The Princess prepared for the overseas trip, asking the King as she packed “Is there anything I need to do while overseas?” The King replied “Rest. The only thing you need to do is relax and have a good time.” What a difference He made as her acting husband. The King accompanied them to the ends of the earth and took good care of them.
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads the mothers. Isaiah 40:11
It was autumn in the Northern hemisphere, yet the summer warmth lingered in the Isle of Wight through the late days of September and October. Marjorie was good and kind, as were her family. They were blessed by the friendship, and blessed by the King.
The first thing they did was get out the letters the Princess had written as a child, all of which Marjorie had kept. She could see herself growing up, the printed words turning to an adult’s handwriting. On this her second visit to the Island, she dreamed of willows, which meant she had to make a sad journey, but willows also spoke of survival or rebirth.
The Princess smiled at her friend. “You know, the last time I was here I got engaged when I returned to New Zealand. I’m safe this time around.”
The time went all too quickly. Nearly a month later, flying home on the wings of the dawn, she spoke to the Lord on the aircraft as her children slept. “Father, this is a sad journey home. I have left someone I love, who I know I’ll probably never see her again.” She looked at her sleeping children tenderly. “Apart from these two, nothing else matters. I feel I am going back to nothing. Help me to cope with being back there, please.”
The King replied “There is a time for every purpose under heaven, and you, little family are back for a purpose. I now declare to you a new day, and this is not the day of small things. I have plans for you. This is the land of your inheritance. If you can accept you belong here, you will find the reason I kept you in New Zealand.” As the plane touched down in Auckland she had an instant of knowing beyond words that this was her time, this was her place in the world.
On her return, she found a message the King had written her ten days before while she was in the Isle of Wight.
I’m about to do a brand new thing. See, I have already begun! – Isaiah 43:19
Something New, Monday October 7 2002
I am going to bless you, so ignore the obstacles and keep walking. You’re too important to me to be derailed by a situation that was only meant to give you character and direction. It was grace that enabled you to make it this far, right? I have already proved that I can bring you through the fire without so much as the smell of smoke, and out of the lion’s den without even a bite mark. If you’re afraid of the future, check with the past. Have I failed you? No, and I never will!
My word to you today is, “I’m about to do a brand new thing. See, I have already begun!” After feeling like you’ve waited forever, I will suddenly move, and if you’re not ready you’ll miss it. I am getting ready to open some doors that have been closed to you; to break some chains that have held you back. I am saying, “I’m about to do a brand new thing.” “Like what?” you ask. How about a new relationship, a new assignment, a new anointing, and a new approach to an old problem? I may not change, but I move. So get ready to move with me!
The Princess bowed at the King’s declaration of a new relationship, a new assignment, a new anointing. The future looked full of hope.
As soon as she recovered from her jetlag, the King told her to apply for a job at City College. She turned up on the day they put the advertisement in the paper. They were surprised she had turned up so early. “Is the advertisement already in the paper?” they asked. “Uh, no” she replied, passing it off as coincidence. How could she explain the King guiding her the way He did? The interview was similar to the one she had undergone five years before, even though there was a different principal. “I see you are a computer programmer, and you have Linux skills …” the Principal said, looking at her resume. “Come with me, I will take you to the technician you are replacing!” She was confused and taken aback at his willingness to hire her on the spot. “Er, computer programming is a completely different skill-set from administering a computer network, looking after file servers and repairing computers” she said nervously. He took no notice and continued with the handover. She followed him up the stairs wondering what she was getting herself into.
As they walked into the technician’s room she stopped and stared. There was Bret – the same man she had replaced five years ago as a science technician. The Princess was aware he was a Prince, for she had been attending his church ever since her return from Canberra. She knew him only as the brusque man who had not trained her.
They looked at each other, a silent understanding and fellowship passing between them. The Princess spoke silently to the King, “Oh, him again. When did he return to City College? What are you doing?” she whispered to Him in her mind. The Prince was thinking along the same lines, wondering why their paths had crossed again. He was handsome, but she found him cold and stand-offish, and very northern looking compared to Ishmael. His hair was now completely white, but the eyebrows over his earth coloured eyes were dark, and his unlined face was still young. His looks were those of a distinguished man not yet of middle age.
She felt awkward in front of the Prince, and stuffed the non-job related thoughts down in her mind for later. They were showing her around the lab and she had not even agreed to take the job. If she took the job, she suspected they were about to be thrown together in a big way. She felt a mixture of excitement and fear.
As she walked with the Prince across the familiar school quadrangle, she experienced an intense feeling of déjà vu. She spoke to the King in her mind “What are you up to? I am back in the same place, following him again. Why am I following him around in a big circle? ”
The instructions the King had given her at the start of the journey came back, haunting and beautiful; “Set up signs, take note of the highway. Return to the town you left. I will create a new thing. A woman will encircle a man.”
Her heart thudded out the words she was thinking; “This is the town I left. This is full circle.”
After the handover, the Prince announced to her that he was leaving that day. Full circle on that too, he was not going to train her, again! She stared at them in disbelief as she said “Oh no, not this again! Seriously, do you want me to take this job without any training?” The principal looked at her hopefully. “You have Linux skills, and you learned to service computers in Canberra” he stated. “Yeah, why did I do that?” she whispered to the King, looking cornered.
She couldn’t believe that although the Prince had given his notice six weeks earlier, the job vacancy had not yet been advertised. Knowing the King wanted her to take the job, she sighed as she said “Let me think about it over the weekend.”
She went home and pulled her Bible out and studied the verses from Jeremiah. God would create a new thing in her life. It involved her walking around a man in a circle. She sat down and spoke to the King; “The place is Wanganui, I can see that. What do you mean by the last verse, the one you have only just now let me see – this walking around a man in a circle business? I know what I can see. I am asking for your clearly revealed will, so there is no confusion or misunderstanding.”
Hearing no answer, she sighed. She knew the King wouldn’t bother with a response when the answer was obvious.
“Set up road signs;
put up guideposts.
Take note of the highway,
the road that you take.
Return, O Virgin Israel,
return to the town you left.
How long will you wander,
The LORD will create a new thing on earth—
a woman will encircle a man.” Jeremiah 31:21-22
She analysed the last verse, looking up every translation she could find. In one translation the word was “encompass”, which meant include in scope; include as part of something broader; have as one’s sphere or territory, and in another the word encircle meant to walk around a man in a circle.
Aligning herself with the King’s will, she agreed to take the job and stay in the town. She was hired on Monday, and on Wednesday she received the confirmation of the meaning to the final verse which had baffled her for seven years.
“The Lord will create a new thing on earth –
A woman will surround a man.” Jeremiah 31:21-22
The confirmation was of a very Jewish nature, which amused her. It took the form of a video at home group which showed what happens at a Jewish wedding. The teacher, a Messianic Jew, read from this verse and explained it meant the bride walking around the groom. The word for groom in Hebrew was “Chossen”.