I am experiencing probably the most significant adventure of my entire life (so far:)). Not long after my divorce a little more than 3 years ago I began to get impressions that I was to move overseas. Having no idea of what "overseas" meant and being in a rather comfortable situation living with my 4 beautiful children in my own home and with my own flourishing business in New Zealand, I was naturally keen to have these impressions clarified!
I applied lessons I had learned on my mission and I wrote all the possible places to go on a piece of paper, starting with all the English speaking places so that I could pray about them. The paper looked a little empty so I added some others like Italy, Germany, Netherlands and France. And then as I knelt and prayed with my children about where the Lord wanted us to be I was astonished as I saw the name, "France" stand out on the page. I said nothing to my children at this stage because it was all too far fetched-I knew no-one in France and although I had learned French in high school the language was long gone. In my head I felt that it was wiser to speak to no-one about what I was feeling, not even my business partner who was also my Bishop.
Over the next few weeks, the Lord and I battled it out over this impression and I kept putting the response to one side. I just wanted something a little more logical, a little more doable. Our temple week approached and I told the Lord that I would like to have an answer of where I was to go by the end of my time there (please) but please-no more outlandish ideas like going to France. At the end of the week, I was almost desperate as I knew the Lord wanted me to act soon. In between sessions on the last day, a good friend approached me with a puzzled look. "Marianne, you are going to think that I am very odd but I feel impressed to tell you that you need to get a European passport." At that point I felt a surge of the spirit, a warmth that connected my soul to hers and I could no longer deny what I had received before-I was to move to France and, once I accepted this, I discovered that I was to move to the Paris region specifically.
Many of my other good friends thought that I had lost it-that the divorce must have done something to my brain. My poor non-member parents were horrified! They said, "What was I thinking! I was doing so well, was so settled and I was threatening to lose everything over a whim, an impression?" They echoed what many of my friends thought. One good friend, a former Temple President felt that my decision was not a wise one but then he laid his hands on my head and gave me a priesthood blessing in which the Lord confirmed once again that He did indeed want me to do this and I was to move to Paris. Oh, how much I love the priesthood and the Lord being able to speak through his faithful servants, faithful servants who are humble enough to listen to the voice of the spirit, even in the face of a lack of logic!
After 9 months of preparation with the French authorities and organising my affairs in New Zealand, I landed in the Charles de Gaulle airport with my 2 sons in August 2008. I left my 2 girls behind in New Zealand with their father so that they could finish off their important school year with the intention of picking them up in the beginning of 2009.
So much has happened since then and I am not going to share everything :) but I would like to share some key aspects of this special journey on this blog. I finish this blog by saying that never in my life has the Lord asked so much of me, never in my life have I been so challenged and never in my life have I been so very much in the palm of the Lord's hand.