But…

What a stressful few weeks this has been.

If you are one of the few people who actually reads and notices what my on-line identity has been spewing out recently you may have picked up that there has been some quite big and stressful changes going on at work. As I write this some of those changes are finally out in the open – some more will be released on Monday (I am writing this late on Saturday night but wont publish it till probably Tuesday).

I have had to scale back on my blogging / tweeting / facebooking – as the things I wanted to talk about I either wasn’t allowed to, or it wouldn’t have been appropriate to. That’s been quite hard. Rightly or wrongly some of my emotional support comes through these somewhat tenuous electronic relationships. But as I blogged about how it was appropriate for me now to wear trousers in work, it wasnt appropriate for me to talk about these things publicaly. Some of it I wont/cant talk about. In fact I am sure some people will think that me even talking about this at all isn’t appropriate. But hopefully what I blog about here is appropriate. This is my personal blog – in a public place. What I write are my personal thoughts and feelings filtered for public viewing.

When this all kicked off at the start of term – I blogged about how it was really obvious to me that God was carrying me through and providing me with a complete sense of peace. I also talked about how I was trying to keep my hands up – in God’s Hands – during times when it was so very easy to grab on to the nearest thing around me that I felt would provide refuge and safety.

I cant claim to have managed to keep my hands up all the time. I tried. I managed it for more that I thought I would.

I cant claim to have allowed that peace to continue to give me comfort and strength. I tried. But there were certainly quite a few dark days.

But…

I am still very aware that the ever changing God that I don’t deserve to have a relationship with – was (and is) with me.

I am very aware of God’s hand on my shoulder. It has given me comfort, strength, guidance and the occasional firm squeeze when I needed it.

I started this process with a real chance of not having a job by Christmas. But I found out on Wednesday that I am part of a new technical support team at work so I get to continue to have a job. To work in the place I am really excited to be. My job will change – it will expand into areas that I have wanted to support for some time. Some of my existing responsibilities will pass on to a new post above me – but that will give me the capacity to focus on my newly expanded role and to hopefully develop other things that I wouldn’t have had the chance to.

Unfortunately this is all coloured by the fact that one of my colleagues isn’t part of this new team. All the worries and stresses that I have spent the first half of this term trying to put to the back of my mind – are all now painful realities to him. I am hopeful that the painful change in his life will be at the bottom end of the scale and that he will find a solution that will financially and personally work for him.

It is all very hard.

The next few months was always going to be an exciting / busy / challenging time for me in work. The necessary changes at work will result in a team that is better equipped to support the expanding technical operations. In the short term its going to be … interesting ….

But…

By Easter next year I will be the Senior Technician in a leading academic institution. I will have had the opportunity to equip two state of the art venues, the wider £22 million development and to be part of the commissioning process prior to opening. I will have developed new skills, put in place new systems and expanded our technical support across the college.

It will, I suspect, be a rollercoaster of a ride. Its a ride I am looking forward to. Standing in the aparently endless queue for the past few weeks has been painful. The price of entry has been almost unbearable. But the ride promises to be a good one. I will try to keep my hands up.  I am sure many around me will think I am a nutter for not holding on to the safety harness – and I am sure there will be times when I will make a grab for it.

But…

I will try to keep my hands up.

Hold on to the God in whom I put my trust in.

I am trying to live my life in His hands. I am human so I will make mistakes. I don’t claim to be perfect -far from it.

But…

I am trying not to live a life full of imperfections. I am trying to reflect the God in whom I put my trust. I know I do that poorly a lot of the time. To those of you who have seen that reflection through me un-clearly or not at all and to my God who deserves my all but so rarely gets it – I am sorry more than words can express. My prayer is that my actions both public and private will help to start to clear up the reflected Light of the God in whom I put my trust. I don’t deserve for that light to even flash across me for a second – but only through His grace – not my actions – can I bask in that light. I need to reflect that Light better.

I will hold my hands up

Hold on to the God in whom I put my trust in.

Hands Up

Well an update I promised so an update is delivered!

I can’t and wont go in to the specifics as again that’s not appropriate in this public space

I think I am free to talk about my personal feelings and reactions to today though.

As I said in my previous post I was doing “fine” yesterday and I am sure that is totally God’s doing – I should have been a wreck.

Late last night I started to panic a bit and this morning wasn’t as easy as yesterday. Again – I am sure God was there with me – I didn’t have the calm of the previous day -but I feel I saw him work through the texts from friends and through discussions and conversations over the morning.

I know in my heart that my God is there holding my hand – I am just praying that I can keep holding it rather than grabbing the nearest physical thing to hold me steady in this storm.

I am sad that friends will not be around here as much, I am sad that so much pain and stress has been caused – especially when in my view things could have been done to make it easier. But then I only have a narrow view from the trenches – I am not aware of the wider picture. I guess it could have been much worse and there isn’t really a nice way to do this …

I am now scrambling to ensure the high level of service that we aim to deliver is maintained – term starts on Monday and I don’t want this to negatively affect the students. I am confident that out the other side of this the students will have a positive, improved experience. I think in the short term it might be a bit tricky – but hopefully that wont last long.

As I was writing this post – specifically the bit about seeing God through the actions and words of others – I got an email positively confirming one issue that was causing me a great deal of worry. Co-incidence, God-incidence either way its cool.

Calm in the face of a storm.

I appear to want to blog when there is change. Maybe this blog should be “only a blog about change” !!

I am currently in work 15 hours away from finding out what the new structure of the team that I work with will be.

If you are from work either staff or student – PLEASE don’t be alarmed by this – I honestly can say that myself and my team will be ensuring that whatever the outcome of these next few days you will continue to have our focus and determination to deliver the best possible service with the time, staff and resources we have.  I am confident that whatever happens the quality of the service the college provides will continue. So yep change is unsettling but please don’t let that distract you from whatever you “normally” do at college.

We were told today that basically big change is coming – some of it ain’t going to be nice – you will find out tomorrow.

I will be honest here. That kinda sucked.

I am not going to publicly debate here the rights and wrongs of that – much as I would like to -this is a public document and that level of discussion wouldn’t be appropriate here. Whatever the rights and wrongs about that statement – hearing it can be summed up as .. sucky …

We have known change was coming for my team, in some format, since the start of the summer. But we are now sitting on the cusp of a much wider change that will affect many more people. In this current financial climate it shouldn’t be much of a surprise really – but as I am sure those of you who have been through a similar process – its not nice. Everything and anything is up for change and generally people don’t like change – especially when they don’t know what that change will be.

But I don’t want to whine about this – as really oddly I am feeling positive.

Honestly I think that is only through the grace of God. I have no right to be relaxed. I have no right to be peaceful. I have no right to be positive. I should be reacting the way I see many of my colleges. But for me, inexplicably, I am genuinely “ok”. I woke up this morning feeling more relaxed than I have for months. At lunch I sat in Starbucks enjoying my coffee – not done that .. well ever – I don’t usually “do” lunch at work – too busy!

I know people are praying for me. I know that for me God is real and I am giving the credit for me being able to function, hopefully be a support to my team, totally to Him. I have no right to be able to function at this level with this amount of potential uncertainty – as a pessimist I should be a quivering wreck. But im not.

Genuinely whatever the outcome tomorrow – I know that God has been looking after me so far – and whatever happens he will look after me through that as well.  As I discovered last year life can be horribly hard sometimes – that doesn’t mean God has abandoned me or is punishing me. Life sucks – we live in an imperfect world a world where God can “only” stand and watch as we have the free will to make decisions with or without His help.

I am confident that He is helping me through

I am confident that even though I have let go of his hand more often than I would like to admit He will still grab it when I reach out.

I guess some of you will call that faith

Some of you will call it naive stupidity

Me? I just call him Father – He guides and protects me even though he knows who I really am. I don’t deserve that.

But sill he holds out his hand.

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