A year of drought – reflections on the impact of HS2

Last week I sat and looked at the walls of my house.  I read, and re-read, the verse that I had put upon those walls when we moved in.  The phrase “It has no worries in a year of drought”  kept spinning round and round in my head.  “A year of drought“.  Was that was this was?  Some years you just keep plodding on, some are filled with happy and exciting news, and some are filled with drought.

Drought doesn’t have to just mean a lack of water, but I think it refers more to the challenges you face.  When there is no rain, it is soooo much harder to farm and produce crops.  It is not impossible, but it is blinking hard work.  And that is what this year has been like.  It has felt like hard work.  Emotionally stressful, tiring, draining and exhausting.  Just to keep going at day to day things has been tough.  It would have been easy to barricade myself in the home and become seriously depressed, and it breaks my heart to know that some people on my estate have been in that place.  But thankfully I was not one of them.  Why not?  Because of the river I am planted next to.

Before the words “HS2” ever crossed my lips, I had sunk my roots firmly into Christ Jesus.  I had studied his words and listened to his teachings.  I had put my faith in the one true God, and he has not let me down.  He has sustained me in this year of drought and kept me going.  He has given me a sanctuary of peace to hide in when needed, faith to step out and be bold when required and words of hope to show me the way out.  It is only because of him that I will “bear fruit” during this season.  By helping me not hide in depression, I have made new friends, invited people to alpha courses and been there to support others.

So today’s news that the consulation results have basically been ignored and the government is sticking with the decision to put HS2 through our estate has not shocked or angered me.  It has saddened me as I know the impact on others will be great.  It has saddened me that the man making that decision would not come out and face up to the consequences of it in person.  It has saddened me that my year of drought will continue a bit longer than a year (probably another year to go!).  But I am hopeful that God will bring us out into a year of amazing fruitfulness and into a new community that we can love and serve.

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