My name is Anna Smit. I am a dual New Zealand – Dutch citizen, who was born and partly raised in Aotearoa / New Zealand, but has been living in the Netherlands since 2003. I left the Land of the Long White Cloud in 2000 to become an au pair in Germany, but never came “home”. Falling in love, I followed my Dutchie to make a new home for myself in the land of the clogs, where we still live, with our two dual citizen girls.
I remember my early days in Germany, as the eldest daughter of New Zealand missionaries, filled with love: with the life and presence of Jesus. Tragically, as a preteen and teen, walking through trauma back in New Zealand, I began to believe the many lies spoken over me and turned to sin to numb my pain.
From then on, I went through life believing that my God had abandoned me as someone who was inherently mismade. In my early years as a Prodigal, I was even afraid that one day God would strike me with lightning and kill me.
Yet, now, I can look back and see the hand of God lovingly guiding me, protecting me and keeping me all those years I believed He had abandoned me and was out to hurt me. Every place I moved to, He remained with me, surrounding me with people in whom I now recognize His face.
When my Mum was diagnosed with an incurable brain cancer in 2013, God’s peace descended in power upon me. At the time, I was a mother of two young children (1 and 3 years old), living in the Netherlands with my Dutch husband and visiting my very ill mother in New Zealand. I wasn’t looking for God, but He came running for me. Like the little lost lamb caught in the thorn bush, He came to rescue me and bring me home.
I felt that same palpable peace again upon my Mum, in her final weeks. I was absolutely astounded at the beauty and kindness of this God, that I now recall from my younger years, before I let pride, the yoke of religion and the worship of man begin to choke me. God’s kindness toward me and the peace He covered me and my Mum in, compelled me to begin to seek Him and His Word afresh, like never before.
My Savior has given me a hunger and thirst for His Word, so that now I wake up hearing Him call to me. He is teaching me to slow, recognize and savor His Presence with me.
God is patiently leading me, piece by piece, to shed my pride, religion and the worship of man for an intimate relationship with Him, I am slowly (re)awakening to the childlike awe and wonder I see (and have seen) on the faces of so many beautiful souls God has given me on my life journey thus far.
May God bless us here, as we gather to read and share the stories, poems and heart stirrings He awakens in us. May we see His face in each other, in our past and present and future that He may make firm the paths beneath our feet, as He lifts away every accusation of the enemy in the light of His love and grace. And may the word of our testimony to His love and grace in our lives and His blood shed for us all at the Cross overcome the accuser of our brethren, just as He has promised us in His Word.