The first time I walked down our road, it was not our road. I was praying for a new congregation my church were starting in the community.
A few weeks’ later, I walked down our road for the second time. As Mr Pilgrim and I left a church meeting explaining the vision behind this new congregation, I said ‘let’s be part of it’.
So even though we lived in a different part of town, we joined this new congregation never thinking that this would be for the long-term.
A year later and heavily pregnant, I walked down our road in the dark November rain. It was still not yet ‘our road’ but almost. We were about to buy what is now our house but I was having doubts. Wanting to hear from God and hoping for a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from him, I walked the streets and prayed. For the first time, I felt a glimpse of God’s love for our community and that love has became my love. I never heard that ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
We moved in and I walked. Walked in the rain. Walked in the sunshine. Walked to help my baby sleep. Walked to get out of the house.
Two years later, weighed down with fears and pregnant with Little Miss, I walked in the balmy heat of late summer. Walking to manage my gestational diabetes, the aroma of the lavender in people’s front gardens lifted my despondent spirit.
And today I walked. The houses are no longer houses, they are the homes of people I know. The school isn’t just a school, it’s our community. I walked past places we know and are known: the post office, the pre-school, the churches, the Red Box collection point and the Green. I saw love, community and beauty.
As I walked today, I remembered the first time I walked on this road. I remembered walking while pregnant in the winter rain and then in the summer sun, and I give thanks for God’s faithfulness and goodness.