Monday, June 9, 2014

It's time...

Me and my Alabama boy.
On this day forty-five years ago, I met a boy from Alabama—and the adventure began. It was a magnificent journey to be sure, one full of laughter, joy, challenges and discovery.  We meshed our lives and as only the young and naive can do, stepped out with nothing but a song and a prayer. God was gracious. I can’t express how much I longed for our lives and ministry together to continue. Forty-five years simply wasn’t enough. We had things we still wanted to do, dreams to fulfill and many more chapters to write. It’s now been eight months since the Hubs left and went on his own adventure without me. He’s gone on ahead and I can only imagine what God has him up to. But where does that leave me?
Here’s how I’m going to answer that. It leaves me the one left on this side of Glory to continue what we started. A life of ministry. Now, where there used to be three of us, now it’s down to two. Just God and Me. After eight months of mourning, longing, and wondering, I’m about to take the first steps back on the path. Next week, I will step onto foreign soil for the first time, a dream Gary and I had planned on doing together. I am part of a mission team going to Guatemala for seven days. Our service will include time at an orphanage, helping at a medical clinic and teaching God’s word. Personally, I will be conducting a puppet workshop, teaching high school students how to teach biblical truths to youngsters with the help of scripts and puppets. The scripts I’ve written have been translated into Spanish and the puppets are all packed up and ready to go.
Years ago, the Hubs and I had planned on doing mission work in New Zealand. During our college years, we studied and prepared ourselves for that day. That day didn’t come. Hence, we learned early on that our plans may not always ‘gel’ with God’s plans. Instead, we found ourselves in ministry at a small church in Illinois. In Illinois, we met two couples that were forming a stateside mission team to plant a church in Wisconsin. Wisconsin still wasn’t New Zealand, but then I guess God knew what He was doing. We continued to minister to that church we helped plant for thirty-eight years. On the day he died, Gary was still their minister.
Finally, it seems God is going to let me out of the country. Oh, how I wished the Hubs would be joining us, but I’ve gotten used to God’s plan’s trumping mine. So, it’s time. It’s time to pick up my life. It’s time to remove the shroud. It’s time to honor my husband and our life together by carrying on what we started. It’s time to take God’s outstretched hand once again and say, “Here I am send me.”

“Father, I’m humbled by Your faithfulness, awed by Your timing and down-right amazed at Your persistence. Thank You for finding a spot for me to serve. Thank You for Your healing hand. Thank you for all the good in my life. And, thank You again for the love of a good man. Help me to do you both proud.”


FundipTuesday said...

Absolutely beautiful. We've never met, but your's and Gary's names have always been synonymous with love and ministry in our home. This will continue. This blog post will work it's way into answering questions for our children some day. Thank you.
Your next trip is so much more than picking up where you left off. Your continuance in service clearly show God's triumph in your life and your willingness to live for his plan and not your own. That's beautiful.

Anna Resele said...

Many prayers and well wishes for your next chapters. I will be thinking of you often.

Lindsey Hoffman said...

So proud of you, Deb, and so thankful for the work you're doing - and the work God is doing in you!