As I looked out the window beside me, I saw the massive buildings, the tiny cars, the beautiful ocean and, well, this was goodbye to NSW.
I loved this place, oh how I loved it. It had taught me so much, nurtured me into flourishing seasons and brought about things that I never thought possible. Yet here I was saying goodbye. Crazy, right?!
I had moved many times before, but this time was different. Previously when I had moved, I was moving as a student, which effectively meant my parents were making my decisions…I had an idea of the school I would go to, the church I would get involved in, the connections that may have already been set up. It was as if those moves, although challenging, were something I was prepared for; this time, however, I was an adult old enough to make the choice to go or stay.
I was leaving a place I loved and to be really honest, nothing in me felt ready for this except that I believed God had called me to go. I had a slight tear in my eyes as the buildings got smaller and smaller until I couldn’t see them any longer.
I closed my eyes and said, “Okay God what now?” Although I didn’t hear Him audibly or anything like that I just felt in my spirit Him whisper, “Now all you have left is to trust me.”
Ever been in one of those situations? Your kids aren’t thriving as you thought they would be, your business isn’t going as planned, your friendships aren’t working out? Sometimes I wonder how life can go from such highs to such lows.
I hadn’t lost anyone, but I felt a sense of grief as I left because I was leaving my life that God and I had built for the last four years in Wollongong.
God cares about everything I care about, so why do I feel such loss and pain at times? I believe that in these moments I’m reminded to keep trusting and keep surrendering.
As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, ‘this is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go the villages and buy themselves some food.' - Matthew 14:15
One of my favourite stories in the Bible is Jesus feeding the five thousand. I have no idea why I love it so much, I think it’s because it is so simple yet teaches a lot.
Not long after I had moved, it was only a few days, I began reading this story again. Don’t get me wrong, I did love where I had moved to but that love was being overshadowed by my loss of the other place, and as I read this story God taught me something that I had never noticed before:
This place was remote, in other words isolated, much like I was feeling in this process of moving.
I felt God say, “Hannah, there was another place for them to go and eat, in fact there are always other places you can go for resources, but I brought you here to teach you about a level of faith you haven’t experienced before, a complete reliance on my resources.”
Maybe your situations don’t look like mine in fact they shouldn’t. God has given each of us unique circumstances, yet I promise you that there is some area of your life right now that God wants you to trust Him in.
The people were sitting at the place of their miracle, they didn’t need to go away and search for it. God’s power is present with you, all He wants you to do is bring what you have to Him and trust Him with the rest.
Just over a month has now passed since I moved here and I must say it feels like it’s been a lot longer. Currently, I still haven’t found a church, a job, friendships, so why am I writing this you may ask? Normally we write stories of miracles or breakthroughs and we so need those stories, yet I’m still writing this with basically all my prayers unanswered. Over the past week I have actually found something more: the beauty and purpose of preparation.