Saturday 26 November 2016, The moving truck finally pulled up to our little house. We stood watching as all the boxes we packed the weeks before were loaded. All the hard work and tears that went into those boxes finally paid off. As the belongings we gathered over the years were carried out, we spent time with precious friends who all came to say goodbye. The tears were already flowing.
About two hours later our house was empty and silent. I stood in the lounge and looked out the window and soaked in the memories that lived there. I couldn’t stop the tears. We spent the next few hours just sitting in the empty house, having one last cup of tea with a handful of those we love. Laughing. Crying. Remembering.
We loaded out tiny car with a few things that were too valuable/fragile to go on the truck, a few sets of clothes each, and our cat. The tears freely flowed as we drove through the beautiful Cape mountains. We soaked in the scenery and thanked the Lord for the most beautiful season we had spent there. And my heart didn’t ache as much as I thought it would. Table Mountain in the rear view mirror didn’t look quite as heart breaking as I thought it would. And instead of sadness, I felt free. Instead of being bound by grief and memories, I felt freedom and light and I knew once again that home is where the heart is, and my heart is in Jesus.
We spent the night at my parents and the next day made the trip to our new home! We arrived the night before the truck, and were received by our friends and fellow team members. We slept wonderfully that night, knowing that the hardest part of the move is over and done. Moving all our things into the new house was the fun part – hard work of course, but FUN! So early the next morning we were up and dressed and ready for the phone call that told us the truck had arrived. We were all standing around when Brown Eyes phone rang and our little Warrior shouted for joy because he knew what that ring meant.
I was ready!! All our boxes were numbered and colour coded and I had already run through how the morning would go and what would go where a hundred times in my mind. But the phone call wasn’t as quick as I expected… Brown Eyes tone of voice didn’t sound as I expected. He looked at me and shook his head…
Our truck had hit a low hanging power cable in the neighbouring town, it caught fire and they didn’t realise it until someone stopped them. The fire station was just around the corner and their response was immediate, but the fire had already consumed the inside of the truck where our things were. No one got hurt, and there was no extensive damage to the truck, but all our furniture, all the boxes we packed, all our instruments, clothes, toys, my grandmothers sewing machine, my wedding album… it was all gone.
Brown Eyes and his friend made the trip to the truck to see if anything could be salvaged. They came back with a table and two benches, two yellow toy cars, my pot plants and my wedding album. Suddenly our new house seemed really big.
Upon hearing the news, my heart was filled with a peace that completely transcends all understanding. Because how is it possible to have peace in the moment that you find out that everything you owned had burned to the ground. Not only peace consumed me, but also joy. Home is where the heart is…
The most difficult moment by far throughout this experience was hearing Brown Eyes voice over the phone when they opened the truck and saw the remains of the content. I could hear, feel, the pain in his voice as he looked through our damaged things. And that was hard.
But people all around us started phoning and sending messages, people started making donations and lending furniture. And today we will move into our new house. We will move in with different things… fewer things… But a much deeper knowledge of how God can and will and does turn every evil-intended thing for the good of those who love Him. As I type this I have a deep longing to reach for my bible, and quote scripture on these pages, as I always do. But I remembered yesterday that because our suitcase was already so full, I packed our bibles into a box. It would only have been a few days and then I would’ve been able to take it out again. I’m sure that small things will pop into my mind over the next few days and weeks, memories of things that I packed that I won’t see again. And I’m sure that I will miss the sight and feel of many of those things.
But my heart is steady. I have JOY. I have PEACE. I am flooded by LOVE. And Jehova Jireh is my provider. And He does it magnificently. Grace on top of grace. So a huge thank you to everyone who has already contributed in any way towards building up again what was lost. We are exceedingly grateful. The Lord has called us, and He restores us, and as an instrument in this process He will bless your generosity and love and kindness. Our hearts cannot contain the kindness we have experienced since this tragedy hit. And we pray a blessing over you all for your open hearts and hands.
This journey has not been anything like we expected. But it is turning out to be more beautiful than our hearts have ever seen. It is richer, deeper, and more grounded in the Fathers love and heart. And we are happy! We are joy filled. We are free. We are home. In a (really) new Pocket of Beauty.