You could catch me bundled up in a hat, scarf and coat, walking by the sea.
From birth until 12 years old, I lived five minutes away from the beach in Brighton, England. The regular routine was school, walks, playing and going to church. It was a sweet life. We loved our friends, church family and extended family and had no idea what 2005 would bring. As native Britons, living in America was never on the radar! We had lots of American friends from a church in Fayetteville, Georgia, but as a 12 year old I had no idea what a “state” meant. For all I knew, America consisted of McDonald’s, cheerleaders, football helmets (not to be confused with soccer…which you actually play with your feet), sandy beaches and NYC. Little did I know, not every American girl wears braces and warm weather is a game changer!
At a very young age, I became a believer in Jesus. I can never pinpoint the exact date when I decided (April 1998 according to my parents!), but I’ve actively grown in loving God and pursuing Christlikeness ever since. I would say Jesus is the greatest joy of my heart, but the consistently bad things (code word: sin) I do would say otherwise. I am grateful for His grace toward me and believe He is life and breath. Every human was born imperfect, yet created by The perfect Artist and Geneticist. I grew up as a pastor’s kid, and thoroughly enjoyed serving at church throughout my childhood. The local church is the launching pad from which we live out the Great Commission, and I’m a huge believer in the importance of serving and being active in community.
In 2005, my Dad was called to pastor a church we had grown to love in Fayetteville, Georgia. It came out of the blue, but it also made so much sense. Although we never imagined moving, it was the only place that our family would consider. Having interviewed, searched for a house, preached with a view and packed up our house, we moved within a span of four months of being called. It was a whirlwind!
At 12 years old, I didn’t know what the future would hold. America has become home, and I’ve officially lived here half my life! In 2014, my family and I became dual citizens of the U.S. and U.K., which always makes for fast airport lines and two passports! It was a long process but our church family was so kind to walk with us all those years as we pursued citizenship.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll enjoy participating in my fun series called “Double Decker Dialect”! It’s a culmination of all the strange words I’ve learned about living in America and comparing them to their English counterparts. Some of the videos were even filmed on a double decker bus!
Contrary to popular sentiment, I loooooved middle and high school. I made great friends, dove head first into activities, chorus, yearbook and youth group and learned how to study! It was an adjustment, but my family will tell you that I blended right in (accent included, to everyone’s dismay!). We made new traditions and new friends, but kept old traditions and lifelong friends. God has been good.