Age: 30 // Favourite Food: Fish n Chips on the beach – when you are a long way away this tastes likes home – just rather difficult to find in Belgium (both the fish n chips and the beach!) // Dream Job: Actually I’m just realising i am dong it now, raising my little family. // Current Season: Living in Belgium with a ridiculously good looking man and our little dude Forest. // Met Jesus: When I was three at Sunday School. // Favourite Verse: Prov 3:5 – “Trust in The Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” // Instagram: @sarah_spence125
Three and a half years ago my husband and I were driving home after work and started talking about the next season and the possibility of taking a job over seas… which if you knew me at the time was a taboo subject, as I never wanted to travel, I loved New Zealand and knew it was home. However, this conversation was different, for some reason I had an unexplainable peace when we discussed and dreamed about the options that lay ahead of us. Little did I know, that conversation would be the catalyst for me truly trusting the Lord with all my heart.
Shortly after this my husband received a job offer and we moved to Belgium.
A move that meant I was uprooted from all I had known – friends, family, church, culture, language… all of which a lot of my trust and identity was found in.
I remember waking up the first morning in Belgium, my husband catching a taxi to work and me thinking, “Righto – what now…”
To be perfectly honest the first few months were hard work: No job, no friends, no church, no house and stuck in the middle of a country where I didn’t understand anything – but amidst the loneliness I knew I wasn’t alone.
In looking back over the last three years I haven’t had any sign in the sky or writing on the wall moment, but we have just walked through the doors that have open ahead of us trusting that the right ones open and the wrong ones close.
Sometimes it is not until you look back that you can see the fingerprint of God on what you thought was just you living life. The God orchestrated moments. The things you just take for granted. Let me share a couple of those moments…
I went out looking for places to live, which i must say was a scary experience! The first real estate agent I turn up to, puts me in his car and we go driving around looking at places. I was on high alert as he swerved in and out of roads whilst yelling down his phone and throwing his arms in frustration. Me sitting in the passenger seat, freaking thinking I don’t know this man, I don’t know what he is saying and I don’t know where I am. Needless to say I was happy to make it out alive.
Next day I choose a different agency and we begin the search again, we get to the end of the day and nothing has jumped out at me but I am fed up and ready to just settle for anything. She then casually mentions a place she thinks is up for rent which sounds like something I would like. Long story short, it was perfect, and to top it off, English speaking landlords (miracle in itself) who have become a family away from home, and now great baby-sitters. 🙂
It may seem like a small thing to some but for me finding this apartment was a little, “See – Trust Me darling girl,” moment.
The first 10 months I was jobless. Going to endless interviews where the first question is, “What languages do you speak?” made my English only speaking CV seem inadequate. However, amongst other little jobs, I got involved in volunteer work in Belgium while I waited for a successful interview.
One day while setting up Christmas decorations in an elderly home I got talking to one of the other volunteers. We got chatting away and the subject of jobs came up. I mentioned my dream job would be in Events Management but I was at the stage where I would happily sit in an office and do the filing! As it turned out, his wife worked in events and was part of the hiring team.
One month later, I am sitting at a desk in an International (English speaking) Events Management company, which happened to be on the same street we live on. I would have been satisfied with a job at Starbucks (I actually did apply for one) but instead I had a job in the industry I loved with people, who will now be life long friends.
From housing, to jobs, language, friends and more recently our baby boy, I am learning to see God in the everyday, to hear him in the mundane and trust Him to navigate me through life.