Today, I am left with no doubts. We are supposed to move to Grafton; God has chosen this path for us, and has shown us, without doubt, that it is where we are meant to be. We have known for some time that were to move on, and for the past few months, Grafton has become the obvious choice – we tried Dubbo, Wagga, Adelaide, and other centres, but each time, the doors firmly closed, leaving us frustrated and confused. But in Grafton, the doors swung open.
Firstly, the job. We arrived in Grafton for our ‘holiday’, the Thursday before our annual homeschool camp. Dear hubby, Bill, looked online for work, and found a job he thought he’d apply for. He sent through his application on Saturday, had an interview on Monday, and was offered a weeks’ trial straight away. Now, he has not started in that work as yet – due to lack of rain, current work opportunities are minimal (it’s at a lawn mower workshop), but he has been told once, and then again this week, he is at the top of their list, their employee of choice, and once the rain arrives, the job will be his. And even if it doesn’t work out, Bill has a great sense of peace that there is a job waiting for him, and it will come at just the right time.
Next, the house. With work looking promising, the hunt for a house began. We applied for several, and were knocked back. But all along, we knew that if possible, we did not want to go through a real estate agent. So, we put up signs, and put an ad in the paper. On the very morning we were leaving to come home, we received a text message about a house just 10 minutes from Grafton. The house contained 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and overlooked the river. We went to inspect it, and both Bill and myself felt such a sense of peace in the house, that we knew, despite the fact it was a much smaller house than what we have now, that it was ‘the one’. It was also private rental, so no real estate agent, and was around $100 per week cheaper than any other house we had looked at. Perfect! And, after spending hour after hour filling out forms to apply for rentals, providing identification, proof of income, etc. etc., this house was offered to us on the spot – no application forms required – it was just .. easy.
But as if that wasn’t enough, after being knocked back for so many other houses, it was as if God said, ‘and just to show you I mean it – here are three other houses for you’. Yep, one was through a real estate agent, and two others were offered to us because of our ads in windows. So in the end, we would have had a house, whether that be through the real estate agent, the signs in the windows, or the ad in the paper.
Anyway, we returned home to begin the packing. The whole ‘removal truck’ thing concerned me, for we currently live in a rather rural location, and I wasn’t sure how to go about finding a suitable removal company. One email later, I had a company willing to do it for us, and they so happened to have a truck coming through our area two days later, who would deliver the boxes. We were on our way!
But you know, it seems that whenever God is doing something great in people’s lives, the devil is there, willing to do whatever it takes to prevent it. And he has tried. Some people began to spread lies and vicious rumours. With great sadness, I told my parents and close friends the news, and the next visit to my parents turned out to be one of the most difficult days of my life. They had both sunk into depression, and I left the homes terrified that one (or both) of them had given up on life, and were now simply waiting to die. With the stress of it all, I collapsed, and nearly ended up in hospital. My health has suffered greatly, and in the end, I was simply unable to move on the date we had set for the removal truck. But, we packed anyway. And my husband headed north with the truck, leaving the rest of us here to finish the packing, cleaning and sorting.
Some wonderful friends then stepped in to help, although, they said, it would be with sad faces, as they would greatly miss us. In the end, we had two families helping us out. But in the two weeks that have followed, one family hit a kangaroo and totalled their car, leaving them unable to help, and the second family were rear-ended, leaving them also without a vehicle. And so, we were back to just the children and I to complete the task.
But, it doesn’t stop there. First came the near accident that I wrote about in a previous post, where we nearly wiped out the bus (and ourselves). A miracle of God saved us that day, and more were to come. Earlier this week, we were driving along with my son at the wheel, when another driver turned without looking at a t-junction and nearly hit us. My son handled it beautifully, swerving quickly to the left, and going out and around the shocked driver, who suddenly became aware of our presence as we darted around the front of his vehicle. But the most powerful sign was today. On the way back from Port Pirie, I took the wheel as my learner driver was feeling rather tired. We were travelling along a straight stretch of road, when I looked up to see a taxi driving towards us. Slowly and gradually, the taxi started to drift, and suddenly I realised, the driver was asleep at the wheel, and his vehicle was headed straight for us! I slammed on the brakes and pulled off to the side of the road, but still he was drifting in our direction. My son braced himself to rip the wheel out of my hands and take us further to the left, when suddenly, the driver straightened up and yanked the wheel to take him back to his own side of the road. As he scooted past, we came to a complete stop – but he didn’t, and casually kept going down the road (thanks a lot!).
And with great trials come great graces. On Sunday, we were privileged and blessed to be able to attend the Port Pirie Cathedral for Mass and veneration of the right arm of St. Francis Xavier. For an hour, we knelt in prayer, as well as praying before the relic itself. It was a powerful morning, to be sure, and I left with a sense of peace and purpose I had not felt for weeks. I knew God was about to do some marvellous works in our family, and all we needed to do was just keep going. And he has. Over the past fortnight, He has shown us marvellous works, protected us, and taught us powerful lessons in trust. He has shown us things that normally we would not see; let us know some of what awaits us in Grafton, and shown us perhaps a little of the unexpected. .
And now I realise. Situation after situation, disaster after disaster, and there is no doubt. We are supposed to go to Grafton. There are those who oppose it, and those who are definitely making things difficult for our journey. But there are others who have encouraged us, held my hand, and threw their arms around me. Some have helped us here, and others and have supported us across the miles. And I have learned the true value of friendship, and who our true friends are. After today, I am left with no doubt. Our family will be in Grafton, and we will arrive with joy and thankfulness, and no-one, not even the devil, is able to stop it, because we have God on our side. He is the one who has chosen this path for us, and we will follow wherever He leads.
May God bless you day,