So, we’re at the end of another year! If I thought 2009 was a big year with moving away from Hexham, moving to Derby and getting married in September, turns out that was all just preparation for what 2010 had for us! It’s been yet another year of life-changing events.
We started off by moving from the little apartment in Derby where we started our married life. We spent about four months in total there, but left in February to move into our first house. It was a good place for us – 2-bedrooms, room for our own dining room, closer to the city centre and much closer to the closest friends we’d made in Derby.
We had our first anniversary celebration at the Community Church Derby (CCD) building in September. It was a great day where we celebrated our marriage with UK friends and family who weren’t able to make the wedding in Brazil last year. We were able to look back on our first year together, and re-affirm our vows to each other one year in to our life-long commitment of love. Standing at the end of this year and looking back as a couple, it’s great to see God’s faithfulness over our lives. It’s been a definite year of ups and downs, but we’re ending it in love, more committed to each other and to the future we’re building together with God’s grace. I stand at the end of 2010 utterly amazed at the woman the Lord has given me – a woman so beautiful, so patient, able to help me see things where I’m blind, and willing to listen to me when I’m spouting all kinds of rubbish! Here’s to what 2011 has for us
As far as we were concerned, the house we moved into in February was going to be our home for at least a year before moving to Leicester in 2011, but as you might remember God had other ideas We ended up spending just over 7 months there before moving to Basingstoke in October. Our time in Derby was definitely good, and a good place for us to have our first year of marriage. CCD is doing fantastic things in reaching out to the people in and around Derby. It was great fun getting to know people, they really helped us by giving Laluna plenty of work in the kitchen for the events that are run in their building, and it was a real privilege being able to serve a bit in leading worship and preaching once. We found a great spiritual home in the small group led by Gary & Eileen Wright, and really enjoyed our time getting to know the people there. It was a real wrench for us leaving this group, and we still miss the people. We’re hoping to get back up to visit very soon – probably need to get my driving licence first though
Since we’ve been in Basingstoke, we’ve got ourselves nicely settled into Town Centre Community Church, slowly getting to know people, and getting stuck into a great small group. We’ve enjoyed getting a feel for the church, and for me it’s been a real sense of coming home to vision, values and style that I’ve known and loved before. God has done a great thing in bringing us back to Basingstoke, and we left Derby with a word or two that we would find a home and a place for us here. It’s fair to say that’s already happening, despite the fact that we’ve yet to find a house of our own!
Just before we left Derby, there was one more surprise God had for us that I don’t think I’ve mentioned on this blog before, but it’s certainly done the rounds on Facebook and Twitter. About a week and a half before our moving date, we found out that Laluna is pregnant with our first child! I’ve written about this on my new blog, Daddy Sidnell, where I called it a welcome surprise. Since moving to Basingstoke, we’ve had scary moments with the pregnancy, we’ve had fun moments, we’ve had morning sickness, we’ve had two scans when we should have only had one, and in two weeks time we’ll hopefully be finding out whether we’re expecting a little boy or a little girl. We’ve got another five months until the wee blessing arrives, and it’s safe to say that we can’t wait to meet the little one who’ll be our responsibility for at least the next 18 years!
On a final note, spiritually speaking, this has been an interesting year. Chris Welch used a phrase on Facebook today “Bless you as the Word continues to root”, which I think summarises nicely what this year has been about. I’ve been on a journey where the gospel of grace has been taking more ground in my heart, and there are new vistas opening up. This year has seen a fresh vision of what it means to be in Christ, to be one spirit united with Him, and starting to get an idea of what it is for Christ to live in me. There’s also been a fresh vision building of radical church restoration, solidly building on the understanding of God’s eternal purpose as described in Ultimate Intention by DeVern Fromke, and the fresh understanding of our union with Christ. I’m still thinking, praying, and talking through with Laluna what some of the implications might be, but I’m not stressed about it. I’m in faith that the Word is taking root in our lives, and will work it’s way out in the Lord’s fruit.
I think that’s where I’m at now that 2010 is coming to an end – in a place of peace that the Lord who already did everything necessary to save me is also willing and able to do everything necessary to lead us where He wants us. I don’t need to understand everything – I’m happy to let Him lead us where He wants at the right time, in His way. After all, a great passage to live by is “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Here’s to another year of adventure with the Lord