This is my Story this is my song – praising my saviour all the day long. Silently the house sleeps as I pen my thought about today. But today didn’t start at 4:30 am this morning when I silently crept through to find my cup of tea and tin of biscuits. Biscuits made with the deepest love of a friend knowing how much they will speak to my heart in this crazy time we are stepping into….. No, this morning started many, many years ago. You see the day I was born my story begun and the day Neil was born his story begun. A great deal of which is lost in memory and a great deal I would like to choose to forget. The truth however is that we cannot sugar coat, rewrite or deny our story because it is being sung every day and once a story is sung it is out there for the world to see and share.Our stories are however made up of different books and chapters and right now we are writing one of the most interesting books of our life.
For about 18 months God has been speaking to us about going and walking in what he calls us to do. This has been through many dreams, prophesies, words and such. As I have time and I feel they are relevant I will share some of these profound truths God has stored up in our hearts. We didn’t quite however see what this was building up to until suddenly – here we are…… packing up on a 3 month road trip across South Africa.
You see this was not what we planned – actually nothing that has happened in the last 2 years is what we planned. Two years ago we bought our dream home and as I stood, teared up, I couldn’t believe God had given us the opportunity to live in such a beautiful home. My heart was so full. At this time our 7th child was born and so many people questioned and commented that that was when the words – This is my story, This is my song began to play in my mind. With full hearts we planned to live in our new home forever…..
However six month Later Neil’s work dried up and so started what we saw as a downward spiral….
Everything was slipping through our fingers …..
The tears and depression, the fights (with each other, ourselves and God) marred our days……
The fear of reality slowly begun to coldly grip our hearts. With deep sadness we put up our house for rent and yet God provided us the most beautiful home and farm to move onto. Even as we saw our card tower crumble around us He was looking our and providing in the most amazing ways. Never in the past 2 years have we lacked anything. We have stood in awe as we saw God cover our bond those first 6 months. We then had to close down our second business and have had no income at all…..
Yet we have seen our Father provide again and again and again. Not only food but opportunity for our children to continue with extra murals for free or someone has paid for them, anonymous amounts of cash placed in our bank account or in envelopes, we have seen our Father who own the cattle on a thousand hills provide for his children day in and day out. The most beautiful part of this all is that we are no longer slaves to a monthly salary. We are learning to place our needs before God and trust that he will make a plan when we need a plan made.
So already out of the ashes of seemingly hopelessness and despair we are seeing beauty arise. Yet it does not end there…. As 2016 drew to an end we realised that the one cost not being covered any longer was our rent on the farm. Once again we stood at the cross roads do we stay and dig a hope of debt or do we go? If we go where do we go? How does this look?
Previously we had stumbled upon Work Away – where you go and work on farms in exchange for food and accommodation. So we hatched a plan….. We’d buy a caravan and go and be salt and light on these farms. It looked – for a while – like this might actually work! Then slowly as the farms realised we did in fact have 6 children, who would be coming with us, the messages between the farmers and ourselves dwindled.
Oh God – where do we go! We so don’t want to be in debt. Oh God show us. Save us from these chains trying to entangle and ensnare us!!!!
Without realising it God was actually working on our hearts. Our original kick start for going was to escape the fear of debt. Yet as the WorkAway door closed we began to consider volunteering somewhere. Neil knew he had no work coming in till at least May so we decided to grab the gap and go from February till May (3 months) and see where that took us…. We eventually stumbled upon a place called Living Hope in Cape Town. Why Cape Town? Long story short – we used to live there and have been missing our friends and have wanted to show our children where we used to live. Then a few months ago a policy my parents had matured and they gave us some of the money and both Neil and I smiled. ‘Cause we knew that this would be the money to fund our trip to Cape Town.
So armed with petrol (and some school excursion) money we signed up to work at Living hope for the next few months. We soon however learned that they don’t have accommodation for us and we didn’t have a clue where we would get money to buy food while we were there. Eventually we realised that unless we put down a date we would never in fact actually go. All this time we had been conversing with the elders in our church and even when we were still considering the WorkAway two of them had said that they didn’t feel we should take a caravan. Eish. God had told us to take no purse or bag (well we didn’t really have a choice there as we had no money anyway) but did that also mean to seriously pack 8 of us in our car with a trailer load only – for 3 months!!! This was starting to sound crazy all around. Our father is so patient with these little people of his! So we have not bought a caravan and God has provided us with accommodation for most of our trip down to Cape Town (we going to take about 10 days to get there – stopping to see our beautiful country on the way.) He has also provided us with the opportunity to house sit – in the exact suburb we need to be in – for our first week in Cape Town. After that we are not sure where we will stay but we just need to breath really deep and somehow trust and obey!
Again and again we have however seen God’s faithful hand as the day we put down a date Neil was approached to do some freelance work – which he can do on the road. The next week someone else asked him to create some laboratory policies for them – which he can do on the road. So yes once we committed to going with nothing God proved that a worker is truly worth his wages. Even in the simple things such as potty training. Two weeks ago our youngest decided she may like to use a potty and I prayed – Oh God, Please if you want us to go on this trip I cannot potty train on the road! Within a day she had it sorted! I stood in awe as never before have any of my children learned to use a potty so quickly.
We stand in awe of how he has carefully undertaken in that Kadin has dreamt of attending a music school in Cape Town since he was 3 years old and on giving them a call they had one gap and without an audition or anything they have allowed him to attend for the term. How much he cares for the details of our lives!
God does however that continue to stretch our faith is that he still only brings it all together at the very last minute. In that we still don’t have all our accommodation sorted out and that we are only meeting the person staying in our house at home – minutes before we drive out!
Yet he nudges a friend to make me biscuits and bring a meal amid our sorting and packing! Is all his hand intricately a part of this story and this song that we live and as he is interwoven into every thread of the tiny details we get to sing his glory all our days long!