Following my feet....

It al started with me becoming a Christian and choosing to follow Jesus.....well it stared before then but we'll start the tale there.

In 2013 I was working in my 'dream' job however I was also suffering with severe depression. I'd been on anti-depressants a good few years and life was just getting bleaker and darker by the one point I realised I hadn't cooked a meal at home for Will (my son) and myself for months. 
As family we were invited to attend New Wine, a Christian worship festival, what's to lose, I thought, besides we hadn't been away for years at that point. 
It was here I decided to follow Jesus and became a Christian......following me so far? 

It it wasn't long after that, and yes I was still suffering from depression and taking medication, that I left, surrounding several circumstances, my job. I quickly found a position in a new place BUT absolutely hated it....and lasted a month, maybe 2. 
So there I was for the first time ever, jobless. I attacked the job market with vigour and applied for over 200 jobs of which I had one response, which led to an interview. It was for a carer, not something I particularly wanted to do but I needed a job mostly for my sanity. Having attended the interview, I thinking I did alright, I got back in the car and realised it really wasn't what I wanted. So prayed, there and then, in the car park, asking God to show me my path and if that was it to open the door and I'd get the job, however, also asked that he'd shut the door one that job as I knew it wasn't me.......the door slammed shut, so loudly the company didn't even let me know if I'd been successful or not! 

Back to to the job search drawing board. It was during this time I decided that with my love of animals (always been a passion) that maybe I should look for work that meant I could work with animals in some way......have you ever looked for animal related jobs in Cardiff? They are pretty non-existent. Will was in high school and I didn't feel it was fair to move him about at such a pivotal point in his life.
So I thought about re-training and gaining some qualifications......sounds easy but having been told, most of my life (by lots of different people, from lots of different places), that I was 'thick' and that learning and education were not my thing I didn't know whether it would be a good idea. So I prayed and applied for a place on a HND in animal studies. I told very few people, the less that knew, the less rejection and criticism I would receive from those who thought me incapable.
I got an interview offer (crikey!). So I went, taken there by my bestie, and attended the interview, of which part of it I had to write a piece about 500 words long.....I didn't even know what 500 words looked like! We prayed (those that knew and myself).
Unbelievably I got offered a place starting September 2014 (wow!). I accepted and THEN told people I was off to college (mixed thoughts on the news but that was expected...I was ready for them!). 

Fast forward 2 years and I graduated with a HND.....being so pleased with myself and having (some belief.....yes still didn't think I could do it), I decided to top up to a full degree. So the summer of 2017 I finished my degree and graduated with a Bsc (Honurs) in Animal Management. Surely I'd be able to get a job now. 

However by this time, I'd realised what I would like to do with my degree and new found knowledge in animal management....teach, lecture, educate. Those that know me well, know that I love nothing more than being able to impart knowledge and nuggets of information on those that want to listen and learn (and even those that don't!). This meant sticking my neck out even further and applying for a masters. 

In September 2017 I started my masters in Anthrozoology (the study of the human-animal bond). I also applied to the same Uni for a Studentship scheme which meant I'd be working as a teaching assistant in animal management.......I got the masters but not the job. I was so confident, evidently this didn't come out in the interview as I didn't 'sell' myself enough.

So I prayed.....was I meant to be a lecturer, was I meant to teach or educate? 

These last few months (since starting) my masters, have been increadiably difficult for me. Will left home and joined the army, leaving me an 'empty nester'.....there's only ever been Will and I since he was about 3 so thIs came as a huge wave of emotion to deal with (I didn't do very well and began plunging into a depressive spiral). A very close friend of mine lost her husband unexpectedly, this affected me way more than I thought it would and I found myself questioning life and everything in it. 
On top of all of this I was facing eviction from my house. Will leaving home meant that all benefits, tax credits etc stopped so I had to re-apply for some and others, well, when your son gets older and leaves home they just stop. So I am (and still to this day) in arrears on my rent.

BUT i didn't let the depression take hold (well only a little bit), I fought back and prayed.....well actually I got to my knees and shouted at God......he had to move, he had to show me my path, if I was to stay in Cardiff then he had to help me stay and if I was to go then where.....
I asked him for direction or at least a job that would help me pay my bills and keep a roof over my head.

All this time I'd  time I'd continue to apply for jobs......any jobs. Jobs at marks and Spencer  and tesco, jobs with dogs (dogs trust, rehoming centre, dog training centres), jobs at zoos (keepers, admin, education), jobs in pretty much any field.......anywhere in the country, and I mean anywhere (I think furthest afield was Scotland), but nothing came though, not even a rejection email.

Until on the 13th of December I got a phone call inviting me to an interview at a college in St Albans.....where and what job? I could even remember applying! So I accepted and dutifully attended the interview on the 20th December. The next day I'd heard I'd got the job and by the 22nd I'd accepted saying that I could start February 2018.

Now, for those of you that were paying attention, you may remember that I have no money (by 'no' I literally mean no, save for the few pound coins and coppers in my car). This means that currently I can't move to start my job......I can't pay for petrol or a van to move our stuff, I can't pay for agency fees, a deposit or a bond on a new house, as it stands I can't pay the bills here let alone new bills, petrol or food money before my first wage.......

So my dream job, and where I truly believe God has positioned me to be is in jeopardy because I have no finances. BUT I believe in a God that provides (Phil. 4:19), I believe in a God that knows my path and has gone before me and created a way (Jeremiah 29:11) and I believe in a God that is a God of miracles (Matthew 19:26.

So here I am (completely out of my comfort zone) asking for help (something I find increadably difficult to do) of you, my family, my friends, dog pals.....even strangers.
help me fulfil my next season by getting me to St Albans and into a house, by making sure I can fuel my car (or catch the bus) to work and fuel myself! 

Your support would mean mean so much to me and I would be forever in your debt (it's not far from can come and stay anytime!) 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help, whether it be financially, practicality, emotionally or in prayer......
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Rachel Peach 
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
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