Tremors and Transitions
My husband, Danie, was presented with an opportunity to take the leadership of a foundation in South Africa, and we really needed to be sure what God’s will was for us. If he accepted, it would mean that we would have to relocate to stunning Cape Town, the most beautiful city in the world, according to the travel experts. Who wouldn't want to live there, right? But it was a huge move for us, 1500 km away from family and friends, and everything that had become so familiar and comfortable.
Danie was busy showing me, the Word he received during his devotions that morning. The scripture verse was from Deuteronomy 11:6 ”You have stayed long enough at this mountain”. It’s time to move. The next moment, the earth shook, literally. The city experienced a tremor that caused our house to shake. It was a frightening experience, and a tremor of that duration was quite uncommon for the city of Johannesburg. As the tremor continued, Danie took my hands and started praying. He prayed for our safety, for Father’s hand of protection upon us, and after about 10 to 15 seconds, the tremor stopped.
We moved to Cape Town approximately 6 months later, and looking back on these last 21 months, I can see that the tremor we felt that morning, was a bit of a foretaste of what was to come. “We’re only a 2-hour flight away” and “Now living in the winelands of the fairest Cape” became phrases we uttered (and heard) often. The “honeymoon” phase was great. We visited the wine estates, which were now on our doorstep, and we took long walks on the beach, a mere 7 minutes from our home. Close family and friends came to visit and were in awe of the natural beauty we were surrounded by.
But the honeymoon ended, visitors went back to the place we left behind, and their lives continued. And then it felt like there was nothing. The beauty of the mountains became almost invisible as we started looking inside, and realized that something was missing. An exquisite place can quickly lose its sparkle when there are no close family or friends to share it with.
The relocation suddenly felt like a tremor in our lives. There were times we wondered if we had made the right decision, and times we believed we did. We really missed family and friends and longed to have them closer. Suddenly, we had to watch our P’s and Q’s and be a little more reserved, for new friends didn’t know our history or our hearts. It was a long period of transition. It still is in many ways.
Life is full of transitions. Sometimes these transitions come as a surprise, and other times they are part of a plan. Both are delivered with its own set of challenges. The essence for me, in this transition, is to focus on what God is busy doing in and through us. What is it that needs to change within during this time? Where can we improve or be more effective? What is Father saying to us as we navigate these new territories? He cares about the lives we live on earth, and promises that not even a sparrow falls from heaven, without His being aware of it.
Why did God feel we had stayed long enough in Johannesburg? We were comfortable there, happy. Why was it necessary for us to move so far away from those we love? I honestly don’t know yet. What I do know, is that we learnt a few things in this time.
We learnt that God is faithful.
We learnt that having a strong marriage, where both parties believe in kindness and mutual respect and understanding, is like a bunker during an earthquake. Having a faith-filled, strong, considerate and compassionate husband, has been a rock to me during this transition.
We learnt that Godly friends will always remain, and the bond continues to deepen each time we reconnect.
We learnt that God brings new people and new experiences across our way. We have met wonderful people, who have become new friends to add to our circle.
We learnt that sometimes the Gardener has to uproot a tree completely, before He can put it into new soil, where it will grow bigger, and stronger.
We learnt that God is faithful, and as citizens of Heaven, we are reminded in Hebrews 13:14 that “this world is not our permanent home, we are looking forward to a home yet to come.”
May your transitions always enable you to draw closer to His heart, because that’s all that really matters in the end.