I live in a room. It’s not a house, it’s a room with a bathroom and a bit of extra space in the back. Calling my room a “home” sounds just a little grand but my home and I have delusions of grandeur and we’re happy with that.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my room. I’m a bit of a homebody and the introvert in me finds rest and restoration in my own personal space. I’m grateful for it and I like being in it. From the outside it looks like a concrete block. On the inside, it’s very me: all whites and beiges and just a touch of purple, with clean lines, gently wafting sheer curtains and no clutter. I’ve been able to make it mine and it feels like a sanctuary, a retreat right in the middle of the busyness of this amazing, crazy place in which I live.
So, when I came to Sydney in December with the promise of a place to stay and a car to drive, I expected a bed, a set of keys and time to retreat for a few weeks from the daily grind.
How fully and completely did I underestimate the goodness of God and the generosity of friends. I could not have imagined such blessing, let alone asked for or expected it.
I arrived in Sydney after a 14 hour flight from Johannesburg, welcomed by my parents at the airport. They drove me straight from the airport to the home I’d been lent by friends who were overseas. Food, water, shelter, a soft bed for the night – these were my expectations.
Oh my. Speechless doesn’t cover it.
This frazzled, jetlagged, crumpled missionary gal with the Mozambican dirt still stuck between her toes lugged a battered, half-empty suitcase up the steps. I’d brought with me one book, one pair of shoes, a few clothes that would be thrown out before I left, and the magical three-monthly deworming pill in my bag for my first night in civilisation. Some things follow you wherever you go.
Six months earlier, when I was planning my time away from Mozambique, I’d quietly pondered with God (I wouldn’t even call it praying) that I needed a real rest – a holiday that only feels like a holiday if I can see the ocean. But that costs money and I don’t have money for such luxuries these days. I also processed (I don’t think I was whining but, well, perhaps just a little) that I missed swimming, one of the most relaxing pleasures of my life where my body suddenly wakes up and says, “Hey, we’re on holidays – woo hoo!” I whispered it all to God and left it at His feet.
Now, here I stood, mouth agape. I was standing in front of the most beautiful house, next to the most beautiful pool, looking out on the most beautiful ocean view I could imagine. Beyond my wildest imaginings, this place would be my home for the next three weeks as I rested and prayed, read, spent endless hours looking out at the view, saw friends and family, ate good food, dreamed new dreams and – swam!
God surprises me often – He is so good to me. This time around, He blew me away with such perfect generosity to this Aussie gal from Mozambique who is just trying to do life with Him the best way I know how. He gave me “exceeding abundantly more than I could ask or imagine” and, in the midst, He gave me rest.
Now that I’m back and sitting in my little room, my Mozambican home, with a fan blowing at me on high speed in opposition to the heat and humidity, with children playing outside and with music blasting loudly from somewhere nearby, I am at rest still. I was blessed beyond measure with a palace while away, and I’m blessed to be here, living the dream one day at a time, looking forward to the adventure each day brings in the perfect will of God.
Now, what will I dream about next?