It is almost ten years ago to the day, when we started our ministry here. Dan & I had spent ten years in an inner city in New Jersey, ministering to the powerless, poor, and oppressed. Coming to a small, rural community seemed like the other side of the moon. However, though the scenery changed, the similarities in people's circumstances are surprisingly similar.
It's been ten years of tough times. Ten years of mountain top experiences and ten years of very, deep valleys. There were days (and still are at times) when we want to throw up our hands and just say, "I give up."
But yesterday, I was reflecting on how it has also been ten years of blooming where God planted us. I've seen my husband grow and stretch into an amazing teacher and pastor. I've seen him mature into a wonderful man of God.
I've grown too. I went from a timid, unsure of myself woman into a much more self-confident one. Talents and abilities that I didn't even know were in me have bloomed here. I never thought I'd be able to encourage others or sew or write a book or do any of the things that I've learned to do.
The Lord has used this small group of people that we've had the privilege of pastoring for ten years to help us both bloom. We've bloomed here because we've learned to persevere through hardships.
We've bloomed because we have a wonderful group of people who allow us to try new things. They don't say things like, "We've never done it that way before." or "We like our traditions." We've bloomed because we have stepped out in faith and kept our eyes on God. We've bloomed because God is faithful and continues to nudge us out of our comfort zone.
Blooming is painful at times. It is not easy. It takes a long time. But, What a beautiful scent permeates the air and what a gorgeous sight awaits your eyes when one is in full bloom!
God will sometimes puts you in a hard place. It's not one you would have chosen for yourself. Yet, when you walk in faith and keep your eyes on Him and look for the ways to grow and stretch, you can bloom where you are.
This week I continue to count blessings #1561- 1571
♥ The grass getting greener.
♥ A wonderful afternoon with a friend.
♥ A great week of school.
♥ Good book reviews.
♥ A box of books ready to go to a ladies retreat.
♥ A night out with my husband.
♥ New visitors at church.
♥ Paying off a debt.
♥ A father who spends time with his daughter.
♥ Blooming where I am planted.