Angela Van Heerden – Words from the heart that will leave you warm and fuzzy
The world is filled with beautiful unique women, and having being tasked with the wonderful privilege of writing for the Crazy Rio blog, it has made this awareness even more prominent.

What makes me stand out from others? There are plenty of things, and as women we know what it is like to have gone through insecurities, friendship pains and hardships. This applies to men too, please let’s not forget or disregard that. We need to stop being so tough on one another (and on ourselves) and learn that so many people are going through trials that we aren’t even aware of.

It is easy to classify myself as a Marketing Coordinator, a Daughter, a Sister, a Girlfriend, a Friend. None of these things define me though, so what does? To me, it is being a child of God – to being “carefully put together in my mother’s womb” (Psalms 139:15). Imagine living in a world that is all love. Where love surrounds you and you only act and do things in love. Is that not what we are longing for when we approach a situation?

Understanding, goodness, joy, peace, tolerance… Can you imagine if we all approached people in this way, even with not knowing who they are or what their past is, and also to be approached in this way in love? That is the beauty of God. He is Love, as cheesy as this saying can sometimes come across; it is one of those cheesy truths. When I have my quiet time with God, I know that I am surrounded in love.

Which brings me back around to the question – who am I? We are all brilliantly unique, with so many different traits and I delight in how they cannot be boxed up. How I as a person cannot be put in a box! I will say that I do deeply love my friends and my family; the way in which they enrich my life I can never underestimate. My friends and my family have cemented the person I am. Each one of my lovely friends have such unique offerings to bring to the table and when I consider each one of them (the girls and the guys), I know I am so blessed to have them in my life and to have each one of them contribute their unique views on life, their unique humours and mannerisms and our unique friendship with one another. I am blessed beyond belief and I am rich in those precious genuine friendships which I cherish.

My bestie, my boyfriend Grant, and I, are a pinnacle representation of the friends I hold dear, and the wonderful blossoming effect that can happen with friends. I am not saying that I am going to fall in love with all my friends (haha no), only that each friendship can bloom in ways that you never expect.

For Grant and I, we met in 2003, when my family moved down to the Dolphin Coast. Luckily for me, my brother became friends with this wonderful human being and a year later we landed up moving in across the road from the boy I had a (huge) crush on. I used to sit on the roof of our house back then (I liked sitting out there reflecting) and at some point, Grant realised he could climb out the window of my brother’s room to join me there and chat. A friendship blossomed, and as the years progressed we became friends of our own accord.

Then came a season where we did not see each other for years – I moved to America for 3 years, and still another 2 years passed before Grant and I finally made a plan to see each other. When we did, I couldn’t believe the change in his person. The same Grant was there, the same flirty nature between us was there (as always), but he had just matured into this incredible human being by this time, and later on I realised that of course I had changed and matured too. It’s a funny thing, because although we knew each other for so many years, and we had this chemistry and constant crushes on each other, it was only 15 years after we met that we had matured and became the right people for each other. Instead of looking for Mr. Right (who turned out to be right in front of me the entire time) I needed to become Miss. Right too (the right person for Grant) while he evolved into Mr. Right (for Ange). How strange how God plans these things for those who love Him, and perfectly sets up the situation in His Time, not ours, so that it will be perfect.

After months of debating how this could be happening now, how surely it would have happened before, God took down all my walls and barriers and eventually I accepted that this wonderful person was to be in my life forever, that Grant was in fact my Soulmate, only that now was the time, not ever before.

One of my favourite stories and scriptures in the Bible comes from Esther. The scripture is “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). I am quoting this out of context, and I await to see where else God will direct my life to being moulded for “such a time as this”, but I am aware that God prepared Grant and I to this time, for such a time as this.

Every day with Grant is an adventure, and I am so blessed to have him in my life.

Why focus this article on this? Because all of us do not know the path we have ahead of us, we do not know the blue print which is set out for us, especially if we are trusting and being obedient to God, following His Path and Direction. Be confident in you. Life always has the potential to surprise you.

Illustration by Jessica Simes
Grant, you asked me out on the date of my favourite number, and you waited many months until I was ready. I am so grateful for who you are and the wonderful impact you make in my life. To many more adventures. Happy 1 year dating anniversary to us today, the 27th of August 2019! Thank you for being an example of God’s wondrous love. May we all strive to love others as God loves us <3