Connie Gochenaur

It Gets Muddy Before We Bloom

seedsA little seed, in a packet, content to be with other seeds.  It is a comfortable, safe and happy place.  Once plucked by the farmer, it is planted in a muddy, dirty place.  And as it is watered, it begins to fall apart!  That is a story told by author and speaker, Lysa Terkeurst.  I love this analogy.   I thought, as I’m sure did many others, I am that seed.

 23.   A while back, my husband made a sudden, unforeseen career change due to the unexpected death of his older brother.  After being a CPA for 35 years,  he is farming now.  Yep, that’s right, he’s a farmer — the tractor, the combine, even the suspenders!   The ground he farms is an hour from our home and he commutes now so that our youngest daughter can finish her high school years with her friends, school, and youth group, but eventually it’ll mean a move for us….. back to our roots… back to the place I grew up… back to my hometown.  Not sure how I feel about that.  Some days I think it’ll be okay,  and some days it scares me to death.  But I know in my heart it is the right thing for Jon.  I’m trusting God:  If it is the right thing for him,  it’ll be the right thing for me.

“Number 23” is an excerpt from a list of random things about me — a fun little list that circulated around facebook several years ago.  When I wrote that list, I had just been plucked from the “seed packet”.  Even at that point, knowing change was going to take place, I had no idea of what lie ahead.

The ground was about to get mucky.

When the summer of our transition to the farm arrived, I was already dizzy from a high school graduation and open house party.  Our second daughter was also graduating from nursing school and moving 1000 miles away.  Daughter number three was moving across the country to follow her dream.  And finally, our oldest daughter and her family were moving into a new home as well — thankfully that was a local move.   I was preparing our house for market and had realtors with clients in and out of my house several times during the week.  So much change.  It had become the summer of moves.  The activity had been constant for months.

So on that September day, there had been no time to prepare for the quiet that enveloped me, but the minute the car door slammed and we pulled away from that college dorm, leaving our youngest, daughter number four, on the campus, I felt it.  It covered me.

I thought I knew what was coming.  I thought I was prepared.  But now that the rush of activity was over, I had no home, no children, no community, no job, no church and no friends (it was quite the pity party).  I spent the week on the couch.  The self-pity actually took me by surprise.  Long story short, we had moved into a rental house far away from “the seed packet”.

I didn’t think all those empty nest stories would apply to me.  After all, we had spaced our girls out; there had been children in our home for 32 years!  Wasn’t it time for “us”?  A time we had looked forward to — not dreaded.  However, pulling out of that university drive felt like a creaky door, slowing closing on my past and all that I knew.  There was nothing waiting for me at the end of this road to “home”.

“But I know in my heart it is the right thing for Jon.  

I’m trusting God: If it is the right thing for him…  

It‘ll be the right thing for me. “

 

It has now been 2 years since that long drive home.  It has been muddy.  And there were moments when I felt like I was falling apart.  Once or twice, I regretfully remember, walking through the house screaming, “I WANT MY LIFE BACK”.  I didn’t have a plan.  I didn’t know my purpose.  I kept asking God, “what now?”

I am slowly finding my way as a farmer’s wife, learning to be content when my husband works 16 hour days six days a week.   I am making new friends that challenge my thinking.  I have become involved in some work that is teaching and stretching me as a leader and mentor.   I am not sure what God has planned, but I hope to blossom into something lovely — not turn into a bitter old weed.   I want to thrive — even if it means getting muddy along the way.  “He is “making this right for me”.  

The farmer has a plan for that little seed.  He knows the seed must come out of the packet, get planted in the dirt and fall apart in order to grow. God has a plan for me… and for you. He has planted me here in this little Amish community.  It is my choice whether I wallow in the mud and whither… or blossom.  Where are you planted?  Are you stuck in the mud?  Don’t give up, take heart and choose to keep growing…a lovely flower may be about to bloom.

 

First blooms from my own garden.


6 comments on “It Gets Muddy Before We Bloom

  1. Shelly
    August 8, 2013

    Hi Connie! Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your yes story. What a beautiful story it is. A story of God's call out of your comfortable place…stretching you into a place of greater faith and trust than was ever required before. And you said yes! I LOVED when you said, "But I know in my heart it is the right thing for Jon…. and I'm trusting God…. if it is the right thing for him… it'll be the right thing for me." A picture of surrender, a glimpse of loving God with everything within you, an act of loving obedience even when you didn't understand. Thank you, friend. You're right. He IS faithful. And His plans for YOU are greater than you can ever imagine. Love, Shelly (OBS Leader)

    Like

  2. Barb
    August 8, 2013

    Hi Connie,Wow did we just go through a similar season or what?? I am sitting with big tears running down my cheeks! My whole life changed and I heard Him calling me to do what seemed so stupid and strange to those around me. But I said yes. My life was uprooted to a nearby rural community where God could pour healing and restoration to my soul. Obedience walks hand in hand with trusting in God. Glad to be walking this faith journey with you.

    Like

  3. Ingrid Lochamire
    November 14, 2013

    In reading back through your blog posts, I discovered one I had missed. This is beautiful, Connie, and so true for many of us. I have seen you flourish, and I’m honored to call you my friend.

    Like

    • Connie
      November 14, 2013

      Ingrid, you have been such an encourager. You are one of those new friends who is challenging me. Thank you for inspiring me to write.

      Like

  4. Marie Koontz
    November 17, 2013

    Connie, as I said recently, I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m making my way back through the previous posts. When I heard that you were moving, I realized I had missed the chance of getting to know you while you were here. Reading your blog lets me know you a little bit, albeit just in black and white. This post resonated with me, as I thought about the times God has moved me out of my comfort zone, usually kicking and screaming! Your words are so refreshingly honest in a world where most of the time we try to hide and only show our smiley face side. Thank you for sharing both sides, the good bad the bad, the happy and the sad.

    Like

    • Connie
      November 17, 2013

      Marie, Thank you for reading my posts and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate the feedback. Transparency has never come easy for me, but I am trying to be honest when I write. What would be the point if I was not? My blog is just in its infancy. I hope you come back to continue reading my story.

      Like

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This entry was posted on October 8, 2013 by in All Posts, Faith, Family, Farming, Life Changes and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Hebrews 10:35-36

Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have a need of perseverance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. You will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
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