After nine and a half months of freedom on the road, there came a certain level of anxiety at the thought of getting back to reality in Sydney. In some ways coming here with the intention of settling in was an emotional rollercoaster and it took surrender rather than action to, in the words of Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, “make it work.”
Jordan had set up a job through a friend and was expecting to start work toward the end of January, however we arrived a little early due to some ongoing health issues I’d been experiencing. Being in an ever changing environment made it difficult for me to understand what was happening with my body and I was ready to stabilize and figure out what was going on.
We moved in with a friend right away in a suburb on the Northern beaches and fell in love with the area. Our apartment is a 3 minute walk to the beach where the waves break off a point as well as on the beach, which is good for both Jordan and me. Additionally, the beach front is lined with restaurants and cafes, so I felt confident I’d be able to get a job easily.
In that first week, I set out on foot going from restaurant to restaurant to drop off resumes. It was so strange and even stranger is that after so many months with no responsibility, I was eager to start working and develop some sort of routine.
Our confidence cracked after that first week because we found out Jordan’s job had fallen through and I still hadn’t heard back from anyone regarding my own employment. We were in one of the most expensive cities in the world, paying rent and feeding ourselves everyday with no income and trying to come up with plan A, B and C.
Meanwhile the anxiety I was feeling over my health was persisting.
Jordan took to the internet to search for labor jobs and received flaky responses at best while I widened my own search to neighboring beaches. We spent our second week in Sydney between the beach and library (free internet for job searching) trying to relax and remain confident that something would work out.
And that’s when it hit me. I realized that I was harboring stress and worrying about what actions I could take to make something happen, when what I really needed to do was surrender that stress and worry to God and let him take care of us, just like He always has. The following verse was consistently popping into my head and that’s when I knew that the best action I could take was just to trust and pray.
Matthew 6: 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
The tide turned for us after that and we both had two trial shifts for jobs, me waitressing and Jordan landscaping, that we were offered positions for. I took a job at a busy restaurant in Manly Beach, a short bus ride away, and Jordan took a job with a nice Aussie guy who runs his own landscaping business.
The best part of both of our jobs is that we have flexible hours that allow us time to enjoy living in such a beautiful place and make more than enough to make ends meet. Thank God for Australian wages!
Being here in Sydney has also provided the opportunity to reconnect with friend’s we’ve made all over the world. We’ve gotten to hang out with our friend Jordo, who I worked with in Seattle, and his family that includes two boys who actually allow me to maul them with hugs and kisses.
We lived with Jerome, who Jordan knew from Bellingham, before he took off to continue his travels in SE Asia. I met up with our friend Matt who we met in Huanchaco, Peru. We welcomed fellow Lyndenite, Joel to Australia before he made his way down to Melbourne. Met up with Andy who we first met in El Salvador and connected with again in Costa Rica – he’s back in Oz and living in Manly where I work. We also just had our first of many nights out with our friend’s Tess and Jack who we met in Huacachina, Peru and also live in Sydney.
My health stuff isn’t completely sorted, but I no longer feel anxiety over it which I attribute to prayer and being in one place long enough for my body to adjust to whatever it’s been reacting to.
I’ve RElearned a valuable lesson since being in Sydney about letting go of control. I now surrender myself to God’s will every day when I wake up, and you know what? I am being provided for in ways that my wildest imagination wouldn’t have come up with. We are so blessed and so thankful.