Best thing I can do sometimes is just get out of the way and let my wife write. Enjoy.
Sometimes life is all about seasons.
I spent years as a full-time church planter, long enough that it became my area of relative expertise. But that was a season and like all seasons it ended.
And now there’s a new season.
I am longer a full-time church planter. Instead, my husband and I work to develop partnerships with U.S. churches, getting them involved in international missions. The work has been rewarding, a new challenge that forces me to grow and stretch.
Even so, the changing of seasons has not been pretty. Such a dramatic change requires massive adjustments. I used to know my job. Now I flounder around, figuring out new software, different protocols, and unique rules. Everything is new. Nothing is familiar.
How I long to go back and soak up some familiarity.
I came from being challenged to choose which Bible stories will help break down the barriers of my people group to being challenged to find a story that will inspire U.S. churches to burn for missions.
Seems like I can’t catch up. Seems I can’t learn what I am supposed to learn. Starting from zero is not fun.
I recently lost what felt like was one of my last familiar lifelines to my previous role, something I took for granted. I didn’t realize the value of that connection until it was gone.
I got upset at God. I thought, why couldn’t You just give me this one small thing? This one familiar connection? Yes, You gave me a new team. Yes, You have provided for our every need. Shouldn’t that be enough for me?
I laid it all out to God. I am tired of learning 24/7. I am tired of everything being new. I am tired of not knowing what I am doing in the midst of all the skilled co-laborers who have years of experience and degrees to justify being selected for this team.
Lord, tell me You understand what is on my heart. Please.
God’s word is a dangerous thing; through it He speaks love to us, but he also speaks truth, cutting through our cries and complaints. He tells us of those who have come before, enduring the exact same things we tolerate.
Ruth was my predecessor in this, the one who showed me there truly is nothing new under the sun.
Ruth and I understand one another. She left a familiar homeland, where she understood customs and traditions, where she knew the expectations people had for her. She willingly gave it up to go to a new homeland, learning new language, new customs, new traditions, new roles.
Just as it is for me, everything was new for Ruth.
She no longer knew where best place to barter for items. She no longer knew the unwritten rules. She was very aware that she was different from everyone else. She didn’t know the rules of gathering wheat, and she wasn’t an Israelite. She was now a widow in a foreign land. Everything she held dear was gone. Everything she knew couldn’t be applied to her new home.
But she willingly chose to take that road, the road to unknowns and unfamiliarity. She accepted her status as the odd woman out, the square peg in a round hole. It is humbling to be different from everyone else; Ruth was a misfit and I – well I’m about as different as it gets on our team.
Ruth persevered, and God made it work. She even became a matriarch is Jesus’s family tree. I know that ain’t gonna happen with me, but point is God used her for His glory. She was at the right place at the right time with the right attitude – even when she didn’t know anything and had to learn everything.
If Ruth handled it, I can, too, because her God is my God.