Durban is clearly an inspiring city if I am now writing two posts since we’ve been here and Lee has already written a new song. There must be something in the water here and that’s good to believe because it’s hard to feel that way from the month that just passed.
I am going to share this with full vulnerability and honesty – this does not mean I or we regret this decision and this does not mean we aren’t happy or full of hope. Quite the opposite. This means we know that we know, that we know, that we’re called here for such a time as this.
When we arrived in Durban a month and a bit ago, our worlds quite literally turned upside down. Everything we had built and established was no more as we left our home, friends, the family we had created and Taylor’s beloved daycare. It was not easy but change just isn’t designed to be that way. What some may not know about the move was that it was actually about 6 or more months in the making. In Feb this year, I prayed and God showed me clearly what He has for Lee and me in a vision that I just couldn’t shake. Friends and outsiders prayed and confirmed what we had felt in some extravagant words for us and as the months ticked on, things started aligning and the move was inevitable. God was making a way where there was no way. The story is beautiful.
But reality is always harder than a dream. We arrived and things started feeling heavy and tough. Taylor was unsettled beyond what we imagined she would be, we were dealing with some financial knocks from the move (some things we just didn’t foresee) and we started feeling doubtful as missed our old comforts. On top of it all, my emotions were a wild ride. I just couldn’t contain the burden I felt upon me every day – it was making it hard to think straight, see clearly and feel the right things. I was slowly being ripped away from who I know God had worked to make me. And one day, while praying and seeking God to help me out of this place of darkness and death I heard it… The many times I have been told, and even said it myself, “Durban is where dreams go to die.” We walked into the battlefield that we so confidently left years ago. But the war here, in Durban, around death, is not over.
When we lived here before our move we had dealt with many friends who had passed away in tragedies and heard of others close to home. It was hard and hard and harder each time as young lives were robbed of their purpose so soon. We also used to drive by restaurants and cafes and see them all close within only months of trading. We searched every nook and cranny for adventure and the unknown only to be disappointed by it. I remember why we left – because our dreams felt non-existent back then. We couldn’t even see or try and cast vision when all around us was what seemed like death. Dead dreams of small business owners, dead hopes of those with dreams, dead souls who were taken too soon. And when we landed, guess what came to creep inside of my skin and bones. What became my vision or lack thereof.
And so I prayed and God gladly and gracefully lifted the burden from me as I asked Him to. It’s a daily duty of mine to let go of this and trust that God has us here to hopefully shift that feeling and atmosphere. Durban, you’re not a city of death and dead dreams. You’re alive and thriving with possibility and revival is in your history. True and pure worshippers exist here and will be seen and heard. Hope is within you as you wake every day with the beautiful, rising sun. The very ground you possess is covered in life as we see greenery and plants and nature filling any gap it can seek. This is because…
“I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory that is about to be unveiled within us. 19 The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters! 20 For against its will, the universe itself has had to endure the empty futility resulting from the consequences of human sin. But now, with eager expectation, 21 all creation longs for freedom from its slavery to decay and to experience with us the wonderful freedom coming to God’s children. 22 To this day we are aware of the universal agony and groaning of creation as if it were in the contractions of labor for childbirth. 23 And it’s not just creation. We who have already experienced the firstfruits of the Spirit also inwardly groan as we passionately long to experience our full status as God’s sons and daughters—including our physical bodies being transformed. 24 For this is the hope of our salvation.
But hope means that we must trust and wait for what is still unseen. For why would we need to hope for something we already have? 25 So because our hope is set on what is yet to be seen, we patiently keep on waiting for its fulfillment.” – Romans 8 (The Passion Translation)
The earth is crying out for new life, Durban. And so are you. It’s time to revive the dead within our city. Are you up for the challenge?
*I took this photo when we visited our old church last week. And it’s a bold yet true statement in a church in Durbs, “The best IS yet to come!”
This song also speaks hugely into this season for us. Listen and enjoy the truth.
“And oh my soul // Remember who you’re talking to // The only one who death bows to // That’s the God who walks with you // And oh my soul // You know that if He did it then // He can do it all again // His power can still raise the dead // Don’t tell me that He’s finished yet”