Day 8 – Homecoming

20 January 2019

My learning continued.  I say it was my primary school time.  I realized that it was changing me when there were comments at work about the changes in me.  This was most clearly shown when I resigned to go back to Australia.

In Germany, at least in the place I worked, it was customary for the person leaving, on their last day, to bring a bottle of some nice kind of alcohol and cakes.  The idea then was that they went right round the offices and toasted the person leaving.  I had experienced that a couple of times, but as I don’t take alcohol and don’t particularly like those very sweet things, I had always asked to be excused.

And now I was leaving.

I knew that I would not buy alcohol.  I had no problem buying them some cakes.  However, when I came into the offcie on my desk there was the largest bouquet of flowers that I could have imagined and along side there were several gits.  My supervisor explained that the flowers were from the whole offcie, and told me who the other gifts were from.  I was speechless.

Two gifts I still own today.  The first one is a letter-opener in a leather sheath.  Of course in the days before e.mail, that was a very useful gift.  The second is a block of note paper.  Around the outside of the block is the skyline of Frankfurt / Main.  My supervisor suggested that if I wanted to forget them all, I should use it up quickly, but if I wanted to remember them, well then I could use it up very slowly.  Today it is forty-three years later and I did take one sheet off when it got too dirty.  All the rest still show me the skyline of the city where my life changed so dramatically.

I asked why they had done all this, which was so out of their custom.  The reply I got was that they were sorry to see me go.  Confirmation of how real the change in my life had been.

Saying goodbye to the dear friends who had put up with so much from me, who had gone beyond all expectations to give me the good news of another life, was the most difficult thing of all.

Arriving home I was back in my old life.  I had left behind all my support.  My first aim in life was to find a group of Charismatic Christians to be with.  I did want to continue my new life and I needed likeminded people to be able to continue it with.  The first thing I realised was the opposition from family and people I had been friends with before going overseas.  I eventually found a group and continued my life as I had become used to.

At this time, finding work was extremely difficult.  I would apply for jobs that I figured I could easily do and the reply would be “You have too much experience.  You will be bored.”  And when I applied for work that was of a higher grade, the reply would be, “Yes, you have the experience but you don’t have the qualifications that we require.”  I did have a few jobs which were either part time or temporary.

When out of work I could see my savings going downhill fast.  At one stage there my rent was more than what benefits were provided for me.  This of course was a difficult situation.

Somewhere along the way I had learned that Jesus is interested in every part of my life, including finance.  As a result I had asked Jesus to be my financial manager and to show me how to manage my money.  And this he did.  First by leading me to friends who had a friend who wanted to sell a car for a very low price.  It had not been driven for two years due to the husband not being able to part with it after his wife died.  I got my licence and was mobile.

One day, on the way home from work, I heard an almighty bang, right in the middle of an intersection.  The car stopped and would not move again.  I got out but no-one had hit me.  Turned out at the repair shop that the drive shaft had snapped.  The cost was over $800, an enormous amount considering my precarious employment situation.  Then I remembered that I had asked Jesus to take care of my finances, and so I just handed it all over to him.

The peace that came into the situation settled in my heart.

I can say that I have NEVER been with unpaid bills or without food when I was hungry.  Jesus is a good manager.

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