It's been a journey this weekend. A journey of moving from the gut-wrenching disappointment of Thursday, through the disbelief, through the sadness about leaving our lovely friends, through the questions and the uncertainties.
It's only a School placement. But somehow its knocked me for six.
This wasn't the plan God. When I said I wanted you to have your way... what I really meant was "Can your way be my way please?"
And so it's meant a lot of soul-searching... a lot of questioning... and as always, the Lord has shown that his ways are not my ways, but that he has a bigger plan and a bigger purpose and is "bringing all things together for the good of those who love him"
On Friday morning, when I woke up, I was overwhelmed by a sense of fear and frustration... anger at the unfairness of it all... and just sadness. Sadness that Ava would have to leave her little posse of school friends, sadness that I will have to leave a lovely group of Mums at the school gate who have become real friends these past 8 months. And somehow pouring all that pent-up emotion out on the blog helped. And then I spent a long time pouring it all out at God. There are perks to waking up at 4.30am...
Could this really be God's plan?
And then things started happening. Too many coincidences. Too many little snippets of information filing through that slowly awoke me to the fact that perhaps God was moving a lot more pawns on his giant chess board than just ours.
That perhaps Ava being placed in this school was all part of his masterplan; that perhaps this school where I didn't want to be is exactly the place where He wants us to be.
And then I got a lovely message from one of my friends on the school gate... reading it broke my heart because I realised again how much I will miss that place, but also made me laugh out loud. She wrote "I too believe that nothing happens accidentally. A bit of me feels that although you didn't pray for the choice you were given... perhaps they were praying for you?"
OK God... I get the picture.
And then Sunday happened. And as I sat in church, it was as though our Pastor was talking straight at us...
"Has there been a time this week you have resented a situation you have been placed in, that it seems has worked out for everyone else?" Hmmm... try being the only member of the class to not get in?
"Has God answered a prayer you prayed, and yet you haven't thanked him because you didn't like the answer?" How about... God, please let Ava get in to the school that you can best use us as a family... oh no, wait God... that wasn't quite what I had in mind when I prayer that prayer...
"This week, you may be faced with a choice... and you know what he wants you to do... will you choose his way? The way of wisdom? The way of blessing? Or will you choose your own path and follow what YOU want for your life?"
Oh man. I sat in stunned silence afterwards...
We spoke a little later. We have decided not to appeal. There have been too many little "coincidences" this weekend, many of which I cannot specifically state on the blog, but which have left me in no doubt that this is, it seems, exactly what God has planned for us.
And slowly, gradually, I'm starting to feel a little bit excited about that.
Because amidst the fear of starting all over again, the sadness at leaving precious friends, the uncertainty of what the future holds, there is peace and certainty in one thing.
We serve a God who is faithful, holds all this in his hands, and has called us, and our little Ava to this particular school.
So however scary it feels, I can say with increasing trust, there is no other school we would rather be in.
Because bang in the middle of God's will? That's right where we want to be...
Thank you again to all of you who have been so unbelievably supportive this weekend.... thank you for your comments, messages, texts, virtual hugs and general well-wishes. We thank God for each and every one of you.