Are you staying in Carlisle because of Mike?

Mike on Carlisle Indoor climbing Wall

Someone asked me yesterday were we staying in Carlisle because of Mike. OKAY time for another one of those honest blog’s that I would rather keep private, but I have seen the benefits of being open.

As you know, Kathy is from Australia. For years she has dreamed of returning to her home and for us to relocate there. She along with me have not felt God has been leading in that direction, which at times has been a challenge to understand Call, Choice and Conviction.

Just before Mike died, I was at the point of being very tired. For 7 years I have given 120% to my work and the project of Logos Hope. During those 7 years there had been growing organisational tensions which involved me, not always directly but as one of the leaders its hard to not be effected. As the Logos Hope sailed out of London, with great satisfaction I stood on the quay side very proud that the work my team needed to do was completed. As I stood there I realised metaphorically I had a bleeding nose, broken ribs and a few bruises. My boss, who I had worked with for 28 years was a casualty of the massive project. We had not had time to mourn his departure as a leadership team and the reality of that started to hit. Two more of our close leadership team moved on. Both very personal friends with one couple having even sung at our wedding. At my initiative I had been able to pass on to a far more cable pair of hands the Finance responsibilities with the appointment of a CFO, but that left a huge space in my work, and then Mike dies.

So as I walked with Kathy in the park some months ago I said “Kath its all about endings”.

For those who have not experienced the loss of an immediate family member, you may not be able to relate to the numbness and paralysis that comes, the inability to make decisions, the nausea at even the thought of having to venture out of the security of the hole you are in, the inability to talk to people, the emotional barrier to not be able to return phone calls, the inner frustration that you are not where you were, have no idea where you want to be and have no emotional capacity to think about how to get out of the situation.

Now put the dynamic of our new family unit into the equation. Laura is completing her schooling and in theory could leave school in July. She has chosen to return and take her A levels. Akila is completing her University in August, she would like to work and clear her student debt. Kathy has her job as Area Finance Officer but that does not take 100%  of her time. My job was always to “lay the track for someone else to drive the train down”.  Life is not just about me and my job, its not just Kathy and I, we care more about the girls than our job’s and our work with OM Ships. God has blessed us with two very dynamic daughters, both of whom have potentially huge capacities to do very well by earthly measures. Right now Kath and I both feel they need stability to complete their education.

I have several roads I could venture down and explore opportunities and I have been invited to consider three specific roads, I too have faint ideas of other roads.

Its not at all pleasant to wake up and know that the work you had is no longer there, that yes I could sit in the office for 8 hours to give the impression of a full time role, but then I have always lead people to work hard and play hard. I have expected myself and others to work 10-12 hour days when needed and to take time out  if there was no work. I struggle with what others think about me being out of the office and the appearance of “dossing” all the time. But then I have no motivation to dream and accept other leadership rolls at this time. Aaaaahhhhhh!!!!!

When and if we leave Carlisle, it will be a very painful process. Mike is planted in the land and his memories are embedded in the physical location. Whilst that will be a hurdle for us all, I dont see it as a mountain.

Since my life changing event at 19, I have saught the LORD’s guidance and looked for his divine signposts. Right now he is not showing us a sign post, but he is giving lots of traffic signs, the main one being “Road Works, work being carried out for the next xxx months, work to be completed by XXXX”.

So life for me right now is all about change and not just small changes. I am at total peace about it all and do not struggle with next steps. A good friend said to us 25 years ago “the next thing will be the natural thing”. The storm has hit both the family and work. We have sat and observed the new landscape as a result of that storm. We sit and listen to what common sense, others and God are saying. We extrapolate out various scenarios and analyse. We commit to being authentic and open on our journey and keeping our eyes open to others pain on their journey.

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