Blooming in Exile

Today was my last MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) Bible Study. Becky Rutland has been an amazing leader who has unfolded God’s word in amazing ways over the past year.

Today, she had us go through an exercise that involved examining our fears. She had us write down the things we are currently fearful about: relationships, money, children, life situations, etc. Then she told us to ask ourselves “What lie has the enemy, Satan, spoken to you about this fear? After we identified the lie, we wrote the truth, God’s Truth, about the situation.

MY FEAR: I’m afraid that Daniel won’t be home for months or even years.

Of course it seems natural that any mother would fear time away from her son. But, I knew deep down that there was more to it than that. I was really struggling with the lie behind this fear. And then, I realized that what I’m really afraid of, is that life will be on hold, that the goodness that lies ahead will not come into my life until Daniel is finally home.

Then God did something really wonderful. He reminded me of a scripture that I heard years ago.

Jeremiah 29:4-7

“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

THE TRUTH: God can help me bloom and prosper, even while I’m living in exhile.

Since January, God has been doing something so amazing and definitely supernatural in me. He has given me a peace in the midst of my waiting. I desperately want my son home, but I’m not hopeless, in despair and struggling. He’s been showing me that that He’s given me a life and it’s right in front of me, right now with an amazing husband, the three beautiful kids I have at home and with one extraordinary little boy on the other side of the world.

Little by little, I’m learning to be content in my current situation. But, I think God is calling me, and all of us to something greater than just contentment. I think He wants us to prosper and thrive, even in the hard times.

So whatever type of exhile you’re living in, whether it’s unemployment, the death of a loved one, the unfaithfulness of a spouse, the ridicule or cruelty of your peers, relational conflict, the uncertainty of illness, parenting a wayward child, the reality of unfulfilled dreams, struggling through addiction, or waiting for your child to come home from the Congo, I think God is calling us to PROSPER, to wait well, to live well and to plant gardens in our city and watch them BLOOM.

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