A couple of weeks ago the calendar signified that change was once again on it’s way as it clocked over from the season of Winter to that of Spring. On the whole I love Spring, apart from the onset of the dreaded hay fever. Our region has the most amazing blissful weather in this time – lovely mild sunny days – that signals for the trees that have been in their dormant stage for the winter months to start to burst into colour and floral decoration.
Signs of Spring in Australia include yellow wattle flowers covering the native trees, bright red bottle brush flowers creating a canopy to walk beneath and magpies swooping passers by to protect their nests. The signs are many and obvious that changes are afoot if you are willing to observe them around the place. It happens almost immediately – one day it’s gloomy and Winter, the next it’s Spring!
I am facing a change, but one that is still a fair way off.
Just over a week ago The Salvation Army announced that my husband and I are under, what we call, Farewell Orders. That means that effective from January 2021 we will be leaving the Sunraysia region and taking up new appointments in Adelaide. David will be working at head office for the South Australia/Northern Territory region. I will be a corps officer (minister) at Ingle Farm Salvation Army church.
Each time I receive Farewell Orders it is a bittersweet experience. I love the idea of a new adventure, but I hate the fact that it also means I need to say goodbye to people and places that I have grown to love.
This time is no different. I have enjoyed my time ministering to the Mildura and Red Cliffs Salvation Army churches. It has not been without challenges, but that is true of every appointment I have had. Difficult times present opportunities to learn and grow.
I have been so blessed in many areas with the journeys I have been granted permission to share as people take steps closer to Jesus in their relationship with Him. I have been a part of beginnings – activities and relationships, and some endings also. In everything I have very much felt this is where God wants me to be serving Him for this moment.
As this season ends here, a new one is preparing to begin. This brings with it some fear and anxiety about facing the unknown combined with excitement about a new beginning with all the promise and possibilities it holds.
While I know this change is happening, it is still actually 3 months away and so I need to remain focussed on finishing well before I cast my mind wholeheartedly to the new. It is a challenge, but necessary. Otherwise it is like being consumed with the start of Summer when Spring has only just begun!
Over the years I have learned that trying to rush a ministry season before it is due to begin is wasted energy. God’s timing is perfect, as evidenced by all that happens in nature. When the time is right, the right things occur, and with that right time, things more amazing than we ever imagined can occur.
A lovely verse in the Bible that helps me to remember this is found in Psalm chapter 1 verse 3 “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” When I am ready to embrace the changes that accompany the appropriate season, the fruit comes.
So while I recognise the horizon holds a new view, I will keep my eyes on the tasks at hand, for I need this season to finish completely before the next begins.