One Door Closes : Another Door Opens

Proverbs 3 : 5 – 6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

What a year it has been, who would of thought that I’d end up in Brisbane again for Christmas – it was not planned either, but I trusted in the Lord that this was where He needed me to be.

Here’s the story of the original plan that didn’t come to fruition. It was around August last year that I had decided to go to the United States. I had extended family from the bloodline in Florida & Georgia. The idea was to be there around December for Christmas, & spend 2 months there so it would be worth the costs of the plane tickets. However, things didn’t go the way I had hoped for.

I have a great aunt, who is also a member of the Church that I go to. She is my grandmother’s younger sister, & we used to communicate from 10 years ago over the phone/emails. Who she was to me was someone that was friendly, mindful & in every way lovely based on the interactions over the internet. She was always sharing motivational talks about the gospel. She stays in Florida, & we used to talk about how great it be for me to visit her one day. We lost contact over the years, & had only reconnected a few years ago. In August, that time where I really needed to start moving on with my life instead of staying in one spot, I felt it would be the right timing to finally make that decision to go to the States. It be a great opportunity to see her & meet the rest of the family that she always talks about. After discussing, & consulting my great aunt about my desire to come, she was all up for it. We talked about how exciting it would be, with where I would stay, & all the things we would do together. She was excited for me to finally meet her family & the rest of my cousins. During that time I had not been that excited for such a long time as I was struggling with depression & grief that whole year, my hopes were being raised higher than before. They’re members of the Church, & I been so alone on this path particularly in my bloodline that you could imagine the excitement I had to get to know them all as members in the family. Everything had seemed to be on the green light, I made sure I got everything I needed to know, all the confirmation I needed to know before going ahead – about my accommodation, when & where, who would be able to transport me etc & after receiving my great aunts approval with how excited she is for me to come – I went ahead to purchase my flight tickets particularly a few months early while it’s cheaper. However, after I’ve confirmed to her about everything being set on my end to come – things started to really change.
Her replies took longer, there was a change in the tone of her messages, it was almost not as receptive as before. She replied after awhile, saying she wished I had told her before I had bought the tickets because she doesn’t have a place for me to stay anymore. Apparently, her son & his family are coming over to stay at hers. I was sure that there were other ways, particularly other accommodation options – even so, I could always stay at a hotel & just come to her family events as we had discussed. I was confused by her responses as they were unreceptive of the idea of me coming, as I had already received all the confirmations to have already made the plans. Instead of her showing any sympathy or be apologetic that the plans have changed on her end, she ended up shifting the blame on me rather for buying the tickets before letting her know. It was really upsetting due to the fact that there are solutions, if people really want you to be there then they will find a way for you. I was in denial, how she wasn’t even open about the idea of me changing the flight dates if the actual problem was that there won’t be accomodation for me during that time, she shut me down completely giving no possible avenues to come because she can not accept me here & was not receptive to my solutions like finding my own accommodation. It was very uncalled for, she completely changed & it was so misleading.
We had worked on this plan together. I was so shocked, & felt blindsided. Actions didn’t match words. You know those specific people, particularly from Church, that on the front act nice, present to you a good impression, maybe scripted behaviour accordingly to what makes them appear friendly, so they’re receptive & welcoming of you with open arms & tell you if you ever need anything etc etc, but when it gets to it they just don’t. They act like you’re on your own to save yourself. It’s what the real ones consider, fake.
It happens a lot, but I didn’t know that was going to happen, but now I know, now I got to see their true colours.
No, it’s not that personal, or worth taking it in, it was simply disappointing, when you spend $5,000AU on the flight tickets, & the other person bails out – I don’t know that’s just not something I would do to anyone that we had made plans with until things are resolved so we both are Okay, as I would feel responsible particularly if I was the one that invited them. However, not everyone is going to be sharing the same values as us.
Regardless, rejection is for my protection. God Knew, that this wasn’t where I was meant to be, He needed me to be somewhere else better.

So, with that being said, that door closing helped motivate me to start taking action with my own resolve to move forward, whether that be to move to Cairns or start going to Church at a new ward & find my own way. However, it was a couple months later that my family in Brisbane, the Aunty, messaged me to ask if I was doing anything for Christmas. She invited me to come for the cousins surprise 21st birthday. And so, it would only make sense that I go to Brisbane and see my whole family, again, for this holidays.
I reached out to Dad & Mum in Brisbane, & they were so mindful & accommodative with me coming up. They were planning to stay at a holiday resort in the Sunshine Coast for several days for Christmas, & they welcomed me to join them. They helped me find accomodation close to them & making sure I was on top of things. This is my point, that if somebody wants you there, they will make it happen, they will make you feel that you’re wanted.

Before making my way to the Sunshine Coast, I stopped at Surfers Paradise in the Gold Coast to stay overnight. It was a 10 hour drive from Sydney. I was able to meet & catch up with the cousins the following morning as they were planning to also be at Surfers Paradise to catch the sunrise for the cousin’s birthday. It was a smokescreen for the cousin’s real surprise birthday that was happening a week later, which would take some time to prepare, however Aunty had asked me to help out with the preparations after the family & I come back from Sunshine Coast. It was really nice catching up the cousins & also meeting the birthday girl’s partner. After the beach, Aunty invited me over to one of the Uncle in-laws house to celebrate the cousins birthday with cake & food. I never met these in-laws or been to their house, so it was interesting to experience before I start making my way to Sunshine Coast.

Reunited with the family again at Sunshine Beach, Noosa. Weather wasn’t great all week for a Summer holiday, but we were still able to make the most of it. This is the first time we been together as a whole, considering last year we were missing one of the boys (my other younger brother wasn’t with us during that time). Wow, it’s been more than 8 years since we all been together as a whole! It was a great night catching up with everyone, mainly my younger brothers, as we stayed in our resort rooms that were quite close to each others.

Felt wholesome with all the younger brothers together, particularly with the one I didn’t get to catch up with last time. He is the biggest out of all of us & it was finally good to have all the 3 boys that I used to look after when they were little kids, now all grown up & doing their own things. Soon as we had came back from the beach, we got ready to play the arcade at our resort before gathering at the main resort room where the rest of the family were staying. After we did our family prayer, we went back to our resort rooms to chill. The eldest one out of the three, who is working hard these days shouted us all pizza as we went for a late night drive around the area. Afterwards we went back to the resort & had a movie night, before I went back to my own room to rest up considering how tired I was from the long drives & waking up early for the sunrise with the cousins.

Christmas morning, back again with another year spending Christmas with the family. Such a wholesome & complete feeling with everyone, as we all passed around & opened our presents for one another. I received a big box full of assorted gifts within. After opening all the gifts, we began to prepare the Christmas feed. The plan for the rest of the day was to chill & relax, considering the weather wasn’t that great we couldn’t do much outside the resort. Later that evening, we had a talent show & a little Christmas activity to end the night.

Last Sunday of 2021, it was a funny morning when we were all getting ready to go to Church. The big boys didn’t have their Church attire or any Sunday’s Best. The kids that packed the clothes for them got the wrong clothes/sizes. So, they came to Church in their casual clothes. However, one of my brother’s felt really ashamed & low coming to Church in low standard attire, I told him what we wear doesn’t really matter as much as we think it does. We drove from our resort half an hour to the nearest chapel where we could attend. When we had arrived, nobody greeted or welcomed us, nobody said hello – nobody even interacted with us during the whole thing & after we left – that’s normal however for me considering I go Church solo for my self & I don’t expect nothing – but I could see/feel how much it bothered the family that whole morning. Nobody likes to be ignored. Regardless, we came for the Lord, & we all got each other!

Later that evening, despite the bad weather the boys & I wanted to get up and out to do something to make the most of our time here. We decided to go to the beach, & on the way there I had a strong feeling the sunset was going to be pink. We were rushing through traffic to make to the sunset, & just in time we did. The sunset across the horizon of the ocean beach, a blend of aesthetic pink & purple meshed together to create a dreamy & hazy vibe, was the defining highlight for my holiday trip up here in Noosa. Odds were low, wouldn’t had expected any sunsets when the skies have been completely grey all week & forecast to be for the rest of the time here, it was those rare moments we got to see considering there was just a small gap in time for the sun to shine through for this amazing view! The rest of the night we spent roaming around the town & seeking basketball courts, or even a hoop – turns out that there were none, not even nearby as we had asked one the locals.
The next day, the whole family had the runs & was worried we would catch it too, so they advised us to keep our social distance. The family plans for that day were cancelled, so the boys & I made our own plans. It was our last day here at the resort before we check out the next morning. We drove to town to eat out for breakfast, & went to one of the nearby lookouts above to go on a mini-hike before it started to rain. After the rain cleared, we drove to one of the many beaches there to chill & have a kick around with the ball, we ended up going in the waters for a splash. We headed back to our resort after, planning to wash up & get dressed to go for an evening shopping around town & play at the bigger arcades. However, the family got better from the runs & they all ended up going to the pools at the resort for a swim – so Dad got us to prepare & do the barbecue. Afterwards, we spent the rest of the evening to eat out & play at the arcades, before we had to head back in time for family home evening.

The next morning was my younger brother’s 16th birthday, & it was time to check out, as we all left Noosa to head back home – we stopped by the Big Pineapple as we had originally planned to do the Tree Top Challenge as a family for his birthday. However, due to the weather we had to cancel it, & request a refund. We couldn’t get the refund for some us, & that we can only reschedule it. Fortunately, we can reschedule to the one closer to us which was in North Tamborine, so the bigger kids would be able to do it on a better day. As the family went home, the boys & I decided to chill at the mall & plan to head to the courts to shoot some hoops. Meanwhile back at home, the family was preparing to do something for the brothers birthday. After shooting some hoops, we came home & I finally got to reunite with Papa & Nana – I have not seen them for 8 years. It was a surreal feeling, with everyone together in the house, it really hasn’t been his way for 8 years – so it was wholesome to catch up with them again. We celebrated the brother’s birthday that evening, & called it a day. On to the next – the cousins surprise 21st.

The next day I was tasked to take the little sisters to their training early in the morning. Aunty asked if I could also take the cousins back home from training after, where I would meet up with her to help organise & prepare for the surprise birthday that’s happening on the next day. So, that morning I had soccer mom duties, along with my brothers, we were doing runs for the family & making sure everyone is where they should be. During the girls training, one of the little cousins had to make a clutch freethrow to save the whole training camp from extra training overtime, the cousin made the shot & the whole gym was hyped! So, after the girls training, as a reward for her clutch shot I took them all to have a feed of her choice.

Afterwards, went back home to drop off one of the girls because Mum needed her, & we made our way to the Aunty’s house, which was quite a long drive 50 minutes from home. When we got there, it was all careful movements as we try to navigate through the day without any suspicion to the birthday girl. The rest of the evening was heading to the chapel to set up & running around doing errands for Aunty to help with the preparations. We all stayed till it got late at night & Dad/Mum wanted us back home considering it’s a long drive. One the cousins came back with us to stay over, so she can work on the video assignment for the birthday she was required to do, & my laptop was the best option available to get it done. So we stayed up quite late as I was helping her learn how to work iMovie, & went for a late night Macca’s run.

The next morning, Aunty needed us to do more runs & pick ups. So, the boys & I, as-well as our cousin that was with us went around that whole morning to do all the errands. As we arrived back to the chapel, we continued to help complete the preparations, picking up who ever that needed to be picked up, & do the finishing touches before the birthday girl arrived. It was an awesome night, while Aunty also needed me to do a few more errands during the birthday as they were unsure of the quantity of the food, I took care of that. All in all, it was quite eventful, & the boys & I stayed back to clean up after until Dad wanted us home.

Next day was New Years Eve! There were couple of plans happening that day. I had the Brisbane MSYSA Mini-Convention, it would be my first Brisbane YSA activity to attend to & it be quite intriguing to experience the YSA life here compare to Sydney. So there was a YSA dance later that night that goes on towards midnight for New Years. My younger brothers, would also be joining me, don’t ask how. However, they would need to finish their CO-Vid vaccinations as that was the requirement for entry. So majority of that morning was taking my brother to one of the clinics for the vaccinations. The rest of the day we chilled & waited for the evening, Mum needed some decor for the house to celebrate New Years as-well as some Grape soda, so I took care of that. Dad preferred us to stay home for New Years to spend with the family, which we can if we leave the YSA dance early. Before the boys & I left home, we helped with the barbecue for the family & then stopped by a burger joint for a feed before we head to the dance. The YSA dance was a dud, we were suppose to have our cousins joining us, but they couldn’t make it, & they ended up going somewhere else for New Years. Therefore, the boys & I decided to do our own thing & left to the City as we roamed around the packed South Bank. We timed our entry & exit perfectly as we made it back home just in time for New Years (literally a few minutes before midnight) – got to spend New Years with Papa & Nana, as-well as celebrate with the whole family.

I had one hour sleep as the next morning I had to wake up real early to be the first one’s in line for the drive in CO-Vid test. The test was required for all visitors from out of state. The rest of the day was just spending time & bonding with everyone, watching movies, particularly with the rest of the younger siblings. We ended up heading to the courts in the evening to shoot some hoops with my younger sisters before we dried the laundry at the dryers.

First Sunday of the year, 2022. There was a musical fireside for the Brisbane MSYSA mini-convention later that night. Before that, it was our morning sacrament at our ward with Papa & Nana as it’s their last Sunday here in Brisbane before they leave back home. Aunty & the cousins came as-well to be with Papa & Nana one last time at Church. This sabbath day was a special day for me in particular, as every first Sunday of the month we have the opportunity to bare our testimony in-front of the whole congregation. My brother, had felt the prompting to bare his testimony – he had been less active for a long time now & as he was sitting by me contemplating whether to go up – I asserted to him that if he goes up I’ll go up to. We agreed, & we made our way up awaiting for our turn. Aunty came up with us as-well. As my brother went up the stands first to bare his testimony, I watched on proudly knowing how happy Mum would be, as-well as Heavenly Father. Dad would be happy to but he wasn’t at Church that morning due to another commitment. As my brother had finished his talk, & it was my turn – I went up feeling the promptings to bare my testimony in full Tongan. It’s a language that I have connected with in my journey in this gospel & it only felt strong for me to speak how I felt – regardless that I’m not fluent or well enough. I have no bare my testimony in 8 years, & the last time I did bare my testimony at Church wasn’t appropriate to say the least. However, it felt as if I had redeemed myself to be able to stand & say what was right. It’s been over 2 years since I’ve last spoke Tongan in-front of a room of people, let alone ever speaking in-front of Church. So, that was a major step, & as part of my New years resolution to be more spiritual & cultural. Whether that be my own Vietnamese background, that I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate the values to go along with Church, or expanding what I already know in Tongan. So that still stays in my heart. I did promise Dad I would learn Samoan, but one step at a time. Following my testimony, Aunty went up to bare her’s, as-well as my little brother’s which was their first testimony as-well, including Mum who bared her’s last. It was an amazing sabbath day on a personal level, personal growth wise & I will never forget it as a way to begin the year 2022!

Later that night, my brother & I wasn’t sure if we still wanted to go to the YSA Musical Fireside. However, after I received a message from the cousin asking if I can pick them up to go, we decided to go. It was a really good experience & spiritual night, many talent singers & uplifting stories. As we headed home, my brother & I had a great talk to end the night after dropping off the cousins back to their house.

Aunty had asked if I could pick the cousins up to go to their training the next morning. So the following morning I woke up to get the girls & dropped them off to their training. Mum called right after saying that my brother was feeling really sick & is in hospital. So I left knowing Dad is here to wait for the girls to finish training, & met up with Mum & Bro at the hospital. I spent the whole morning staying with my brother while he was being tested & waiting to be discharged. Several days later he ended being tested positive, so there you go. The cousin that came with us the night before to the Musical Fireside was tested positive. Strangely enough, I was never tested positive throughout my whole stay as-well as after leaving Brisbane, even with how close I was with my brother, was negative. With my brother being sick, after we came back home from the hospital we just stayed home. As soon as we left the hospital, I notice a slight little itch in my throat, so I knew – we stopped by a pharmacy on the way back home & I got what I felt I needed, vitamin C & anti-inflammatory tablets. I knew the family may get sick too later on so better be prepared. My brother got better in the afternoon & later that night we had family home evening where had activities/games. I started to feel weak in my legs, & I knew I need to rest ASAP & had an early night.

The next morning I was sick, I just stayed in bed & slept all morning with all the blankets on me. Fortunately, I have a bit of experience in health & knew how to take care of myself & I was prepared. I did ask my brother for a favour to drive & get us food, get the whole family pizza too. After that feed, I got the strength & recovered quicker than expected. Right away I wanted to head out, get some sun, some fresh air, get my body moving, & we all ended up heading to the courts to play basketball my brothers & sisters. We had a game between us, however things got heated between the bigger boys & got into a physical altercation. I had to step in to stop it & seperate them far away from each other. Mum came to pick one of them back home, & my sisters thanked me for stepping in. We continued playing for a bit with just us girls until we decided to go the shops to get some drinks. We went home & the boys made their peace & made up for it, then we went to pick up the other brother that stays with his partner to come home.

The next day, my brother wanted to get a haircut & clean up his look for Nana before she leaves. Wow, that was a big change – new year, new me. Afterwards, we did some errands to pick up some ingredients for Mum from the store & then came home. Later that evening, we went to the cinema to watch the new Spiderman, & that was our night.

Next day, was the day I bought my new phone & gave my old one to my brother that got his haircut. I wanted to move on from that old phone that had so much memories & attachments to it – & it was time for me to start fresh. Later that day Dad called us to do Aunty a favour & get her the groceries her family needs as they are currently isolating on lockdown due the cousin being tested positive. We got her the things she needed & we dropped it off outside their house. As we were driving home, another request from our parents if we can pick up our other brother staying at his partners to come home for Papa & Nana’s last night here. So we picked him up & came home to spend one last night with them before they leave in the morning. We gave Nana money, & Papa my Theragun (Massage Gun) ($300). It’s not good to hold onto attachments of anything materialistic, & we must be willing to share if one eyes on what we have, otherwise just hide it if you don’t want to give it away, lol. Keep your sentimental things hidden, it’s a lesson to not show off because sometimes it can be a sign of arrogance & pride and it’s quite rude if we’re not willing to share.

The next morning, we find out that my brother was tested positive, so he would have to isolate in lockdown. Spent the whole day at home, & later that evening my sisters & I were task to take the laundry to the dryers & do a bit of shopping. It was good to have some bonding time with my sisters while the boys were at home.

The next day, we just stayed home & chilled. Later that evening, my brother was allowed to go out again, & we went to the shops with some of the girls & little one’s to grab the shopping, particularly for tomorrow as the boys were tasked to do the cooking for lunch – well I’d be the one directing as head chef.

So the next morning, I woke up early to prepare the cooking & ended up creating a decent healthy meal for the whole family with the help of my brothers. Later that night, the boys & I went for a late night drive to just make the most of my last week here in Brisbane. We went to Mt. Coot-Tha lookout to have a overview glance of Brisbane City at night.

The next day was our planned hiking day. The year before I was at Springbrook National Park with our other brother & his friend as I took them on a hiking adventure to see the waterfalls. This year I planned to take my brothers that missed out last time, & wow back again where I belong in nature. It was a long drive, but the boys were keen & I couldn’t wait to show them the beauty of what we’re about see. After the hike, we came back home to have a shower as we plan on going shopping after. The rest of the family were planning to go to the Gold Coast for a swim, so the boys & I were planning to meet up with them at the beach as we head to the Gold Coast to shop around.

We took our sweet time window shopping at Pacific Fair in the Gold Coast, only to buy nothing & just eat out. The rest of the family were already at the beach & expecting us to be there, so we rushed to the nearest beach which was Broadbeach & made it on time for the sunset to take photos, however it was not the same beach where the family was at. They were at Broadwater. So, on our way there, it was quite a distance actually & we ended up getting there while everyone was ready to leave. The boys & I stayed there to kick back & take more photos while the rest of the family went to get food & meet us back at home and call it a day.

The next day was our Tree Top Challenge day. It was suppose to be for our other brother as it was his 19th birthday that day, but he was unable to make it due to work. So we had our sisters take his place for the challenge. Boy, was it a challenge. I didn’t realise how scared I was of heights, let alone fit to get that far, all my brothers & sisters were flying through the course, but it was an amazing experience I got to share with them. Afterwards, we drove to the Gold Coast again to have a feed at Pacific Fair. As we were heading home, the boys wanted to stop by one of their mates house because our other brother was celebrating his birthday there. So I dropped them off, & took my sisters to do shopping that Mum wanted us to do before heading home. We stopped by a Filipino restaurant to grab some Boba tea that they had recommended, & it was so good!

After we came home, I spent some time with my sisters & watching Kdrama which they had got me into watching nowadays. The boys messaged me to pick them up, & that the birthday boy will be coming home too with his partner. When I told Mum that they were all coming home, Mum was so happy that she instantly got up to prepare a cake for the birthday boy when he arrives. So I went to pick up the boys & his partner and brought them back home, where we ended up celebrating his birthday together as a family, and that was our night.

The next morning, I was planning to go visit the Brisbane Temple on my own for my own alone time & recharge spiritually. However, Mum asked if I can wait till the next day so the whole family can come too. I took my brother to that same Filipino restaurant to have breakfast & we did a little shopping after. Later that night, I took the boys for a late night pizza run where we just ate & chilled.

Second last day here in Brisbane, & no better way to spend it then visiting the Temple. Last time I was here, I didn’t get the chance to go in as the Temple was closed. So thankfully, it’s opened. Aunty had texted me in the morning if I can pick some of them up as their family wanted to come to, as they are now out of isolation. So after I finished getting ready, I made my way to Aunty’s & picked the cousins up. I had no idea they wanted to come because they wanted to be there with me before I leave Brisbane, so they made it more special.

We arrived to the Temple earlier than the rest of the family, so my cousin gave me a tour inside the Temple. Soon after, everybody else came, & we had lunch that was being prepared inside the temple by the Missionaries that were having their meetings & had invited us to join eat. After that, we took so many photos in-front of the Temple. Our family planned to go for a swim at the man-made beach in South Bank. So, we all made our way together & walked to where the ferries were to take us to South Bank.

We all had fun at the man-made beach, playing volleyball in the pool & then more volleyball on the grass where we all sat. I went to go grab something to eat or drink, & the cousin (the surprise birthday girl) wanted to tag along too to keep me company and we got more boba tea. As we got to ready to leave, my brother & I along with our cousin were task to walk back to get the cars to pick up everyone. We ended up taking longer as we lost sight of each other & we were all over the place, but thankfully ended up finding everyone. I drove Aunty & some of the cousin’s back to their house, as I made my long way back home after and the boys & I ended up going for another late night ride to find a nice lookout & grab a feed. We ended up coming across a magician who blew ours minds with his tricks, & that would end our night.

My last day, we had plans to make this a fun day. In the morning my brothers & I drove down to Coomera, where we had a really good fancy feed for breakfast and played some games at the arcade. We received the news that the other brother is coming & Mum will be dropping him off to us. We were so excited, because it’s always complete when all the three big boys are together. So we headed towards Pacific Fair in the Gold Coast, where we would be meeting up with our brother. After he came, we decided to head up to Surfers Paradise to check out the Timezone arcade up there. We ended up playing laser skirmish & it was one of the best laser skirmish ever in a Timezone. Afterwards, we walked around Surfers Paradise along side the beach until we decided to go find a court to shoot some hoops. When we found a court, we had a pretty good game of 21 amongst each other, until we had a pretty solid pick up game with strangers. We had planned on going to Eat Street in Northshore depending on our other cousins if they were coming. After the game, the cousins texted me about Eat Street, & we all planned to meet up there. The drive towards there was pretty lit, it’s been awhile since all us boys were together. As we arrived to Northshore, this was the first time any of us has been to Eat Street & it exceeded our expectations. Our cousins soon came after to join us, & we had a solid night together with great feeds, & good vibes.

In hindsight, it was a special night for me. I never really ever spent time with family late out at night, like ever. No family in Sydney, not even if I tried, so finally, just to have my family here in Brisbane, was enough for me. These kids were literally kids last time we were together 8 years ago before they left to Brisbane, could not even have a solid conversation with them. Now, one brother is paying for all our food, the other brother is driving my car so I don’t have to out of fatigue, & the cousin is the one driving & meeting up with us. Like, I don’t have to take care of things, or be fully responsible for everything, like this was foreign to me, in a good way.

After we came home, my brother had to go back to his partners, & I didn’t know he went out of his way to spend the day with us for my last day – which made it more meaningful. We took one last group photo as a whole, as I reflected back on the first day I had arrived at Sunshine beach to be with everyone.

The next morning, I finished packing & we all sat in the living room to have our final parting words to share. Dad & Mum got me a parting gift, one of them being a Maori necklace, the fish hook that I have been wearing everyday. I gave my JBL speakers to Dad, & just found whatever I could give to clear my belongings to the rest of the family. After we all hugged & said our goodbyes, I left to make one more stop at Aunty’s house. She had requested me to stop by before I leave.

When I arrived at Aunty’s, we had our finals words, with all the cousin’s, especially the surprise birthday girl & her partner. We took many photos, as usual, & Aunty had a parting gift for me to take back home, along with a care package for my long drive back to Sydney.

My family had given me a special card with everyone’s messages on it, & with Aunty and her family now handing me a journal of everyone’s messages on it. I never expected all of this, I never received anything like this, yet, I’m truly grateful that I had. I was ready to go home & not expect anything in return, I’m strong enough nowadays to give back to myself what I do for others – but this really did hit me deep.

From the first day, arriving to the Gold Coast to catch the sunrise with the cousin’s & seeing them first before I reunited with my family at Sunshine Coast, to seeing the cousins last before I leave – felt like a whole journey. Within those 3 weeks felt like a whole year, it filled me up not because of the company & the people surrounding me, but the service & charity that I found myself giving. Even if you had read my previous post about going to Church solo & the lessons I’ve learnt from it within that one month timespan, which was only last month to think about it… it all feels abundant like a whole for me. From spending almost the entire 2021 depressed, heartbroken & wounded waiting for someone to come back, you really do waste so much time with how much little substance it adds to your life. Just last month, & within 3 weeks, it has fulfilled so much more than the how 2021. Charity really does never faileth, I didn’t understand that until I got to actually feel it.
How astonishing it is, knowing this all began because of one plan that had failed – how those plans to go to the United States to see my great aunt with all the hopes I had that ended up being a disappointment – I wouldn’t had been able to experience all of this that I have had now, to take that leap of faith to go to Church solo & return back to Brisbane to be with my family here.
I know now, that where I am, whatever didn’t work, is because God is looking out for me, He is guiding me & putting me on a better path that’s meant for me, that for every rejection is for me protection.
As I’ve returned back to Sydney in preparation for my childhood cousin’s wedding here, I’ve decided that I will be moving to Brisbane instead of Cairns!
As one door closes, another door opens.

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