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Topic: Directions (02/02/04)
TITLE: Home Is Where The Gold Is!
By Corinne Smelker
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“Ok, what do I say to that? You’re an idiot? How about, in your dreams!” I thought to myself.
Instead, I smiled, “Thanks. I’ll pray about it.”
I immediately switched seats! I hadn’t come to the retreat to have strangers tap me on the shoulder.
But, his words would not leave me. It seemed so strange, so “out there”. I had a job, a kid, college debt, and family in South Africa. What on earth would possess me to leave? To move to a country where I know no one?
One thing I’ve learnt is that God is bigger than all the plans we have. Within two weeks of that extra-ordinary conversation, my parents were offered a transfer to Detroit, Michigan. Against all odds, they accepted it. My brother was long gone, back to England, from where we hailed. Suddenly I was alone in South Africa, at a time when being white, single and female were three huge strikes against me.
What to do? On the one hand, I was comfortable with my friends. I loved my church, and all the ministries I was in. On the other hand, I was struggling financially to make it. I thought back to that conversation, and wondered if perhaps, this was indeed God’s plan for my son and I?
I left it in His Hands, and carried on my life as usual. However, the thought of immigrating to America loomed in my mind. I had gone to England the year before, hated it, returned to South Africa, and vowed never to leave again! Was America the direction God wanted for my life?
There was only one way to find out, right? I took my parents up on their offer to fly us out for Christmas. I would fly into New York City with my son. They would meet us there, and take a leisurely drive back to Detroit.
Warrick and I climbed on the first of many planes and after 24 hours of traveling, tired, and dehydrated from airplane air, we were over New York City. The Captain announced, “Ladies and gentleman, if you look out your window, you will see the ‘lady’ herself.”
I gazed down in wonder at the Statue of Liberty, with her torch, made from South African gold. I realized at that moment, America was where God had chosen us to be. No matter what the future was to hold for Warrick and I, we were following the direction God had purposed for us.