34: Desired haven #Lent2021

“They cried out to God in their trouble, and God brought them out from their distress; God made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they had quiet, and God brought them to their desired haven.” (Psalm 107:28-30)

After my husband left me, I kept getting a really strong sense that God wanted me to ‘Rest’. I didn’t need to do anything, just rest/be/dwell in God’s presence. Rest in God=Restoration.

A friend gave me a copy of a book that’s become a hugely important part of my journey. It’s called ‘God calling’ by ‘the two listeners’. Resting in God (amongst other things) resounded loudly from this, as well as being communicated to me in many other ways.

During this time there were lots of difficult decisions to be made. One of them was where was I going to live? It was a really hard decision. I had wanted to stay where I was, because it was ‘home’ for our boys. But to do that I’d need to subdivide our 1.25-acre block- I couldn’t afford the whole thing. I researched, got quotes and looked into all the work needed to subdivide.

A friend kept gently prompting me- Why don’t you look at houses for sale, just to get an idea of what else might be possible?

It took me awhile, but I relented and agreed.

The first house I saw in my price range I was amazed at. “I could live here,” I thought. Easily. I couldn’t actually believe it was in my price range! Everything else turned out to be awful, run down, brown brick veneers with tiny windows, mould, awful décor, and no natural light. No Thanks!!

I finally decided I wanted to buy the first house I saw. And the next day I got back the final quote- which confirmed I couldn’t have afforded to do the subdivision anyway.

So- then I decided I didn’t want my husband to have our house either. I felt it wasn’t fair, that he’d left, but then could have the family home, what was ‘home’ to our boys. I felt we should both have new places, and be on more ‘even footing’ re ‘home’.

And as I worked and worked to try and get the house ready for sale (which he’d agreed to) roadblocks kept occurring. So many things that stopped each current project. Coincidence? I learned over time that God was guiding me to stop working on the house. To reconsider my decision about selling. To really look at my motivation. Was ‘self’ in the way? Was being gracious in this better, not just for others, but for me too?

I decided yes to both- and he now owns that property.

At some stage during this time I did a guided meditation. I was to imagine myself in a boat, adrift in the ocean. I pictured it in my mind- I was in an old tinny, with no oars or motor. There was nothing in the boat but me. I was adrift alone, curled up on the floor of the boat. I thought- How did I get to be here? And I realized- because my husband had left me suddenly, unexpectedly. (We did used to go fishing in a tinny, years earlier, with the kids.)

I was then told that a raging storm began, and I was asked to imagine whatever I needed. I envisaged a warm fleece wrapped around me, and a strong tarp over the top of the whole tinny, well fixed so that no water could get in.

My memory is a bit vague on some of the details, but I remember focusing on trusting in God. And that I would be brought to safety. The visual images that developed made me realize somehow I was now on the Hopkins River, near the bridge. And the boat was making its way toward Proudfoots. As I arrived- I looked down and saw Jesus in the water, behind the boat, swimming & pushing it in towards shore.

I got out at the rowing boat ramp, just near Proudfoots. And somehow I knew I had to walk a certain direction- a straight line from where I was, through the cemetery and through the houses on the NW of it- and just keep going. I had no idea why, or where to.

I ended up buying the house, and moving in. The house was (& is) amazing! It had all I needed, it was extremely liveable, though needed some work. And it was ‘very me’, in its style, and its colours and features.

It had an ensuite- which I’d never had before! And a dishwasher. In some ways it felt like luxury! And I really had a sense that God had got this ready for me, it had been here, just waiting for me.

It was a tangible sign of God’s love. A beautiful ‘new beginning’.

Quite some time later I suddenly realized that this house was in that direct line, from where I’d got out of the boat!

What a realization!!

And it has been, and still is, my retreat. My place of rest, of restoration. A place I am held by God. A place my kids love. It is home. Ω

Reflect: What tangible signs of God’s love have you experienced? Remember, and rest in God’s love.

#Lent2021. Real People, Real Stories: 40 Readings for Lent, Sanctuary, 2021. Image credit: Rachel Coyne on Unsplash.

What is this? Lent is the 40 days, excluding Sundays, before Easter. Traditionally it is a time of intense reflection and pilgrimage. To help you on this journey, Sanctuary has put together 40 stories from people both within and beyond the congregation, with associated questions for reflection and prayer. A reading will be uploaded every day of Lent.

Tools for the Journey

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