Before I forget, I think my little adventure in Birmingham deserves a post.
Why was I in Birmingham? Nope, definitely not Cadbury World. Nope, definitely not part of the plan.
Well, first things first, it all happened on Saturday – exactly 4 days ago.
That morning, I headed for Oxford for a house-hunting day trip. As usual, I got to Manchester Piccadilly train station early. So I thought, “Time for a morning coffee.”
Sat down at Starbucks happily with my Ethiopian latte, before realising to my horror that my train is ‘cancelled’ according to the live departures table online. Cue mad rush to information to find out what the heck was going on.
Oh landslip between Leamington Spa and Banbury. Well, that shouldn’t be too bad – train down to LS > bus from LS to B > back on train from B to Oxford.
The train ride was actually really enjoyable – listened to Ps Sophia Barrett’s preach on the ‘grass is greener on my side’. And having the most amazing views with so much sunshine!
(One of my many tweets on my trip)
Eventually I reached Oxford about an hour late.
Well, that’s not too bad. Got to hang out with SH for a bit and I did find a house in Oxford to live in for the duration of placement – so yay! Right?
The journey home was when the nightmare began.
The train disruption was still on so I was all ready for the estimated 1h delay and the train>bus>train routine. But… when I got on the train at LS, I expected it to be a smooth ride back to Manchester… when they announced that the train terminates at Birmingham New Street?!
I was like, “What the heck. Must be a mistake. I definitely booked my train for Manchester.”
Ticket guy came along. Asked him about the final stop. He was like, “Oh. There are no more trains to Manchester. The earliest one is at 9am tomorrow. Just go to information at Birmingham.”
Cue frantic texting of anyone I think would be of help.
And A LOT OF PRAYING. The past week was the start of a new season and re-discovering the Father as one who fights for me. But this… this was really a situation where I had no fight. He’s the only one who can fight for me.
The prospect of sleeping overnight in a train station in a city I’ve never been in was not exactly appealing. (Sidenote: I was quite amused at how worried I was at not being able to get back in time for AV at church.)
Got to Birmingham New Street at about 10.50pm. As expected, all I got told was there’s a train at 9am tomorrow.
By some divine stroke of genius, I found two other Chinese girls studying in Manchester looking frantic in the station too. Decided to go hunting for a hotel to stay in for the night – but again no luck, all full. Having wandered for an hour was not cool. The copious amount of inebriated people on a Saturday night wasn’t helping with the fear and stress either.
Thankfully, the life-saving message came in from my housemate A, saying a friend of a friend could let us crash at his for the night!
Long story short, he was kind and hospitable. Offering food and stuff and a clean bed, even had a good conversation till like 2. (The 2 chinese girls eventually left because their friends booked a hotel for them eventually and lol, gave him Burberry cufflinks so casually as a token of thanks. That was the funniest thing.)
Left in the morning on the 9am, relatively well-rested after a stressful night. Even made it for AV for the 2nd AM service (hahaha surprised my AV mentor right there heh)!
The only thought in my head that day was: I need to praise.
But anyway, He fights for me. He’s with me, I lack nothing. Psalm 23. Those words have never felt truer.