I am leaving my home on Eden Street in Rochdale to move into a new season that God has planned for my life!
I don’t normally shoehorn a scripture to fit the meaning, however the natural comparison from scripture to reality is quite plain to see.
I can’t pretend it’s easy to literally condense a quarter of a century of my life into a few sentences.
God’s wisdom: He sees the end from the beginning.
This beginning starts with an end that had to have a beginning. In 1992 at the age of 27, I bought, I say bought but mean by mortgage agreement, a mid terrace house on a quaint, quiet suburban street by the name of Eden Street.
I was a construction engineer taking on various roles which later became works manager for the Expanded Piling Co, installing deep foundations for office blocks, factories, power stations, motorway bridges and industrial distribution centres.
The work was intense and hard wearing on the body and mind. I planned my retirement for 2017 when I would be the ripe old age of 52. My plan was to have paid the house off, have sufficient money saved and invested to be comfortable for the rest of my years, however long that may have been. I was well on my way to my target.
A combination of things hit me at a similar time, a severe illness, bad choices, wrong relationships, sin on top of ignorance , alcoholism and drugs.
This combination left me jobless, skint after spending all my savings far faster than how long they took to save up . I also had serious mental health issues was on the very brink of suicide on the very precipice of hell. Psychologists, counselors and medication couldn’t help me, though they tried bless them, I couldn’t see a way out.
I called out to God in sheer desperation, in tears, this felt like my last chance, there was nothing else. ”God , if you are real HELP ME , I don’t want to die like this , I want to see my children again“.
The Holy Bible says in Joel , Acts and Romans ANYONE who calls on the name of the Lord , SHALL BE SAVED “
Every word of the Holy Bible is true, it is the Word of God and this scripture applied to me.
I am an ANYONE, like countless millions across the globe, past and present who have been saved by the grace of God by calling on the name of the Lord.
The very fact that you are reading this is a testimony of God in action today.
If God didn’t save me, I couldn’t have written this and you can’t be reading this. PRAISE THE LORD!
The house on Eden street over the years has been many things to me , a base , place of security, sometimes both castle and prison, a palace and dungeon, a millstone and a milestone.
I thought several times of the deep anxiety it caused as I nearly lost the house. But the Holy Spirit spoke to me one day during a particular anxious bout, as God’s promises came alive to me from Matthew 6 : 26,27 & 33, 34.
Pray these scriptures, memorize them, take ownership of them, God won’t ever let you down, when everybody else has.
After being born again in the Spirit of God, it took time to get back to good health, but the bank would want their money for the house. I had spent it surviving when I had become ill, I couldn’t see a way, but God makes a way where there is no way. I prayed long and hard specifically about what I was to do. Get rid, sell it don’t need it! At first it seemed ludicrous to sell something that I had worked so hard for, couldn’t I see a way back to work and start again, maybe a new mortgage I thought?
I saw this for what it was, holding onto My Plan and the more I looked I saw that God’s plan for my life was to set me free. John 8: 36 says “If the Son sets you free you shall be free indeed“
If I was to follow the Lord completely I would have to put all my trust in Him, I would need to increase my faith which then would mean being wholly obedient and fully available.
The more I saw it , it was going to be a major reduction from gross materialism, I had no idea what to do during or after my house sale but I did know that God has a plan for everyone’s life and that plan would be far greater than my own plan for my own life which only headed to death and destruction.
It meant that I would have to strengthen my faith , increase it, trust in the Lord wholeheartedly for all things. I thought I was giving my all, putting all my trust in Him, well maybe I was then, but that was then. I know we are all given a measure of all that we need and 2 PETER 1:6 talks of adding to our faith.
It was quite strange leading up to a time that you had planned for over 20 plus years and watch time come and go without you. I was over here now, not over there , I had decided to follow Jesus..no turning back.“
I don’t reminisce about my plans and all that I did was great or I miss my old life, on the absolute contrary, only God is great. All glory to Him. I have something far more valuable, priceless, limitless than anything that the world has to offer, a relationship with the living God.
Since October last year it has been an emotional roller-coaster. Since the decision came out of necessity and guidance to sell my home and follow God’s plan for my life.
There is a way that we live in our lives that is not conducive to not being ready for complete strangers to come and inspect every room. Like allowing the Lord Jesus access to every area of ourselves , but this was potential buyers viewing every aspect, it’s necessary but intrusive.
Going through every area is labour intensive, arduous , emotionally wrenching for a hoarder like me Every tool, ornament, item of clothing, bric a brac saved and stored for a rainy day had it’s own story and memory brought to the surface of when, where and why I bought it which led to memories being churned up from what I was doing at that time.
Then everything had to be assessed, was the item being kept, permanent or temporary, being sold, given or thrown away (or even kept for another rainy day ). I would often just sit there having a break , praying to God about direction and praying that I would be ready and blessed to leave all this turmoil of possessions and materialism with just one rucksack with my Bible and a few clothes and start again wherever the Lord our God guided me.
It was a long process that I had no idea what was on the other side, I had no plans whatsoever of what I was going to be do or where, I was guided into praying Genesis 26 :25… asking the Lord for 3 things , a tent an altar and a well. A roof a place of worship and a well to draw from.
People would ask me where I was moving to, my response would be that I am waiting on the Lord for direction, wherever He guides me.
2 weeks after accepting an offer on my house I awoke on a Sunday morning with an absolute clear direction, I had to get a vehicle big enough as a mobile home. I didn’t know how but it was clear that I had to act now, my Spirit was jumping about.
There was a problem. Motorhomes are expensive and I only had £3,000! I looked on the internet there was absolutely nothing I was going to get for my budget that didn’t already have a wheel or two in the scrapyard !
I’d make one !
I was good with my hands and had an eye for planning. I found a 16 year old 17 seater disabled minibus in Blackburn. I called the owner, viewed after church service, agreed a price of £2,000 and had it delivered on the Monday night.
I awoke on the Tuesday morning wondering what I had done. I checked legislation to find out what I had to do to convert it to the class of motorhome. It didn’t look good.
DIY conversions on the internet, normally took from 6 weeks to 18 weeks , DVLA said that after receiving the completed application and proof of conversion it takes 6 weeks to process! That was minimum 12 to 24 weeks, I had 6 weeks total before anticipated completion of house sale, there was no chain , the buyer is a first time buyer.
It was no problem , God makes a way.
I worked 15 hours a day, completed the conversion in 15 days, documentary proof and application sent off to DVLA , once received I rang everyday for an update, it took 15 days before I received the V5! So 30 days after purchasing, I have a road legal motor home for £3,000!
I used a multitude of things from my house, my oak dining table made the high level bed base with 3 bookcases underneath, dressing table was cut in half to make kitchen and bathroom cupboards, my kingsize bedbase was cut down and stood up to make a dividing wall the remainder of the bed was cut into sections to make a robust bedbase. I fitted it out with TV/DVD player, surround sound cd player, record player , leisure battery, and the 3 bookcases for about 300 Christian books and Bible’s.
Christian friends helped me with curtains, fit a roof rack, reversing camera and graphic stickers for the bodywork. It has 6 traveling seats, 2 beds an external shower, electronically pumped water and solar panel.
So we, me and my boxer dog Bertie are all ready to set off, house emptied, motorhome packed with a variety of gospel tracts to hand, ready to share my faith of the Good News of Jesus Christ on a daily basis wherever we are, I have said my goodbyes with a tear in my eye to many, fond , wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ that have helped and encouraged me along the way.
There are often hurdles along the way, seldom does a path run smooth, especially when it involves estate agents and conveyancing solicitors. My thoughts and prayers go to anyone who has experienced the last minute delays incurred by either of these.
So here we are ,about to set off, to be sent from Eden, the place that I thought would be my forever home, to different places, some I may know, some I will not, so please join me on my journey and keep me in your prayers.