On an adventure to… Friesland!

As a little girl I dreamed of traveling far away. I grew up in the middle of the country. The Netherlands, that wasn’t an adventure country, was it? No, I dreamed of faraway places. Latin America, Africa, where the need was real and the adventures were great. Friesland was certainly not a ‘country’ that was on my list. In the Netherlands and outside the Randstad, those were two things that did not appeal to me at all.

Two years ago, we were on our way to our house in Amsterdam after a camping holiday as a family. I heard a whisper: ‘Hilde, would you like to lay down your pride?’. I recognized the voice of the Holy Spirit. Pride is a trait that I don’t really identify with and yet there are moments when I really like to follow my own path. Full of conviction that I really know best. I am proud to discover that these plans often work out well. But yes, that was it, that pride. Particularly curious about what was to come, I thought: ‘yes, I’m laying down my pride’. I heard clearly: ‘What if Friesland is good for you?’. I was speechless. Many yes but’s followed in my mind. I struggled, I had many objections. This wasn’t my dream. This wasn’t what I intended. This was not how I envisioned my life. And yet… that question kept fueling my curiosity, because what if Friesland was good for us?

When I got home, I stood in the middle of all the camping junk, making a cup of coffee for my husband and simply asked him the same question: what if Friesland is good for us? He couldn’t imagine that I was even considering the answer to this question. That week we talked a lot, dreamed but above all prayed a lot. The question remained unanswered.

We decided to take one step, 1 step: we were going to put our house up for sale. The houses in our neighborhood were not selling like hot cakes, so that was not an exciting step. It probably took at least 1 or 2 years before we sold our house and then we could orientate ourselves in Friesland during that time. Our expectations were clearly not that high. Two weeks after we put our house up for sale, the house was sold. There was one condition, we had to leave our house within 2.5 months. The search started immediately for a house in Friesland.

We found an empty house and the moving process was in full swing. Here the step became very real and also very exciting. Packing things, arranging everything and sometimes the reality of our step struck me. I didn’t see it in my mind, I didn’t dream of this, I still didn’t know what to expect. Pling! I received a text from my aunt. She had seen a vacancy in Drachten, maybe it was something for me? A vacancy at Royal Mission gave me a sleepless night. This was a vacancy that was tailor-made for me, everything that I like was in 1 vacancy. That same week I sent my letter and CV to Royal Mission.

One morning I came home, I had taken our eldest to his new school. In the meantime, the contractor was working in the house and he saw a book on the table ‘Live Royally’ by Martin Koornstra. He wondered if I knew the writer too? I cautiously told them that I had had my 2nd interview the day before as part of an application procedure. Smiling broadly he said: ‘It will be fine, just trust God. He leads you on this path.’ The following week, while reading, I discovered that the same contractor had renovated Martin and Karin’s house in Veenendaal.

Life in Friesland is becoming more and more settled. The children have friends in the village, play football and play in the street. My husband has found a great job in the area. And yes, I was accepted at Royal Mission at the Drachten location. What if Friesland is good for you? That question has been the first falling domino in a series of changes, in a series of blessings in which we clearly recognize God’s hand. Friesland is good for us, because God is good for us and His plans exceed our own plans. What a journey of discovery in which God took the lead and took us on an adventure to the place He knew would suit us. After turbulent years, our lives entered calmer waters, step by step. Life here is so much more beautiful than what I ever dreamed as a little girl. It has everything I dreamed of and so much more. God is good and He is faithful! He challenges us to step out, He challenges us to trust Him. Also beyond our own pride, dreams or ideas. Go on an adventure with Him and listen to His whisper. He is more than worthy of your trust!

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