I’m coming to end of my final year at university, and I’m still unsure of where I’ll be next year. I’m not a fan of change – I recently nearly cried when I popped home for a weekend to discover that my mother had replaced our 22-year-old kitchen bin – and I especially dislike not knowing what’s going to happen. Not knowing means not being able to plan, and not being able to begin to address any of the emotions I may or may not feel in the future. It’s a confusing time, and one with which I’m sure a lot of people are able to identify, at least in part.
I could spend the next few paragraphs writing about how God is teaching me to sit in the grey of unknowing – which He is, slowly. I could tell you about how I’m not really afraid because I know that God knows what He’s doing and where He’s taking me – which He does, and which I manage to believe… most days. But instead of any of those things, which I know God will teach you in His own time, in His own way, I’m going to tell you about my kitchen floor.
Bear with me. In short, one of my favourite places to sit is on my kitchen floor. Not only is it the perfect place to have cuddles with my dog, but it’s also marked so many significant times in my life – sat on the floor of an empty kitchen, raging that I was about to move house for the seventh time in 16 years. Sat on a friend’s kitchen floor as he cooked me dinner, quietly sobbing into my tea. Sat in a circle, giggling and telling stories with my closest friends on the night of my 21st birthday.
Everyone has that one thing that they do only in a place they feel at home. Whether it’s walking around barefoot or putting your feet on the furniture – there’s always that one particular thing. Mine happens to be sitting on the kitchen floor. I know I’m at home somewhere when I’m comfortable sat on the kitchen floor, and I know I’ve found a true friend when they sit on my kitchen floor with me.
I guess I’ve found God sat with me through the kitchen floor moments of my life. He was there in the raging, as I got angrier and angrier at Him as he called my ordained parents to move to yet another city. He was there in the sobbing, as I cried countless tears over the pain caused to my family by other Christians. He was there in the giggling, reminding me of the ways in which He’s brought joy even in the mess, the turmoil and the uncertainty.
Life isn’t simple and it isn’t straightforward. It will never make complete sense, and I will never know exactly what’s coming next. There will always unexpected curveballs and surprising turns in the road. But what I do know is that, wherever I am next year, there will be a kitchen floor to sit on. And my story – the one of God’s presence beside me during my kitchen floor laughs and my kitchen floor sobs, my rages and my questions – will continue. Wherever that may be.
And so, for next year, two things I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
1) There will be a kitchen floor
2) God will be there too.