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A Silk Purse

A Silk Purse

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A Silk Purse

Länge:
237 Seiten
4 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Oct 23, 2012
ISBN:
9781452507651
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

Janes early years were full of adventure and excitement. She immigrated to Australia from England, married, and had five children. Disaster struck when her husband was arrested. She spent years grappling with the consequences of his crimes and the devastating effect on her family. Jane floundered in a spiritual and emotional wilderness. The pain of betrayal, confusion, and guilt reinforced her lack of self-worth.

Could she ever recover? How could she forgive? Who could understand her humiliation, shame, and utter despair?

Told with candid honesty and courage, this is a story of redemption and restoration that Jane attributes solely to Gods grace and mercy.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Oct 23, 2012
ISBN:
9781452507651
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Jane lives in Sydney, Australia, where she combines a full-time job and home business with voluntary work in several charities, including Kairos. When not encouraging sad and lost souls, she loves to write and spend time with her children and grandchildren.


Buchvorschau

A Silk Purse - Jane Schope

Copyright © 2012 Jane Schope

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version, © 1973, 1978, 1984, 1998 by International Bible Society and The Living Bible [TLB] © 1970 Tyndale House Publishers.

The names of people and places in this book have been changed to protect their identity.

Balboa Press books may be ordered through booksellers or by contacting:

Balboa Press

A Division of Hay House

1663 Liberty Drive

Bloomington, IN 47403

www.balboapress.com.au

1-(877) 407-4847

ISBN: 978-1-4525-0764-4 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4525-0765-1 (e)

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

The author of this book does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a physician, either directly or indirectly. The intent of the author is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being. In the event you use any of the information in this book for yourself, which is your constitutional right, the author and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions.

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

Balboa Press rev. date: 12/12/2012

Contents

CHAPTER 1      My Island Home

CHAPTER 2      Early years in Australia

CHAPTER 3      Fiji

CHAPTER 4      Queensland here we come!

CHAPTER 5      Sydney

CHAPTER 6      The Whirlpool

CHAPTER 7      Suspended animation

CHAPTER 8      God’s Special Time

CHAPTER 9      A new identity

EPILOGUE

To God be the Glory

Great things He has done

You can’t make

a silk purse

out of a sow’s ear

Middle English proverb

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Writing is healing. It has enabled me to reflect on the events and people who have significantly impacted my life and to thank God for his continued blessing. He is fulfilling His promise to give back the years the locusts have eaten. I am so grateful for all that God has done, and continues to do in my life.

My five children are a source of great joy and blessing, together with their spouses and my grandchildren. Thank you for your love and support. You are amazing and I love you all so much!

To all the teams and guests of Kairos Outside for Women and the wider Kairos Prison Ministry Australia community, I give my heartfelt thanks. Your vulnerability, honesty and genuine love has changed me. You have given me incredible support and encouraged me to draw closer to Jesus.

I am especially grateful to my editor, Jennifer Kerr. She has spent countless hours reading, correcting and analysing my manuscript. Thank you so much, Jennifer. I accept full responsibility for the finished manuscript.

My church family, including pastors, home group and friends, provide a welcoming and safe place to worship, share and be myself. You all have encouraged and strengthened me. Thank you, my precious friends.

To all who will read this book, may the love of Jesus touch your heart and set you free.

CHAPTER 1

My Island Home

Winter mornings were foggy, a thick mist hanging over the water. Shapes appeared and disappeared as islanders made their way in their little dinghies to the other side of the river. Our small island on the Thames had twenty houses on it, and no bridge. The only way to leave the island was by boat and my father made this journey every working day. Rising around six in the morning, we shared breakfast together. This was a precious time for me, alone with my dad while my mum, older sister and little brother were fast asleep.

What do you have planned today? Dad asked, as he crammed toast into his mouth. He was always in a rush. As part of a car pool for workers at the factory, he must not be late. He pulled his greatcoat over his suit, stretched a nice warm beanie over his bald patch, and wound a long woollen scarf tightly around his neck.

He gave me a quick hug and a kiss, saying:

Now you hop back into bed. It’s far too cold for you to be out here.

In a moment he was gone. It was only a few short steps to the landing stage where the dinghy bobbed at its mooring. He leapt in, at the same time grabbing an oar which he deftly dropped into a groove in the stern, and sculled out into the mist. The river was running very fast, swirling eddies glistening in the half light, so he had to scull upstream and cross. As I stood at the door it was too cold to wait till he was completely out of view, so I went back to my bed, snuggling under the blankets to await the daylight. On winter days the sun came up gradually, its weak warmth slowly dispersing the mist on the river and around our house.

My mother did not always get up before dad left for work. Jonny, my brother, was fifteen months old and she often slept till he woke. His cot was in their room near the front of the house, facing the river. Being able to walk now, he sometimes clambered out of his cot and wandered around the house without her knowing. My bedroom was at the other end of the fibro house. On this morning I did not hear Jonny and assumed he was asleep.

My room overlooked the path that ran down the middle of the island. Each of the homes had a river frontage, many had boats moored. On the other side of the island from our house there was a ferryman’s cottage. A big brass bell hung outside his house at the water’s edge and a clang on the bell alerted anyone on the island that passengers were waiting to be taken across. There was a similar bell on the mainland side of the river. Everyone on the island knew each other well as we were confined to such a small area. The noisy bell was also used if there was an emergency, when its loud, frantic clanging alerted us to danger.

Whether I fell asleep after crawling back into bed I do not know, but it was already light when I heard a commotion, someone screaming and banging on the back door. We never locked doors and I could hear a distressed man coming into our kitchen. I rushed out. He was dripping wet and so was the bundle he was carrying. I followed him into the lounge and watched in horror as he laid the bundle on the floor. It was my little brother, blue and soaking wet. He made no sound. My mother came flying out of the bedroom in her nightdress, dragging on her dressing gown. She was a nurse and immediately began thumping his little chest. As I looked down at him, I saw water spouting out of his mouth.

I was just getting into my boat and I saw him caught up in the willow tree, said Jim, our friend who had brought him in.

My mother was working frantically, becoming increasingly hysterical. She was trying to pump the water out of Jonny’s little lungs, even turning the limp body onto his stomach. More and more water came out of his mouth, but there was no sound from him. I remember little else about this incident, except being sent away to stay with my aunt for quite a long period of time.

Although I was only five, the manner of Jonny’s death became etched deeply into my memory. It was to have profound importance many years later when my reaction to subsequent shocking events caused me to react the same way I did then. It was not until I was almost 60, a perceptive psychologist showed me the incredible impact of this childhood accident. Deep in my subconscious I took the blame and felt the desperate need to somehow make up for what had happened. From this point on I became the model child, always seeking to please and to perform. This was a defining time for my mother too. Many years later she revealed the depth of her bitterness, pain and unforgiveness towards my father after he died.

My parents were openly atheists. They scorned the church and its teaching. When Jonny died they had no recourse to a supportive community and none of us had any counselling. His death was to reverberate through each of our lives in unexpected ways.

Before coming to the island, following his discharge from the army at the end of the war, my father had entered into an unsuccessful business venture which left the family destitute. With no money and two small children, my parents converted an old Cornish fishing trawler into their home. This small boat was sailed up the English Channel to the River Thames. For the first three years of my life I lived on this boat, with my parents and older sister, Anna. My scant recollection of this time includes once when my father dropped a bag of potatoes into the river as he came up the gangplank—precious potatoes because we still had war rationing at that time. I watched Dad dive into the freezing water to retrieve them. Potatoes were set to dry on every vacant ledge around the inside of the boat. It may be a family legend, but another time we went by boat to watch the Oxford vs Cambridge boat race around the time of my third birthday. In my excitement I fell into the river and my father had to rescue me. Surprisingly I took quite a while to learn to swim.

Apart from my brother’s death memories of living on the Island were very happy ones. Our modest home was a white painted fibro cottage with large black wooden cross beams at the front. Moving to the island from the boat must have been a big step for my parents. The house was very basic and we had little furniture for many years. There was electricity for lighting, an open fire in the lounge but no other heating. The house was always damp, and freezing cold in the winter.

When it came time for me to go to pre-school my father took me. We crossed the river by boat to where he kept his motorbike. I rode in the sidecar and later in the basket on the front of his Moped. My kindergarten teacher, Mrs Decogan, was a warm grandmotherly figure and I loved school from the first day. When I turned six I went to a private day school some six kilometres away. Each school day I made my own way to school, along with all the other local children. This involved quite a journey. I first had to catch the ferry, walk a kilometre to the bus stop, catch three different buses and then walk another kilometre to school. In the afternoon the process was reversed. In the depth of winter it was dark when I left and dark again when I arrived home, and frequently freezing cold, raining or even snowing. Many school rooms had no heaters and in the winter we wore our coats right through the day, as well as many pairs of socks. If I walked one of the bus stages I could save the money and buy a bun and some milk; I loved to do this on summer days. Sometimes my sister and I rode together on our push bikes. Anna complained I was too slow with my old fashioned bike with no gears; I was forced to walk up several of the hills, so I reverted to the lengthy bus trip.

Summer days were warm and the river looked inviting after the long ride.

Come on, let’s swim it. The ferryman’s going to take ages, Anna would tease.

We left our bikes at the ferry point, stripped off our summer dresses, stowed our clothes under the mailbox and swam across the river in our underwear—collecting our dinghy and rowing back to find our things. Over the long summer holidays my little dinghy became my personal refuge. I went exploring for duck eggs in the reeds along the bank, or rowed down to the lock to chat to tourists as they passed through. It seemed I had the whole river at my disposal on those long summer days. I knew all the people on the Island and both shores, and had blissful freedom to roam.

A close friend, Sarah, lived on a Dutch barge moored across the river and downstream near the lock. We spent as much time as we could together. Sometimes Sarah’s parents took their barge for a day trip up the river and I loved to go with them. How grand we thought it was to be the centre of attention from all the folk on the banks as the huge vessel chugged along the river. Sarah and I would stand on the deck waving, looking important with a boathook or a rope in our hands. How Sarah’s mother managed to accommodate us in such a confined space is a marvel to me. Her galley, where she prepared delicious meals, had little more than two feet of bench space and a small cook top, always crowded with pots, pans and food. The only lighting was a large kerosene lamp which cast long shadows. Sarah and I would pretend we were on a pirate ship and turn her small cabin into a treasure trove. Later Sarah’s family built a house but their dry land home was never quite as exciting. Even though we went to different schools we remained firm friends, until I went to boarding school and my family left the island.

My father badly wanted a son to replace Jonny, particularly as he had been the only boy in his family, When I was seven my younger sister, Maria was born. Two years later another sister, Jenny joined the family. Maria and Jenny were both born on the Island. Maria was delivered by our dear midwife, who found it quite novel to come across on the ferry. Unfortunately when it was time for Jenny to be born, there was a petrol strike and the midwife was unable to come. My father delivered her, taking instructions over the phone. I was grateful my parents changed their mind at the last minute from their initial decision to call my sister Petronella.

Anna went off to boarding school when she was 14, and when I turned 11 to my delight I was able to join her. At the same time my parents sold our home on the Island and moved to a small town in Buckinghamshire. Being away at school most of the year I never considered this new place my home. Each holidays I pined for the water and the freedom of my Island days. What would I do in the long summer days in this lonely place? I still had my old pushbike, so I told my mother I was going for a ride. I packed a few sandwiches and set out. Today, there is a magnificent motorway going all the way, but then I cycled on small country roads and through busy little villages. I made the thirty mile trip, ate my lunch by the river, and then started home again. Many of my riverside friends had moved away and the landscape was rapidly changing. As painful as it was, I had to accept my childhood days of freedom were behind me. I did not make the journey again.

My parents must have realised how unhappy I was with the move and most holidays they sent me to my aunt who lived on a farm. Aunty Pat was always fun to be around. Although she was strict, she had a keen sense of humour and loved to tease. She was devoted to horses and had a small dappled grey mare, called Freckles, ready for me whenever I went to stay. Although never very confident, I learnt to ride and to care for Freckles and thrived on the variety of farm life.

Aunty Pat’s farm was close to a pine plantation, owned by her Uncle Nicholas and his wife, Aunty Dot, which provided wonderful places to ride. In the middle of the plantation was a lake with a ‘summer house’ where we could swim and laze on warm summer days. Sometimes I stayed with Aunty Dot at the magnificent Plantation House. The family had once lived in India having a surreal life with servants, including a maid, chauffeur and cooks.

Aunty Pat and I would sometimes join them for dinner. What a grand affair! We dressed in our finery and waited to be escorted into the dining room. There was strictly no conversation at the dinner table but Uncle Nicholas, an elderly gentleman, always made a horrendous slurp in his soup. His slurping would send Aunty Pat and me into fits of giggles. How the servants frowned at us! We desperately tried to avoid hysterics while waiting for Uncle Nicholas to retire to smoke in the library.

It was to this family I was sent when my youngest sister was about to be born. Soon after Jenny’s arrival Auntie Dot phoned my mother and asked if the baby had opened her eyes yet. Poor Auntie Dot had lived a very protected life, she knew nothing about children, she had only ever witnessed a kitten being born, and believed children took some weeks before they opened their eyes.

Auntie Dot was a fascinating character who, whenever I went to stay, lavished me with new clothes, most of which were quite unsuitable for my lifestyle. But she was generous and I was very grateful. Sadly she died quite prematurely, being found drowned in her bath. We were never quite sure what happened. It was a very sad day for us all when she passed away. Soon Uncle Nicholas also died.

My Aunty Pat, my mother’s half sister (they shared the same father) was Uncle Nicholas’ heir, and inherited his vast estate. She was a good farmer, breeding horses and prize-winning sheep. She moved several times on the property and I have many happy memories of my time spent on the farm. Although she made me work hard, mucking out horse boxes, sweeping the yard and hand feeding the lambs, it was a healthy life and I loved it. We often went to horse shows where her horses won ribbons and trophies. I travelled in the horse box. I was fascinated by the rush and bustle of the agricultural shows with so many smartly dressed horsemen and women as well as all the horses, cattle, sheep and dogs.

After the holidays I was proud to be accepted into boarding school. I had visited my sister at the school and my dream was to follow her there. As the time approached for my first term I went to London with my mother to be fitted with the brown and gold school uniform. It consisted of a long sleeved gold shirt, brown and gold striped tie and a dirndl brown pinafore, regulation length, four inches below the knee. Long brown socks with garters and sturdy brown walking shoes were mandatory. The compulsory dreaded brown bloomers or knickers, as we called them, were to be worn at all times. We were issued with a detailed instruction booklet. Each item was to be ticked off, clearly marked with our name, and sent in our school trunk. Nothing outside the list was allowed. The only concession was two non-uniform dresses which could be worn for a few hours on Saturday nights, when either dancing or in-school entertainment was arranged. Although a rich and kind relative paid all my basic fees, my parents had no money for incidentals and throughout my school years I was conscious

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