I will turn 63 this year, and it’s not lost on me that this season of life is often one of winding down rather than ramping up. I’ve raised my children and am a grandmother; my husband will soon retire. What’s next? I’m going on a church plant, and I’m excited to share what I have been learning.
God’s plan can’t be thwarted, but his timing may be different from mine. My husband, Tom, and I were part of a church plant when we came to this area from State College in 1982. We finished our engagement and started our marriage believing that Tom would help pastor that church as it grew. God had a different plan, and sadly, that church dissolved in less than a year. Thankfully, God led us to Covenant Fellowship, and it was a great place to raise a family, grow spiritually, and serve the Lord. Even so, I sometimes wondered about our dream of church planting and Tom’s perceived call to ministry.
God is faithful to lead. We considered being part of various church plants over the years but didn’t sense the Lord leading us to go, until now. When we were asked by Nick Kidwell to consider being part of the Malvern church plant, we were surprised by how quickly we felt ready to say yes. As we prayed separately, our enthusiasm grew. We were each convinced God was leading us. My faith and conviction were strengthened because Tom and I were of one mind that God was calling us to go.
God’s timing is perfect. After committing to be part of this church plant, I started to realize that our previous desire for church planting wasn’t wrong or a missed opportunity. It was something that God had put there, but the timing was different than we thought. I’m grateful that in this season of life, I am free to serve my new church in ways I wouldn’t have been when raising my children.
God will supply what I lack. While I am encouraged by the opportunity to be part of a church plant, I have a greater awareness of my need for the Lord, especially now that health and vigor are less sure than they were in my youth. As I have prayed about these concerns, God has reminded me of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” I am reassured that the Lord will use me, despite my age and weakness. He has been faithful to me over the years and will continue to be so.
My faith in God has been strengthened as I have gone through this process of deciding what to do. I am so grateful that in His timing, God has brought back to life this dream of church planting, and I can’t wait to see the wonders He will do!