When I was 11, my family moved from the metropolis of Lexington, Ky to rural Henry County. Only an hour and half separates the two, but I assumed, at that point, that we officially lived in the country. Compared to Lexington, the little town with no stop lights was the country. However it wasn’t until my husband and I recently moved to Bagdad, Ky (yes, you read that right) that I truly saw what living in the country looked like.
Immediately, my favorite part of living in Bagdad was the picturesque scenery, the rolling farm lands. It amazed me that God made something that beautiful and let me live in the midst of it. Around that time, I was in a season of struggle at my job. I can’t describe the peace that seemed to rush over me towards the end of my 45 minute commute. The calm that fell I as made the final turn away from the hubbub of work and the big city (now Louisville) and down the road to Bagdad. It quieted my heart in a way.
The view from my backyard!
We have the privilege of living on the corner of a large farm, and they grew corn this year. It was such an experience to see the entire process. The ground being prepared, crops being planted, stalks shooting up, and corn appearing. I felt somewhat invested in the process, even though I would be the last person those farmers would want near their crops!
But this fall, I found myself feeling somewhat sad as I watched the corn stalks turn brown, and yet a different twinge of sadness come over me as the mighty combines appeared to destroy the spring’s hard work. As much as I LOVE fall, it was a sign that the seasons were changing and the ground would soon be barren and cold. It made this sweat-hating girl a little bit excited for spring and summer to come back around. Something about visually seeing hard work grow into something that was created to sustain us was encouraging. And the fall that I wait for with anticipation each year seemed to bring a sense of stagnancy.
Around the same time, I was struggling with some some relational and family stuff, the kind that seem bigger in my own head than they actually are. And I actually had this thought: “I love my husband more than life itself, but some parts of my life were so much easier when it was just me.” I found myself longing for pieces of a previous life, not wanting to deal with the life right in front of me.
But then God reminded me of the corn. And just like the corn, seasons of my life are planted and they grow, but they are also harvested. There was a season where I didn’t have to directly account for anyone but myself, and in some ways, that was a much more care free time. If you are in that stage of life, please don’t wish it away. There are so many blessings and lessons to be found there, and you can miss them by always looking for another stage in life to commence.
Then God took the harvest of those single years, and used the struggles and the lessons to fertilize the ground that grew my season as a wife and stepmom and so much more. Looking back, I never could have made the jump into the family I love now without first living through the years before. God had to prune me into the person that was ready for it. Even though the pruning wasn’t always pleasant, and some days I’m not sure He did enough of it!
The farmers I know alternate crops every so many years, as it isn’t healthy for the soil to plant corn year, after year, after year. The soil becomes deprived of certain nutrients and eventually becomes no good for growing anything. They alternate, corn and soybeans, or whatever their well thought out plan may include.
So when I feel frustrated with my current growing pains, I need to remember that my Master Farmer has a plan, and He knows what needs to grow in the soil of my life, and the perfect length of time that it needs to grow as not to have a negative effect. He also knows when something new needs to be planted, something to introduce nutrients and sustain growth.
He took my season of singleness and gave me an instant family, which is an amazing blessing of unconditional love and partnership. And while I sometimes miss the days when it was easier to be a little more selfish, I can recognize that He is doing something in me now to produce different fruit in a different season. And the things that hurt a little bit now, are just pruning for the next season. A season that only my Master Farmer has the ability to plan out for me.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens….a time to plant and a time to uproot.”