From the Cove...
From the Cove…
Several years ago, I tried to talk my husband into packing up and moving South. At the time, my parents lived in northern Alabama, and we would usually make a trip down to see them during Thanksgiving week. We were captivated by the weather they had at that time of year, and it was always disappointing when we got back to the Ohio climate. Of course, there were lots of obstacles at the time…things like children, jobs, friends, and property, all of which were in Ohio. So we talked about putting it off until we were closer to retiring. The timing just wasn’t quite right.
During the following years, there were many changes in our lives. Our children were married and settled around here, we had grandchildren we didn’t
want to leave, I had a successful career, Steve went into the ministry, and my parents moved back to Ohio to be closer to their own children. In the discussions we had about moving to a warmer region, there were more reasons to stay than to go. Again, we talked about waiting to look for that southern home until a later time, possibly at retirement. The timing wasn’t quite right.
Over the years of serving as associate pastor at Bethel UMC, there were times when we wondered if it was time to request an appointment to a new congregation, where Steve would be the lead pastor. We would talk about it, but it seemed like we needed to stay where we were. We were comfortable in our home, settled in our professions, within driving distance of the children and Steve’s widowed mother, and very close to my parents, who needed more and more help. When we thought about changing churches, we realized we needed to stay in a location very close to where we were. We decided that we should probably wait until our circumstances changed. The timing wasn’t quite right.
At the end of 2017, Steve was considering taking an early retirement. We saw many couples who looked forward to their retirement, and then, shortly afterward, one or both of them became ill or, in some cases, even passed away. Our grandchildren were growing up way too fast, and, being in full-time ministry, we had to miss many of their school and sports events. Even though the prospect of retirement looked very appealing at that time, we chose to wait. The timing wasn’t quite right.
Instead of retiring, Steve opted to request an appointment to another church. Originally, he put in a stipulation that the church would have to be within a short drive to the nursing home in Ripley, Ohio, where my father resided after my mother’s death early in the year. When the District Superintendent failed to come up with a church within that distance, we began to question our decision. It seemed like the plans we made never seemed to work out. Then my father passed away, and that restriction was lifted. Shortly after that, we were asked to interview with the Maineville church, and we have been extremely happy here for the last five years. Evidently, the timing was right.
Now, we are looking at another phase of our lives. As the years have gone by, our ideas have changed. We no longer think about moving south (except on really cold days) and find that we are very happy in our home in New Richmond. Looking back, we realize how much we would have missed if we had followed through on our ideas at various times. Each time we thought we knew what we wanted, it seemed there was something to change our mind. I really believe that no matter what plans we make in our heads, it is God’s plan that wins out in the end. And His plan is always best!
“Many are the plans in a man's heart,
but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”