Although Zoran didn't say anything, I noticed he was quite upset prior to his daughter coming to visit and after she would leave. He showed signs of depression. I knew he missed his daughter dreadfully and that he would love to live near her.
We had been living in our new home about seven months when I first said to Zoran, "What do you think about shifting to Sydney? But we would both need jobs immediately because the cost of living in Sydney is a lot greater than on the Gold Coast."
Zoran was completely surprised by my suggestion that we move closer to his daughter. My parents lived on the Gold Coast and I was close to them. But we both had family in Sydney and there would be more job opportunities.
So we prayed about it. Within two weeks, we both had jobs in Sydney. We shifted down straight away. Zoran's sister was heading overseas at the same time and wanted someone to stay with her sons, who were in their late teens and early 20s. One of the boys had schizophrenia. As it was not my home, I had to respect the way that these boys liked to live. One of them decided that he didn't want his motorbike outside and would bring it into the lounge room. I found this very challenging. Although we had moments, what encouraged me was the love and respect that developed between us and these young men.
I was sad to leave my new home but knew that I had made the right decision. God had answered my prayer. Each week, we would take his daughter to church--and she finished her primary schooling at Wahroonga Adventist Primary School. But, just one month after purchasing a "renovator's delight" in Sydney, her mum informed Zoran and I that they would be moving back to the Gold Coast. This was a devastating blow for both of us. Our main reason for coming to Sydney had been for Zoran's daughter, so she could see her dad regularly and attend church with us. We had been excited about the prospect of renovating a house together. Somehow, the joy subsided as our reason for doing this was taken away. This was especially upsetting as I had left my home on the Gold Coast to come here. We still had that house but because of the "renovator's delight" we were unable to just leave.
About 18 months ago, Zoran's daughter decided to come to live with us in Sydney. Zoran was so happy. She had some friends who had just started going to Parramatta church and she was actually keen to go to church each week.
Now Zoran's daughter has decided to go back to live with her Mum. But who knows what our decision to pray and follow God's leading will ultimately achieve? I believe our trust with where God wanted us was a sowing time and one day God will demonstrate a time of reaping.
Five years later, I am still living in the incomplete "renovator's delight." My spirit has been completely challenged through this whole experience. I know God had His hands in all of this. He knows the end from the beginning. One day I will see the full result of trusting God.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11.
Desre Nikolich lives in Glendenning in Sydney, New South Wales, and works as a social worker with clients who have complex care needs.