"Spread your Wings and Fly"
(even though they don't understand)
"How did it feel - what went through your mind?"
(when you heard the news)
Late in the year 2018, I went to the office in Sandton, and coming back I felt a strange feeling of 'not belonging' and it was definitely not anyone at the office that made me feel that way, they were always lovely to me. It was an emotion out of nowhere and I was overcome with sadness. Part of that emotion was 'I don't fit in anywhere' and 'I am not really heard or understood', and 'no one really knows me'. I did not understand what was going on and did not know why I was feeling such strong emotions. I could not really pin-point them. Looking back now I understand that it was a mixture of soul and flesh with a good portion of a stirring in my spirit, and it was the stirring in my spirit that mattered.
Arriving back home I dropped my handbag, sat at my piano, and with tears rolling down my face I started playing this little piece. There was no effort finding the notes, it just came and it comforted me! I kept hearing words like "even if they don't understand."
During December 2018 I remember pondering on my life and saying, God, we need a change and not just any change - we need a HUGE change in our lives!
In 2018 I was invited to Port Elizabeth to minister with sound for a fund-raiser event for hearing aid devices. The invitation was for the 7th of March 2019. I was preparing in prayer prior to the event and by the time I was flying out to PE from Johannesburg, I felt so awake in my spirit and a few significant things that stood out for me.
The date I was flying out was the 5th and I noted in my Bible - the number for GRACE. I was flying out to PE by God's grace and His grace will be enough. The event was on the 7th of March and I knew Holy Spirit would be with me and it would be me playing my piano but the anointing and ministry would be by Spirit and not by me. The day I flew back to Johannesburg it was the 8th of March and I said to myself "New Beginnings!". I had no idea what the new beginnings were.
5 = Grace
7 = Holy Spirit
8 = New Beginnings
I was also flying out on a bright orange Mango airplane and my seat number was 22F. So I said to myself "I am flying out with the fire of God my Father, and a double portion of it! (When God gave me the gift of playing the piano, He also spoke to me about the number 2 and since then for me it means "established/establishing" or "double portion".)
I was nervous to go all the way to PE, to be sitting on stage and playing my piano songs and speak to a crowd I have never met! Every other time the ministry events were in the comfort of church groups near home, and it always included someone I knew. Most of the time my mom went along and helped me set up, and she'd be there for support, but this one was out of my comfort zone and I was feeling it!
On the 4th of March, I was preparing in prayer and I opened my Bible on this scripture:
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." ~ Joshua 1:9
This was not a new scripture to me because I already got this on 11 September 2009, and it has been one of my main scriptures ever since. So I looked at it again and said, "gosh I know I am nervous God, but I didn't know it was going to be this tough!?" I thought to myself 'what was going on that I did not know about, and what could be so nerve-wracking that God would need to give me this scripture now!?'
So I decided to pack the two scripture cards that I have always had with me, pasted to my keyboard: "as I was with Moses, so I will be with you". [And just now as I am writing this in my e-journal, on the 1st of May 2021, right now at 16:30, I realise for the first time after all these years, what that scripture really meant for me!! I am blown away! I always thought who are you to claim that scripture for yourself and thinking that God gave it to you? How could you liken yourself to Moses even? But I know now why God gave it to me..it was about my journey ahead! All this time that scripture was confirming the journey. And plus, as I realised a couple of years ago, that scripture is about Joshua, it is not about Moses!]
So I went to PE, spent a few days there, and had a beautiful time with everyone there, especially the couple who invited me was a true blessing! (Thank you Marlize and Eben Nel). God was with me and the event on the 7th turned out to be quite all right and not as scary as I thought it would have been. And all the time I carried the scripture with me in the back of my head and wondered why God felt it was necessary to give it to me again after so many years.
On the 8th of March, I flew back to OR Tambo. My husband picked me up. As we left the airport grounds and took the motorway, my husband looked at me and said calmly "I think we need to leave South Africa". He mentioned New Zealand in there somewhere. I can't remember what I said but I think it was "what!!??"
Never before that day had we spoken a word about leaving South Africa. We have not even made plans or leaned toward it. We always just knew silently that we would never have the means to leave SA. We knew a lot of people who had enough money to make plans, and sort of had the 'right to talk' about it but for us, it would just never be an option. So we never even thought about it. I think I was silent for a few minutes and a million scattered thoughts ran vaguely through my brain in split seconds. But the one thought that immediately came to mind, and the one that spoke the loudest in my heart was the dream I had back in November 2004. I had a dream about us going to an island. So, remembering that dream I said yes, we should go. My thoughts ran to my parents and I was wondering how on earth do we leave my parents behind!?
It then dawned on me a few days after .. the scripture Joshua 1:9 was not for the ministry event but for what was lying ahead!
My parents were living in the cottage on our property for probably 10 years and they were away on a two-week holiday just as I got back from PE. I decided not to tell them because I knew it would ruin their holiday, so I waited. I deliberately did not tell my sister either as I was worried that such big news would find it very difficult to remain shut behind shocked lips. So I waited.
In those two weeks of waiting my husband and I watched one video after another about emigrating to New Zealand. We dived into google and started doing research on emigration and paperwork and finding out what to do. We spent many hours exploring the country from our living room in Van Oordt street and fell in love with what we saw. We did not know that NZ was such a beautiful country.
By the time my parents came home from their holiday the two of us were so excited and scared at the same time, and our minds were filled to the brim with what's and if's and how's. Every morning I woke up with 'what a dream that was', and a split-second after the realisation - it is real!!!
I did not know how to tell my parents and it weighed heavily on my heart. They scarcely unpacked their vehicle when we arrived on their doorstep. We greeted and asked about their holiday but all I could think about was the 'news' and suddenly the blood left my face when I heard my husband's words rolling out from his mouth, unwrapped and uncut: "we have news for you - we are leaving SA and we are going to New Zealand." I of course said: "gosh could you not have said it a little more sympathetically? You just bulldozed it out!"
On my parent's faces I saw a million different emotions but mostly surprise and then shock, and then unbelief and again shock. The vibe changed and the peaceful rest they brought back from their holiday left the room. I felt bad. Now it was awkward, and my excitement transformed into guilt. The loving eyes were replaced by small portions of fear, and restricted smiles tried to make their way through confused and tightened lips. The silence in between all the many words got thicker and darker and louder.
When we left, we noticed that a strange unknown sack of feelings and emotions followed us home.
Our days were now filled with arrangements and paperwork, a million questions, and thoughts of 'over there'. Immediately after we told my parents we put the properties on the market and started looking for possible buyers for the vehicles and all the many goods that could not accompany us over the waters. I started sorting and packing, throwing out, giving away, and selling to friends and strangers.
We started telling our friends and it felt strange. I listened to my own words when I said "we are leaving SA; we are going to NZ".. usually it would be me listening to others saying these words but now it was me saying these words and it had a weird kind of ring to it.
A dear friend of mine (Rika Cronje) did not hear the news yet but she sent me a message saying that she was in church (in fact she was literally in church when she sent the text) and they were singing and the whole time she saw me and many many butterflies! But not just any butterfly but the Monarch butterfly and she sent me a picture. When I told her that we are emigrating I realised that the Monarch butterfly is all about migration! Those butterflies look so fragile yet they are incredibly resilient and fly over oceans for thousands of kilometers at a time.
Another friend (Elmarie Schalkwyk) sent me a picture that really made no sense to me at all, but I kept it anyway as it had to do with Joshua, and at the time, Joshua was kind of big in my life. It was a giraffe and a leopard with the writing "SEE..I have given Jericho into your hands".
I decided to google the Monarch butterfly and NZ but already knew in my mind that I would not find anything and that it would not even be found in NZ, but to my astonishment, I got this:
[New Zealand's most identifiable butterfly is the monarch (Danaus plexippus). Although found in many places around the world, the monarch is considered a New Zealand native because it became established here on its own..]
My heart was filled with so many mixed emotions and also the scripture of Joshua 1:9. Another scripture was highlighted for me to see:
Joshua 1:11 - The order to cross the Jordan
Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess.
I then felt a peace come over me as I knew God was with us and He is telling me to get things ready and in place and to prepare for our journey.
We worked incredibly hard to get things in place. It was like we were on a speed train and there was no jumping off. If you are reading this and you have emigrated recently you will understand the magnitude of paperwork and things to do - it nearly drove me mad. I also painted furniture that I wanted to take over with us and I bought new things that I thought were necessary. I started packing and sorting and labeling boxes, and all the while I was saying to myself "I am preparing provisions for us. God said to prepare provisions.."
A sadness was hanging over us as my family did not understand our sudden plans. They were in shock and found it very difficult to accept the fact that we would be leaving. There were arguments and things were said and done that caused discord, pain and upset. I explained that God was uprooting us and that it was His will for us to go. I shared the dream I had in 2004 but I think it didn't really make sense to them. They were hurting and there was nothing I could do to change it or make it easier for them. God said we were going and I knew we had to go. My heart was aching, but focused.
The plan was to go to New Zealand, with hubby working, and me looking after him, the home and the kids - exciting! Such a good plan! Our first visit to the Emigrations Agent completely changed my rosy picture when a lady who waited outside with us said: "there is no way you could go over to New Zealand and not work. Both of you would need to be working else you just won't make it financially."
On the 29th of June 2019 my husband and I flew out to Auckland. We gave ourselves 4 weeks to find jobs. Neither my husband nor I was particularly qualified in anything. I went over with a CV hi-lighting my PA experience and his CV hi-lighted his sales experience, and that's it. No degrees, no titles. We were just the two plebs from Krugersdorp.
After 26 hours of traveling we arrived in Auckland and when we stepped into our apartment at 12 am we practically crashed and slept. The next night I sat on the floor in the little bathroom and cried the whole night. I could not believe that God would send me to NZ to start a full-time job again; to set up interviews and sell myself to hiring companies and at the age of 49? Surely this is not how the story goes, God!?
I searched for God on that little bathroom floor the whole night, next to the toilet, and finishing a roll of paper on my nose and tears. I talked to myself, I cried and argued, and eventually in the very early hours of the morning I decided to accept my fate and to get on with it! I knew that if I was resisting this plan I would be making life extremely difficult for myself and for my husband.
We decided to treat every weekday as a 'work' day by starting the job hunting process early in the morning and finishing around 4 - 5 pm. This was hard work! Garth started out very enthusiastically and I was trying to look enthusiastic. When we were finished for the day we would walk around the city and explore. Those moments were beautiful and we bonded on a different level and got to know each other even better. In between the hunting and grafting, we made time for quality moments together - it was amazing!
We quickly learned that the most favourite thing for Kiwis to say was no worries, and that no one orders a cappuccino but a flat white.
Since I love to journal much of my walk with God I started to write things down in the evenings:
JOURNAL: 17 JULY 2019
WRITING IN AUCKLAND CBD, NZ – PARK RESIDENCES
ON THE WATERS OF SORROW
8 June 2019
Sent to me from my mother – from the book ‘Come Away with Me’
[I asked her to take a photo for me and send it via WhatsApp because my little book was packed away in a box ready to move from 25 van Oordt to Chancliff - our temporary home before NZ]
O My Child, I am coming to thee walking upon the waters of the sorrows of thy life, yea, above the sounds of the storm ye shall hear My voice calling thy name.
Ye are never alone, for I am thy right hand. Never despair, for I am watching over and caring for thee. Be NOT anxious. What seemeth to thee to be at present a difficult situation is all part of My planning and I am working out the details of circumstances to the end that I may bless thee and reveal Myself to thee in a new way.
As I have opened thine eyes to see, so shall I open thine ears to hear, and ye shall come to know Me even as did Moses,
yea, in a face-to-face relationship.
For I shall remove the veil that separates Me from thee, and yea shall know Me as thy dearest friend and as thy truest Comforter.
No darkness shall hide the shining of My face, and I shall be to thee as a bright star in the night sky. Never let thy faith waver.
Reach out thy hand, and thee shall touch the hem of my garment.
At the time I received this piece I had no idea what was actually lying ahead! I also copied in a piece that I wrote in 2011:
SECOND PUBLIC SOUND MINISTRY - 2011
It was some time during 2011 when I was invited by Marielle de Vos to release a new sound and play prophetically at a Christian Women’s gathering that she had organized.
A few weeks prior to that I was looking for a book of mine called: “The Dream Giver”. A friend of mine was in the process of opening his own business and I thought it would be a great idea to lend him this book. I got it back from him after a few months and when I opened the book, a little card fell out with the scripture “As I was with Moses so I will be with you.” I kept it in my Bible.
On this day of ministry, a few of my friends were there as well as my mom, as always (my precious mommy). My friend Gisela was head of her table where my mom and I were seated, and she had a little gift packet for everyone at her table. By this time, I was already sitting at my keyboard in the front getting ready to start, and my mom came running to me and said, “Gisela said I must give this to you because this one is yours!”
When I opened the packet, a card was inside with the scripture “As I was with Moses so I will be with you.”!
Ever since that day, I kept those two cards together, stuck to my keyboard with Prestik, and it accompanied me to every other event where I was ministering with sound.
In March 2019 I was invited to speak and play piano at a function in Port Elizabeth. This time I could not take my piano with me as I was flying to PE, but I packed my sustaining pedal and attached the scriptures to it.
Today I am sitting in our Auckland AirBNB apartment and many thoughts are running through my head. Last night I had difficulty sleeping as my heart was longing for home, wherever home is, because quite frankly we are between SA and NZ, we don’t really have a home! Back in SA, we are in our Chancliff flat and half our home is stored away in boxes and in the garage. We were in there for two weeks only before we flew out to Auckland to 'spy out' the country and look for jobs.
I am missing my children; I am missing my parents and my friends. I am missing and longing for Familiar and Ordinary and I am just a Nobody in a strange unfamiliar country.
God moved us across continents, and I am feeling bruised and fragile. Everything happened so fast - there wasn't time to think. We have been here for two and a half weeks looking for work and nothing came through yet. Yesterday I had a lovely skype interview with a recruitment agency, but they don’t have any jobs for me. The thought of having to extend our trip in order to continue searching for work is heavy on my mind and I am feeling tired. I need to stay strong, but I feel like giving up. I can’t give up because we are here on a mission from God and I need to push through. I don’t feel like pushing through because I never signed up in my heart for the job hunting thing, and at this age, and in a new country where nothing is familiar. Sometimes I start vacuuming the floor and doing the dishes because that at least feels normal.
I keep speaking to God asking Him to come through for me because if He does not do this it is not going to happen! I cannot do this God, you have to do this because I am ready to pack up and go back! Go back to what, I ask myself. We can’t go back, we have come so far and spent so much money and time, and effort to get to this point. Then I calm myself again and remind myself that God is doing this, He is in control, He has got us, He will make it happen! God please make it happen! You are in control of this journey, we are here because you sent us here, and we can’t be here if we don’t get a work visa, and we can’t get a work visa without a job offer! God, my Father, I miss my children. I haven’t been able to play the piano since we left Jo’burg and I am starting to forget my pieces. But I will submit to You and if this is Your plan then that is fine, I will rest in You. I submit to Your will and Your process. God, I know the outcome, You told me the outcome but I do not know the process. But You know every bit of detail of every part of the process and we are here because of the Promise and I know You will work it all out. This is all in Your hands.
Anita Reinecke (friend of Kerry van der Westhuizen) sent a video of a beautiful song called ‘Prophesy Your Promise’. Perfect timing, thank you, God! I am listening to it over and over.
So, I decided to take the day off and not look for work or follow up on any leads; just rest and praise God.
Early, probably around 9 am there is a phone call, I answered, and the person introduces himself and says he wants an interview with me. He is from an accredited company in Auckland. Oh my goodness! I have an interview!?!
I know it is just an interview but hey, it is something! “Thank You, God!” I haven't had an interview in years..
When God gives you a promise it is like a landmark pinned to the ground. It will not move or be removed; it will remain because God planted it there.
This pin (Promise) on the map is your direction that you go in and it is your compass through the raging waters.
God often gives us the Promise (the outcome) but not the process. And it is the process that is your biggest struggle. It is in the process where you will be facing the giants. During the process God sometimes keeps silent and seems absent and, in these moments, we need to take our thoughts captive and align them with God's Truth and Word. If we don’t, our thoughts take us captive and will run away with us.
In 2004 God gave me a dream and said we would be going to an Island. I did not know then that it was in the natural. I always thought it was spiritual only. On this Island there is a Promise awaiting us. I know what that Promise is, and I know why we are here because God told me about it in the dream. It took many years for us to get here and I thought it would be easy, but the way to the Promise is through extremely rough waters, just as it was shown in the dream...