The History of My Swing is HIStory
The history of my swing began long before I was born. My loving Father knew exactly what I would need to walk the path He had planned for me, so as a young child HE began to draw me to Himself. My earliest memories of tears are connected to the place that became a refuge…my swing. Of course, there was no way I could understand as a child the precious thread that was being woven in my life, but now as I look back, I see at least part of HIS plan for me. The memories I have collected for 70+ years, memories from every place I have lived in this world…they all have one common centerpiece…my swing! As you read the history of my swing, this fact will soon become evident ... this story is HIStory!
Childhood on the ranch – My swing was the place I ran when I was upset by family tensions. From there I would talk to Jesus and make up love songs to Him. There, I first learned to trust my Father, even when I felt disappointed that He didn’t answer all my prayers the way I wanted. I kept running to my swing, drawn by what I felt from My Father.
Young person in high school – I no longer had a physical wooden swing with ropes, but I still ran often to my place of reading the Word and learning to trust, even when those around me were not walking the same path. My Father kept drawing me…
Bible School and University student – The prayer chapel or my dorm room bed became my swing. After experiencing much bigger disappointments than those of my childhood, the times in my swing were spent getting to know God, not just knowing about Him! These years were the most precious, discovering the difference between relationship of rules vs relationship of love. This was a pivotal point that set my life on a course that has never stopped…and it came from the swing where My Father drew me.
Early marriage – To learn how to have time alone in my swing when there were now two people living in one house, that was my new challenge! But I soon learned that swinging with Jesus can sometimes be enjoyed from a bench swing! Both kinds of relationship are important, alone and together…and My Father kept drawing me to both!
Young mommy years – Even though we were pastoring during this period, my priority was to spend time with my preschoolers, Amy and Jon. However, I could not ignore the tug in my heart to be alone with My Father, so I would sneak to my swing early in the morning before anyone woke up. The kids usually found me there on the floor by the couch with my Bible open…listening to My Father’s heart. I pray the kids will remember me that way, even after I am drawn to My Father’s big swing in heaven!
Africa years – My Father knew I needed much more experience in trusting Him, so there were many challenges placed in my path to nudge me to my swing. The uncountable experiences of God’s protection, plus the privilege of seeing His love transform hundreds of lives has changed my faith forever. I love the lessons of My Father whispered to me in the African swing.
India years – Living in a nation of idol worship challenged me to my core. Every morning I had to run quickly to my swing which was usually located on a path of prayer around my neighborhood. It was there My Father personally taught me about the power of carrying HIS presence, and those gems have marked my life to this day.
Brussels years – Learning to pastor international believers on the European continent was stretching, especially since language was a barrier for me. Time in my quiet swing in the corner became my refuge and my strength. Even though these were difficult years that ended unexpectedly, my heart stayed steadfast because of the One who drew me daily to the swing of worship where I learned to love HIM more than anything in the world.
The in-between years – After Brussels, we spent several months at a counseling/renewal center for missionaries. During that time, my swing was hardly ever still. Through endless hours in the Word, my Mentor Father showed me Truth, step by step, and set me free from fears I had struggled with my whole life. As I wrote down my testimony of freedom, God began to develop a love for writing and gave me a dream that today is finally being fulfilled. It was out of heartache that GOD birthed the means to share what HE has taught me in my swing!
Caribbean years – As we traveled in seven different nations mentoring leaders, I had to make sure my swing went with me everywhere! Travel was not easy for me anymore, but My Father was faithful to teach me new truths in each place we landed. And in those many swings, He lovingly engrained security in my heart…security in HIM rather than in a place.
Moscow months – Even though we spent only three months filling in for another missionary, the time in Moscow was very intense. I LOVED every minute of teaching and discipling dozens of beautiful young ladies, but it meant even more time in my swing to learn the lessons that GOD wanted to share with them. It was a very precious season.
Moldova church plant – Our last full-time assignment overseas was a miracle in many ways…GOD grew a new church family in record time and gave us the energy needed to work with Him in the process! Of course, My Father knew exactly what my body and emotions needed for such a task, so He drew me to my swing even more often!
Now – GOD has lovingly blessed me with a dream come true…to live near our two children and their families. The way He woos me to His swing is even more precious now than ever in my life. I love being quiet and listening to His voice for as long as I want. I love having time for my teenage granddaughters, and I love having time to finally write gems from my swing times over the years. I look forward to sharing these treasures wherever My Father directs.
As I look back over this chronological description of my world-wide swings, I am in awe. The foundation of trust that was instilled in me throughout childhood, plus all the lessons that were added daily over the years, could never have been planned by anyone but God. Only He knew what I would face on each leg of my journey, and only HE knew how to prepare me for its many turns. My conclusion is this…
The history of my swing is truly not MY story…every page of my life is HIS story!
If you ever have difficulty seeing a purpose for what you are walking through…
Be encouraged…Your Father drew the blueprint for your life…
He alone knows what you will need for the next chapter…You can trust HIM…
Let your story be HIStory!