Our journey into missions started with a bang! We had prophetic words from God, incredible excitement, great vision deep in our hearts, and an assurance that God was up to something big!
We had no idea what we had just stepped into.
I won’t bore you with the details, but I can tell you this--- I was not prepared for the gut-wrenching trial that we were about to step into. We went through relational trials, legal trials, relational trials….did I mention relational trials? I loved our new world, and at the same time, I feared it, that it would take me out before our adventure had even had a chance to take root. Never in my life had I undergone what I will call such a severe pruning. The kind of pruning where you look at the bush you just hacked and wonder if it can survive with so few leaves left.
We landed back in the States like people jumping off a train—still rolling, rolling, rolling. You stop a second to ask yourself if you can get up or if you need to wait for the ambulance. You find that, yes, you can get up, and you start doing normal things. I painted the house for two months straight. I was very, very happy to just paint the house, if you know what I mean.
We came back to Lima, not sure how we would be there. We got settled in, and things felt pretty good. It felt pretty normal. Bill and I both started pressing in to the Lord, finding that place with Him that is the bedrock of everything that we build—just a place of communion. I started praying in the Spirit a lot. I started seeing branches sprouting on my little bush of a life, and before I knew it, I felt good. Really good.
Severe pruning over. Thank God it is over!!
But I will tell you, that as scary as it was for me, as deeply pained as I felt, I can tell you that the branches that are growing back are thicker and healthier than I have ever seen on my little bush. When all my precious leaves were taken from me, and I sat barren for what seemed like such an unbearable time, wondering if I would ever be the same again, something was happening deep inside of me. In the middle of excruciating pain, we can quote the passages of hope, but we don’t usually feel them. It takes such a long time, but one day, it is there. It is over, and we are not the same. We are better. We weren’t sure we would even survive, but there it is. Buds are everywhere. EVERYWHERE!!! THANK GOD, THANK GOD!!! EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!
I am so thankful to my God the Gardener, who watered my little bush faithfully, put some manure down in the right season, and waited patiently for his work to be seen.