For the past four months I’ve attended the School of Supernatural Life (SOSL), a ministry school in the Nashville area, in Franklin, Tennessee.
At the outset I knew two things, this was a journey of my heart and everything else was a step into the unknown. I knew I was stirred to go on an adventure, so the only thing left to do was to roll the dice and see what God could do.
Let me tell you about some of my experiences…
Alyn & A.J. Jones took me in when I landed. They direct the school, host a charming weekly podcast, and are parents to three adorable children. The Joneses have been nothing short of a God-send, helping me feel at home and part of a family from the very beginning. I’d eat my hat for these guys.
A quick anecdote: In early November at their youngest’s birthday party, I had the pleasure of being silly-stringed to death by an army of tiny superheroes. It was a deserved end, after all I was the ‘evil British super-villain’. No stereotypes were overturned.
Another brief story: Tia, their seven year-old, recently asked her mum if people with no place to go for Christmas could come celebrate Christmas Day with them, “like grandpa or Mr Will.” I’ve been blessed to be home in England for Christmas, but this melted my heart.
I stayed at the Joneses throughout September. I’ve since moved five other times, which considerably improved my geography of the area. It’s telling of the community that so many are ready and willing to open their home to a stranger from overseas. Despite the minor inconvenience of living from bags, I’ve not known a moment of not feeling welcomed since I arrived.
I’ll be moving again in January, hopefully to settle for the rest of year.
Let’s clear the air for my English friends. I haven’t been to one place where I’ve heard country music, hardly anyone I know has what we consider a stereotypical “southern drawl” and there aren’t many big-saloon cowboy hats to see. Perhaps I’m hanging out in the wrong places. That said, nearly everyone is or was connected with the music industry. And I’m consistently floored by the stacks of talented people here.
Friends, let me tell you about the cronut. Also known as the “100 layer donut”, this is an unholy infusion of donut and croissant. They’re rolled in sugar, filled with cream, and topped with an icing glaze. It tastes like the best moment of your life.
I grew a beard for the first time in my life. We decided it’s best if we see other people.
I’m now the owner of a 2008 petrol Volkswagen Jetta. It’s 2.4l and a manual transmission, so it qualifies as ‘fun to drive.’ She’s a little thirsty but considering fuel prices are four (!!) times cheaper than the UK, I’m coming out ahead.
I’ve attended three weddings while Stateside. One in Nashville, two in Dallas, Texas. The surreal part is how I get to continue my work for Jetmaster whilst travelling. My office goes wherever I go so long as there’s internet and my laptop. Naturally, I work wherever the best coffee is. Not only am I grateful for the glorious caffeination but for the freedom me to be at two weddings I otherwise never would have been able to attend.
On the crazier spectrum, I’ve met two different people who have been raised from the dead. You can hear more about one of them on the Joneses podcast. What is this wild life?