The sunshine the other day brought me to my flowerbed to do some much needed tending. After the vibrant blooms of spring and summer started to wither, I dug up the bed to allow the earth to rest for the next spring planting. Little did I know, 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, prayer, and pleading after several weeks of battling with the idea. Because of the heart procedure he had in January, recovery has been slow and grueling on him 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 feel as if my calling to be a Godly wife far outweighed the Nicaragua trip, and I chose to stay by his side.
Working out the emotions of feeling left behind had left me almost broken. The months and 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 is 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. My flowers 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 to our family as we get to enjoy their 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, as a mother having to leave 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. All the money needed has been raised, and our tickets will be held to use in the future. The bags are packed and so many people of Nicaragua will see God’s love through the mission. The hungry will eat, the naked will be clothed, the thirsty will drink, 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, but that does not mean I cannot still serve ( I have a lot of prayer time planned on behalf of the mission crew). There will be times in all of our lives when things just do not go the way we had planned. When this happens, we must remember the simple fact that life is not about us (thanks Billy) 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.
Please join me in prayer this week as we pray over the Matthew 25:34-40 Spring Break Mission Trip and those involved, as well as the Medical Mission crew, set to serve in Nicaragua as well. God is good.