This post was written in the Spring of 2012, a great reminder of the Master’s Plan. Be sure to check out my thoughts in hindsight!
The sunshine brought me to my flowerbed to do some much needed tending. After the vibrant blooms of spring had bloomed, I dug up the bed to allow the earth to rest for the next spring planting. The mild winter brought about blooms from the seed that had fallen creating a mess of plants that had rooted and bloomed before their time. I created for myself a bouquet of bright yellow and orange daisies to enjoy inside, and went to work ripping up the remaining plants to allow seed to be sown for new blooms.
As I worked, sweat and tears streamed down my face as I related to the plants. I too felt as if my roots had been ripped up and tossed aside to be withered by the sun. Therapeutic swashes of the gardening hoe were in full force as I worked out my frustration and desperation. With arms and legs shaking, I continued on with the task and listened to the lesson that God was planting in my heart.
My husband came to the excruciatingly hard decision to stay behind from the Nicaragua Spring mission trip, and I chose to stay with him. This decision came with a lot of meditation and prayer after several weeks of battling with the idea. Because of his heart procedure, recovery has been slow and going out of the country at this time is not in the best interest of his health. I am aching for him, because he has deep-outstretched roots for the work in Nicaragua, but I also marvel at the courage it took for him to put the mission before himself. Because I am his wife, created to be his helpmate, I chose to stay by his side.
Working out the emotions of feeling left behind has left me almost broken. The months of planning, preparing, visiting congregations, raising money, writing support letters, shopping, sewing, gathering, packing, prayers, research, meetings, and all the love that has been rooted in this trip was hard to let go of. The mission trip started as a seed in my heart when Jake came back from his last one in September, and it took root as we planned out being those spoken of in Matthew 25: 34-40.
I do not know why things sometimes work out the way they do, or why this trip was uprooted from my life, but I do know that God is in control, He is good, and He is alive and working. The plants in my garden had to be uprooted because they were blooming before their time, leaving no room for new growth. After I work the land and prepare it for planting, I will plant and nurture new seeds, and their brilliance will shine through bringing life, fragrance, and beauty. In the same way, this trip may have come too early for Jake and I; too early for his body as he is still recovering, and too early for me, a mother leaving my small children behind. But as this plan has been uprooted, I know God is now cultivating our souls and planting new seed to bloom at just the right time.
The mission trip will still go on. The hungry will eat, the naked will be clothed, the sick will be visited, the stranger will still be welcomed in, and the prisoners will receive provision. God will see to it. Not going has shown me that I am but a means to His glory, and if I cannot be used at this time, His glory will still be revealed through other willing souls. He is so good.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 states: “To everything there is a season, and a time for ever matter under heaven…..A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.” My time to serve in Nicaragua has been plucked up. There will be times in all of our lives when things do not go the way we had planned. When this happens, we must remember the simple fact that life is not about us and our purpose is to serve in love because He first loved us.
When we find ourselves uprooted, remember the Master Gardener will tend to what needs done, and His Truth will always prevail.
We must allow God to break the roots we have tried so hard to establish in order to allow new growth to prevail; growth God’s way, not of our own.
Then, when it comes time for our seeds to take root, we must willingly and wholeheartedly obey the call and bloom where we are planted.
Jered and Jessica Hyatt took our place in the mission and what an amazing blessing it has been! The mission went very well, and big things happened for the people in Nicaragua, and for the students at the Bible Center. Not too long after the trip, Jake and I were approached by the elders in Madill for Jake to become the preaching minister for the congregation. This meant we had to leave the college students, and the beloved congregation of Durant behind. We spent much time in prayer over the decision, while worrying about the Student Bible Center and the students there that we loved so dearly. But God had an amazing plan. We left in confidence to go to Madill, because the perfect people for the Student Bible Center was none other than the SAME couple that took our place in the mission trip! God used our absence to grow a relationship between this couple and the students, because something great was coming for all of them. How awesome is that?!
Jake and I have been in Madill for almost three years, and Jered and Jessica are at the Bible Center. Both ministries are doing very well, and I got to take my very first Nicaragua mission trip the following September of 2013. The time was right, Jake was well, and my kids were another year older, so leaving them behind went smoother. It’s amazing to look back and see God’s hand in all of this! When we put our “seasons” in the Master’s hands, big things happen, and what a joy it is to get to glorify Him when we get a glimpse of the bigger picture in hindsight. God is good!