The following fall I returned to Florida to spend the winter and to see if the Lord did have a plan for me there or if I was just caught up in the moment when I bought the Park Model.
I prayed and tried to get involved with the activities at the Bible Institute and the RV Park, but nothing felt right. Then at the end of February an old friend, Doug Bagg, came to Word of Life in Florida. He had just lost his wife to cancer and came to the park to be near friends. One day he asked me if I could take some time to tell him about grief as he was really having a hard time coping with his grief. We went to coffee and a friendship began to develop between us. Then came the choices again, stay with the familiar, return to my home in Oklahoma or risk a new life again.
After much prayer and Bible study the Lord made it clear that my choice was to be the later, risk a new life again. God's plan was for me to marry Doug Bagg and together start a new ministry teaching people in the church what grief is all about.
Journey in Grief Care" is being used in churches. We have yet to see all God will do with this ministry. We are keeping our focus to the future and asking God to bring Glory to Himself through this ministry.
I feel like Naomi and Ruth now...I am at home doing what God wants of me.
If Naomi had not had the faith to put one foot in front of the other in her journey back to Bethlehem she would have never known the blessing God had in store for her. And the same with Ruth, if she had not been willing to step out and risk starting a new life somewhere else she too would have missed God's blessing for her. I wonder what kind of a blessing, if any, Orpah had with her choice to remain with the familiar. The Bible never tells us what happened to her.
Many times all we can base our choices on are God's promises to us as widows and our faith to follow Him in obedience. It is so true that obedience to the Lord brings blessing, even at the cost of leaving the familiar and struggling forward to an unknown future. It's worth the cost to make the change. I know because I have been on that journey of choices---remain with the familiar, return to my roots, or risk an entirely new future--- five times over the past 30 years.
Copyright 2015 Joan Wyrtzen Bagg. Used by permission.