Not Running…Following

In February 2019, my hubby, Matt, and I made one of the biggest, most life changing decisions we have had to make until now. We decided that we are moving to Canada. We’ve spoken about moving since we got married in 2016, but I could never quite get myself to make that commitment, so we started praying about it, asking God that He would make it very clear to us if moving was His will for our lives. Very early on, I felt the Holy Spirit say to me that if we go, we will not go because we are running away from circumstances in South Africa. Running comes from fear and fear is not from the Lord…So we waited on Jesus to give an answer and we actually thought His answer was no, which is why we bought a house, planning to settle down where we are…but God’s timing was different to ours and soon we found out that No was actually just not yet. So in February 2019, when we least expected it, doors opened and since then, God has confirmed His plan for us so many times that I can truly say with confidence that: “Yes, we are moving to Canada, but it is not because we are running away, it is because we are FOLLOWING JESUS.”

Initially, when we had to make the go/stay decision, I asked God for 3 very clear signs that it was His will for our lives. I soon learnt that God is not a God of confusion or doubt or leaving gaps for us to back out into – He is a God that gives more than what we asked for! And that He did! I asked for 3 clear answers and up to date, He has probably given me more than 20 clear confirmations, leaving no room for doubt…and even when doubt creeps into my flesh, He sends more confirmation. Here are just a few of these confirmations:

  1. Doors that we never tried to open, opened up.  A lady in Canada contacted me with a job opportunity.  I went through the whole HR process, continuously asking God to close the door if it was not His will…and the doors just kept on opening…and not just opening, the doors swung open and the process was much easier than what it was supposed to be…and soon thereafter, I had accepted a job offer. A few months later, Matt also got a job offer.
  2. One night, lying in bed, I prayed and told God that I truly don’t think I have what it takes to go through with this.  Whilst I was praying, God gave me a vision – a vision of two bulls pulling a carriage, standing at the bottom of a mountain, looking down at their family on the beach and then purposefully, with a bittersweet feeling, turning away from their family to start the walk up the mountain.  As they were walking up the mountain, people standing next to the road, climbed into the carriage.  The road was tough, but the trail was already laid down and the bulls could just take it step by step.  Once they got to the top, Jesus was waiting there for them.  This was one of the biggest confirmations Jesus gave me, as it was so clear that He was asking us to turn away from family and where we feel comfortable, take up the carriage, pick up the people along the tough road and bring them to Jesus!
  3. The day after we told my family we are moving, we all attended a church service together.  The service that day hit the nail on the head! It was about being willing to go where Jesus sends you…and at the end of the service, we all took communion together.  In that moment of communion, I truly committed to this move in my heart, totally surrendering to Jesus.
  4. Our church started a new series on wanderlust…which is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and going out into the world to spread the good news of Jesus. I have been getting new confirmations that we were walking in His will, each time I attend church.
  5. I was asked to serve on a Chrysalis team and I had to prepare a talk for the camp.  We don’t choose our own topics and guess what my topic was…Christian Action.  Coincidence? I think not! In preparing for that talk about what Christian action is, Jesus was just re-affirming His plan and building my confidence in His plan.
  6. There was one specific week when I really struggled more than usual…I was constantly crying, my heart was so heavy and I just didn’t feel up to the task anymore. Nearing the end of that week, I was alone at home and I was praying that the Lord would just come and take away these feelings, heal my heart and give me new hope and courage. And then I had one of the most unexpected, unplanned, most amazing, out-of-this-world encounters with the Holy Spirit.  I was getting ready to leave the house and had almost forgotten my prayers, just going through the motions of another day of not feeling well…when all of a sudden the Holy Spirit captured me in the moment… and I wept with the Spirit, I danced with the Spirit, I laughed with the Spirit and I just sat with the Spirit, allowing Him to bring healing, hope and new courage into my heart.
  7. Throughout this process, Jesus has been putting angels on my path that have carried me in different ways.  My best friend, Jeanine, has been the best support – laughing and crying with me through it all. Other friends and family have carried me through this with prayer and unexpected messages of encouragement, just when I need it!
  8. Then there is always finances…and this is not a cheap move…but God has been so faithful to us in this aspect. He blessed us with savings to get the process going and since then, He has continued to provide for us…whether it be through Matt getting a bonus at work, selling our house for more than what we bargained for, selling our things in our house, etc. He just keeps on providing!
  9. His grace has been more than enough for not just us, but for our families too.  We are blessed with the best family, which makes moving away from them extra difficult! But through His grace, our family is able to support our decision and find comfort in Him…they love the Lord and therefore they are able to support us in following Jesus where He sends us!  I also find peace in the knowing that God created me to be ‘family orientated’ and He therefore knows that I want my children to know and be close with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews…it is important to us…so I am trusting Him to make a way and make this possible!
  10. God has provided me with the best husband, who has carried me through this process more than I’ll ever be able to explain! Matt has always, and especially through this process, allowed me to process things in my own way…which means I can sit on his lap and cry when I need to, I can laugh with him, I can be excited with him, I can share my doubts and fear with him…and all of this sometimes happens in one day! Haha, My dear husband has been my rock! God has strengthened our relationship through this process, He has brought us closer to each other, He has taught us more about each other and I can honestly say I would not have survived this, if it weren’t for Matt!

I thank my wonderful Lord, Jesus Christ for how He has carried me through this process and how He has challenged me to grow, to step out of my comfort zone, to truly surrender everything that is important to me into His hands! I look forward to what is to come…standing on the other side and seeing His blessings born out of obedience! Until then, I continue to be a child, closing my eyes and jumping into His arms because He asks me to and trusting Him to catch me, like He has done so many times before!

Andrea Hatton-Jones

One Comment:

  1. A testimony of true faith and an inspiration!

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