”, to rest in God, and walk gently with others. For that, we kinda need “to be” somewhere.
I started the post talking about holiday for a reason: this weekend we left Tonga behind, and drove down to KwaZulu Natal to our new hospital, Mseleni. To break up the 6 hour journey, we decided to stop overnight in a safari park!
We slept in an awesome two story Rondavel, went swimming, ate pizza, and saw Zebra, Impala, Warthogs, Eagles, a crocodile and, err, some Rabbits – (see our photos below). Most importantly, we also felt like we had had a break! Refreshed (well, a bit), we are ready for the next challenge: Mseleni hospital…