“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer..”
(Corrie Ten Boom )
I feel so blessed to be typing you this blog from beautiful Fraser Island or K'gari ( pron 'Gurri') which simply means 'Paradise' . K'gari is the indigenous name given to this stunning place of natural beauty by its traditional owners, the Butchulla people, and befittingly so. It truly is such a breathtaking place - I thought I would share a pic I took on our visit to the stunning Lake McKenzie
I am super excited to be sharing with you all the wonderful news that I've only been able to dream of sharing for over two years now.
And even now, as I type these words, I still have to pinch myself, as it still feels surreal to be finally seeing that light at the end of the tunnel grow closer, and brighter. It brings so much joy and peace to my heart knowing that big break in the
tunnel will appear very soon, flooding us with the brightest light, and
our very long journey will finally come to an end.
And what a bittersweet journey it’s been. You see, the tunnel has been so long and winding and darker in places than I could ever have imagined, and at times all consuming. There have been times I felt as though my heart simply wasn’t going to be able to go the distance, it has ached so deeply. Family means everything to us, and to not see our kids for so long has literally felt like one very long jail sentence.
I wasn’t sure how much more I could take of a journey in which we had been handed a ticket with no clear destination or estimated time of arrival. An endless journey of merely existing, rather than living from day-to-day.
There’s been many a moment I’ve wanted to throw away that damn ticket and jump off the train and try to find another route to get through that tunnel quicker ,(hell, even the thought of digging a hole under the ocean was looking appealing ) but there has simply been no other route to take.
The strange thing about being in a tunnel for so long is that time seems to just simply cease to exist. The days, months and in this case, ' years' , seem to all roll by into one deep dark eternal abyss.
Tunnels make me claustrophobic at the best of times, so its no wonder I haven’t felt like I’ve been able to breathe properly for so long now.
The pandemic has taken its toll mentally on us all to some degree or other. How can it not? Being isolated and living under such tight lockdown restrictions, with no road map for the future is not a natural state in which humans are meant to live.
I think its safe to say we are all a little' pandemic weary' and tired of living in that fight or flight mode of anxiety and uncertainty. Its going to take a while to feel that sense of normalcy that we once took for granted.
We've had no choice as a family but to just hold on tight and have faith and trust that the Engineer of this train knew what they were doing and where they were going, and would steer us safely in the right direction of reconciliation when the time was right.
As most of you already know, our children live overseas and we have been unable to visit each other due to the pandemic and flight bans for just over two years now.
It’s been nothing short of heartbreaking and frustrating knowing the world has finally been opening up, giving families the much longed for chance of being re-united , but yet, here we have remained, still onboard that train with no end in sight.
There’s been a few times along the way the light has peaked through the cracks in the tunnel giving us false hope that perhaps things might change, only to dim again and fade to darkness once more.
However, if there's one thing good that has come out of this prolonged separation, it's that we’ve grown even stronger and closer together as a family. We never took our time for granted before, but now it will always be extra special and I know we will cherish those moments even more.
When an opportunity came up recently to take a little vacation close to home here in Australia, to beautiful Fraser Island ,Hubby and I thought we would take it. We thought it would be nice to have a short little reprieve to help us cope with the lengthy journey we thought still lay ahead of us (.To be honest, we felt a little guilty taking a short vacation when our kids were still experiencing such restrictions and lock down conditions)
You can imagine our great surprise when we awoke the first morning of our vacation to the very exciting news that Hong Kong would be easing quarantine and travel restrictions from the first of April this year. This news was totally unexpected! I didn’t know whether to jump up and down in excitement or cry – so I ended up doing both!
This was a complete turn around to what was unfolding with the situation when we left - there seemed to be only talk of more lock downs and restrictions to come, and no talk of a road map out and learning to live with Covid. Our plight was starting to seem hopeless and neverending, and we were starting to wonder how much longer we could cope with the ongoing separation and uncertainty . And now, when all hope had seemed lost, our world was taking a much welcomed turn for the better.
The very next thing I did was whisper a little thank you prayer. Without a doubt, I know that God had just came and rescued us all from breaking point. I was reminded at this moment of a very special verse that has often seen me through the darkest of times:
“God will never give you anything more than you can bear, he might let you bend, but he won’t ever let you break”
Easy words to hold onto when life is going well, I know, but not always so when life gets tough. However, hold on we did, we really had no choice, and had faith the Engineer would get us to the end of that dark tunnel, as he has done many times before.
That’s not to say the journey hasn’t taken its toll, it most definitely has. We are all tired and weary, as any traveller is sure to be after such a long and tedious journey.
But sometimes journeys are necessary as much as they can be painful. We grow and learn from the experiences along the way, and they can make us stronger and better people for having taken them.
The point is to never, ever give up, no matter how hopeless a situation may seem. I've always believed that there is always, always, hope, in any trials we go through in life - it's in those darkest moments when we feel like giving up that we have to hold on even tighter to that faith, for its in those moments of despair, that the light at the end of the tunnel can be waiting for us just up around the very next bend.
I know that when that time does arrive soon for us, I will say a heartfelt thanks to the Engineer as we roll into that station. I will thank him for leading us through the darkness and safely home into the arms of those we hold most dear. And what a glorious moment that will be . For then, all will finally be right in the world and my heart will feel whole again once more.
I hope that you too can find faith in the journey when that tunnel gets dark, and most of all have trust that the Engineer will guide you to the light, for no matter how tough times might seem, its good to remember we wont be burdened with more than we can handle, and eventually those trials too shall pass, just as they always have.
I'm so excited for our little world as we once new it, to start turning again and to start adding new chapters to our family 's story once more .I know there will be many ups and downs along the way. Sometimes the ride will be smooth, and other times bumpy or even dark in places, but hey, life is all about the journey right, how else can we change and grow. I hope you can join me for some of those special moments along the way, and look forward to sharing them with you all real soon.