We are about to end this book of our time in Brighton. It’s been a brilliant one. A book of ups and downs, twists and turns. A book of discovering love, of two lives brought together, a turning of events no one could have predicted. A book of friendship deep and long. A book of companions on the long walk home. A book of rejoicing in the company of others who have held us, known us and some who have left us for different paths. A book of new life entering the world. Two crew members for our ship still figuring out how to sail. Two lives to enrich ours and guide through these waters until they find their own ships.
If I was writing I would write the happy ending we want. I would write of a husbands health which is the best it’s been in years. I would write of a soul set free from the grip of the past. I would write of how I own my beauty more and more each day. I would write of the view of how far we’ve come, the storms endured, the wind that threatened to capsize us again and again. I would write and then I would stop and proclaim.
Maybe even the end of a series (we’ll have to wait and see how that one plays out)
And then, if I was Cressida Cowell (who the boys have proclaimed as the best at epilogues and prologues) I would write my epilogue. This isn’t the end of the lives of these characters.
I would write of hints of more, of a new adventure to be explored, of our heroes heading off to new shores, a different land to dwell in.
It’s not the end of the story. Just the chance to look at the view. We do not know what lies ahead, what faces us in the mist, what darkness may come. We do know the wonder of a God who has held us this far and who calls us out to play in a new place, to discover new ways of love, to live our messy weird lives in another location. This book might be over but the story of ups and downs, twists and turns goes on.
We are about to live our epilogue, staying a week in a friends annexe before we start our prologue heading off to Northern Ireland. We shall enjoy our Brighton, our friends and we shall lean into the ache to start the next book.
I am deeply enjoying how our prologue will work out. We are journeying up over a week, starting with family and ending with family. From my parents to friends we made at our most recent church, to friends who held us through the darkest moments of our life together in the early years of our marriage, to friends who I met back when I first came to Hove (actually) 18 years ago, to my brother and sister in law and then onto a ferry to be with our family in Northern Ireland.
I love that my brain has set this up without me even realising the wonder of that journey. The symbolism of all those relationships who have shaped and formed us will hopefully remind us that life carries on beyond Brighton.
I have no idea how this next book will pan out. I cannot tell. But. I love the start already. We go with love. We go knowing that our God has held us, provided for us, given us so much in all these hands and feet who have been the presence of God in our lives.
And just because I grew up in a church where our Vicar would constantly quote old hymns as he got carried away in his sermons. Here’s one of my favourites:
‘We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling, and needing more, each day thy grace to know, strong in thy strength, safe in thy keeping tender, we rest on thee and in thy name we go.’