It was only a short visit to Auckland but an interesting trip to say the least. It all started with losing my wallet in the Melbourne airport. LOL! I know! Keep reading for more details.
The more I look back on this trip the more I see God’s fingerprints on everything. I don’t think I can write everything into this post but it was good! On Thursday (day before I was to fly out to Auckland) I received an email from one of the pastors in Auckland that has a connection with my church. My pastor sent him note on Wednesday to see if anyone by chance would be interested in hosting me. A lovely couple from his church were more than happy to have which saved me spending money on an Airbnb. Now, I haven’t met this pastor in Auckland and now I’m staying with people I don’t know. I always welcome the unknown (for the most part); however I didn’t realise how much of a blessing they would be.
I already struggle with receiving things from other people. I love to give to people whether it’s my time, material possessions, or even finances. However, I’m not very good at receiving those things from others. So I was in quite the predicament when after I landed, got picked up by an amazing woman named Jay and stopped to get a quick bite a McDonalds that I realised I didn’t have my wallet. I initially thought I left it on the plane so we drove back to the airport to baggage services and the rep we were dealing with (who was a God send!) went to check the plane for me. He came back empty handed so now I knew I left it in the Melbourne airport. So he started calling around to see if he could track it down and I was thinking thank goodness I didn’t realise it was missing until now. I would have had three solid hours on the plane criticizing myself for losing my wallet. Sometimes I really don’t have grace for myself but I’m working on that. Anyway, I actually wasn’t upset or stressing about it which is a major sign of growth. I just said, “Well God looks like you’ll be taking care of me this weekend.”
Of course he did! Now I was in a position where I had NO means to support myself. I was in a foreign country with no money, no access to money but thank God I had my passport. So my dinner was paid for that night and now I was wondering how I would get through the rest of the weekend. I could not have been placed with a more loving and generous couple. Will and Lorraine are the cutest! They’ve been married for 37 years and are a great example of how I want my marriage to look. Here are just some of the things they did:
- fed me breakfast, lunch and dinner
- paid for my visitor’s visa
- took me to pet some sheep (because I could catch one at One Tree Hill. LOL)
- gave me spending money so I could go for lunch and out to Hot Water Beach with my friend Joy
- drove me wherever I needed to go.
They were a blessing. I was a bit overwhelmed with how generous they were. AND! They would not let me pay them back. That was really tough for me. Sometimes you just have to receive and in my case I didn’t really have a choice.
Lorraine and Will are very involved with their church (Faith City Church) and go to both the morning and evening service. I wanted to experience both services so I asked if I could come to the evening service as well. I didn’t know I’d have the mic at one point! During worship, Pastor Mike asked me if I could share with everyone a bit of my journey (how I came to Christ, how I got here etc.) and I felt a bit sick. LOL! I do love the stage but the perfectionist in me started to come out. For a few minutes I was no longer engaged in worship but I was sitting there trying to craft the perfect way to share my story. Then I started stressing about delivery, if people were going to like it, if my outfit was ok… the list goes on. But I just realised that God is already so proud of me and His opinion means more to me than anything so I just needed to chill and just go up there and be me.
So I did! It was pretty cool to just share my heart and my journey the last few years to get to a point where the only agenda I have is God’s. It’s more freeing than I realised! Now I anticipate what’s next. My current visa is good for a year but I have to leave every three months. I’m also not allowed to work but I can look for sponsorship. I’m pretty much where I was a year ago when I arrived but now I have a year’s worth of growth and lessons learned to apply to this next chapter.
The next 90 days should be good 🙂