I began the year with a week in the Kruger National Park. Alone. Yip, I went on holiday all by myself… it was a total first and I loved it. Here’s why…
I finished 2016 exhausted; it had been a long, challenging year and I had spent a large part of it running hard to “do it all”. The idea of only having 4 weeks off before school began again initially left me a little anxious – it usually takes at least 3 weeks to simply relax enough to start resting. It was in October that I heard God say I should take the first week of 2017 as Time Out to spend with Him. I was flying up to Mpumalanga to photograph a wedding, so I figured it was a good idea and tried not to think too hard about actually being on my own for a week in the bush.
As 2016 got closer to ending, the more I heard God speak about unicorns and trusting Him for them – those hopes and prayers that I had previously considered so great they were mythical; Ephesians 3:20 type answer to prayers. I was hesitant, but chose to simply Listen and Trust. Even while I was on the plane, I heard God speak very clearly that 2017 would be defined by “Adventure without Comparison”. This would be the year where as I stopped comparing my life story with those around me, so He would lead me on incredible Adventures and leave me in awe of His Goodness (and His ability to answer prayers in astonishing, miraculous ways).
Being the cheeky brat that I am, I asked Him to confirm this in a very simple way: for every day that I was in the Park, I wanted to see a unicorn (okay, so it would be a more post-Christmas looking unicorn, but still almost as mythical and had the majestic horn…) Within half an hour of driving through the Park, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to look to the left (the opposite side of the car from my driver’s view). There, perfectly clear, down the bank… a rhino. My unicorn.
And I had him all to myself. Not another car in sight. I sat for several minutes just taking it all in and realised how amazingly powerful and Able God is – He can do all things, even provide me with a rhino-unicorn as the first animal I saw in the Park. If that rhino had been the only unicorn I had seen the entire time I was there, it would have been enough, but God doesn’t work like that: I had asked for a rhino per day. I got that. And then some: I was in the Park for 4 days. I saw 11 rhino. 6 on my last day. And I am not talking about those “if you look behind that tree and see that grey rock – yeah, that’s a rhino” type sighting. Most of them literally walked out in front of my car, stopped in front of me and just stood there as I marvelled (and heard Holy Spirit laugh at how easily I am impressed).
And the wow moments didn’t stop there: the sightings I had were amazing and each totally shared with God alone. I got to marvel at the Creator’s handiwork with Him… and each time was reminded that He does Great Things. What a sweet place to be where you are oblivious to anyone else and simply enjoying the Father’s presence. My soul and spirit were renewed and my strength restored. Am I ready for 2017? Definitely. I know who holds my Life and Story in His hands and He’s got this… and I am expecting Unicorns. Lots of them.