Sunday, 13 January 2013

Lost & Found

I am wondering...did you ever lose your faith in life?
Did you ever just stop trusting?
I've never been much good at that is, never quite got the hang of it.
I lost my trust in the journey somewhere along the windy path, it just slipped away & then it was gone.
I didn't even know where to begin to look for it.
I don't think I've ever really had any be or do anything.
That happens, when you feel as if you just don't belong,
How can you fit in if you don't belong...
When I was young I had know idea what my passions might be.
I didn't feel safe anywhere & didn't feel liked by anyone.
When I was just 17 I was accepted to go to the School for Dental Nurses in Wellington.
I fell in love with the markets & the whole foods shops, the vegetarian cafes & the Botanical Gardens & old buildings.
But I was still lost & unhappy.
By the end of that year, by the strangest chain of events, my father organised to send me with the "Youth for Christ" team to Apia in Western Samoa.
I wasn't really sure what that was all about & I had to save the fare all by myself, out of my tiny student allowance.
Everyone else had volunteered for themselves & I first met them when the "team" came from all around the country to assemble in Wellington. I took a bus right across the city, walked in the door of the Miramar Baptist Church, looked across the room & saw Rob, for the very first time.
Our paths collided.
He lived in Auckland, I lived in Wellington..650 kilometres in between.
After Samoa the team went their separate ways & we were in trouble with everyone because we'd fallen in love.
We wrote letters (they're awful now!) & we traveled to be together at every possible opportunity through the next year & a half.
Born in Kenya, to British parents & living in West Auckland Rob was also dispossessed & alienated, but didn't know it. I began to read him Wilbur Smith novels aloud & that was the first step in his journey back to his roots...a long journey that would take him many years.
Rob despised his father, but thought his mother wonderful & trusted her implicitly, so it was, several months after our meeting that I caught the Southern Star one Friday evening, arriving in Auckland 13 hours, later to meet his family for the first time. I had worked at the Dental Clinic all week, traveled all night long & spent a few precious hours with my love, when after dinner, somehow it was arranged that we should all go out to the movies together. I wasn't asked if I'd like to go & the family had never been to the movies together before, but on this occasion they announced that we would all be going to a double science fiction billing. What 17 year old girl likes sci-fi anyway!!? Completely taken a back by these turn of events & thinking quickly, I politely suggested that they could go & I would stay in the house on my own. It was insisted that I had to go with them or they would all miss out & I would disappoint everyone... & so I went. It was the most appalling experience, actually one was an alien movie where revolting things burst out of peoples bellies & take over their minds etc. I had nightmares for weeks afterwards. Being a double billing we got home well after midnight, when I woke up in the morning I discovered I had been bitten by a mosquito & my whole eye had swollen hideous & embarrassing. I then faced another 13 hour journey back to Wellington, got off the train at 7 am & had to go straight to work for another week.
Meantime, my father & step-mother were none too pleased that I was no longer coming home as often to see the family & thought I was throwing away my life & my money, yet, when I did head home for a weekend a short while later, I hopped off the bus late on a Friday evening, only to watch everyone else disperse one by one & to find myself alone in the city, in the dark & no one to meet me. After several hours & not knowing what had happened to them I called our one & only neighbour from the bus depot, as they were closing, & so dear Bryce came & got me. As we came down the drive, so did my parents. Dad was furious that I had bothered the neighbour, gave no explanation as to why they hadn't been there & said that I should have got a taxi (miles away, no money, house locked). I was shocked & devastated & my step-mother didn't support me in any way. Yet again, I had to travel a long distance to return to my training, all at my own expense.
I am telling this story because I simply have get well.
These scenarios have haunted the last 35 years of my life & caused a deep wound that simply has not healed. My "parents" marriage was soon to violently disintegrate & I could never speak to them about anything anyway.
And Rob's mother..well, I became her nemesis. The family eventually entirely self-distructed & when I did try to speak to her about what she'd done, then & through the years, she insisted that she had always warmly welcomed me to the family & had no idea what I was talking about.
We no longer have any contact.
I gave it long enough.
So...when the X girlfriend scenario arrived on our doorstop last week..something really remarkable happened. I don't very often ask for help, but as your caring advice & support came quietly on in to our living room, a cloak of peace & safety came & wrapped itself around my shoulders (phew & it's 35 degrees here again today!) The same thing happened for Rob..the fire went out of it all & we talked & worked it all through. We understood things more plainly than we ever have before & yes dear Julie we have been able to close up that suitcase & pop it back out the door.
Thank you for enabling me to trust women again you have all been so amazing!!
Thank you for your caring hearts.
Thank you for giving of yourselves & your own precious time & your most excellent advice!

My question was also answered..
where was my intentional grace?
Well, there was a grand design of intention...a rescue plan of fierce grace that would take decades to execute but would prevail in the long run.
I am grateful.
We are so grateful.
I don't believe we'll need to come this way again.
It's finished.
We chose this year the intention of grace for each other.
I'm not writing this stuff to hurt anyone else, I'm writing it & saying it out loud so that I can finally stop hurting, have a chance to really heal & to find wholeness just like anyone else.
And you know, for the very first time in my life I do believe that,
 it just might be possible.

Now it's back to beauty & picnics..coming?

A facebook friend posted this during the week & I almost didn't watch it but it's so worth it.
It'll warm your heart.



  1. Hi Gathering Katie! I'm so glad that you and Rob had such a sound walk through the obstacle, coming out on the other side to the Sunshine of grace!
    YOU are precious.

  2. Hello dear Catherine, thankyou so much for sharing that with us :-) And your video bought tears to my eyes but I loved it so . . . it is all so simple really, if we all just practised being kind to our fellow man. It warms my heart dear friend that you & Rob found your intention & grace :-)
    Look forward to more picnics with you. Much love and gentle hugs, Julie
    Raining here this morning - I have ACTUALLY been standing out in it ! ! ! (Graham thinks I have finally "lost it" ) :-) Xoxox

  3. I'm so glad that you are finding some peace Catherine, that you and Rob are SO together and can find your way through the obstacles that life sometimes throws on our path. I'm so glad you reached out to us. It does make me wish we lived closer to you so we could meet on occasion and show you face to face what true friendship with women is all about. You seem to have had precious little of that in your life to date.
    I watched the film clip and loved it. Very powerful. Have a lovely day,
    Anne xx

  4. Good for Rob. Good for you. Angels x

  5. So glad you and Rob found some peace and understanding. Thank you for sharing the video, it brought tears to my eyes and reinforced my intention for this year. I don't make resolutions but this year I made intentions. One of those was to do a random act of kindness at least once a month. Kindness goes out and comes back. I hope you have a wonderful week and that you continue to believe in yourself.


    1. Thank you so much Sharon for your sincere concern & kindness..we appreciate it enormously. Yes, we have worked some things through in a way that we've never quite done before & it's brought a great deal more liberation for me, for Rob & for our that's a very good thing. I am really glad that you watched the video. I love your intention. Intention is such a useful word & concept isn't it! Much love Catherine x


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