Sing to the Lord a New Song for He has done marvelous things… Psalm 96:1
This verse has spoken to me several times throughout the years. As my life has taken unexpected twists and turns, I have found myself needing to sing a new song to God as I adjust.
I was born in Denver, the youngest of 5 siblings; one of which is my twin. We have a strong Dutch heritage and are rooted in the Christian Reformed Church. We went to church twice on Sunday and again on Wednesday; Thursday was choir practice. Mom played the organ and Dad, an elder and Sunday School teacher. Christian School rounded out our solid upbringing. I earned a degree in my first semester at Calvin College. My dad called it my M.R.S degree.
I married Mike when I was 20, and became a young executive at Public Service Company. All seemed to be going the way it was supposed to.
Until. Mike confirmed by deepest fear. He wanted to fulfill his dream to be a Missionary Pilot. I didn’t take him seriously. I thought he would get over it. But no. His dream ran deep.
We were called by the Christian Reformed Church to go to Nigeria, where Mike would be a Missionary Pilot; my job was to be his wife. This was the first time I was asked to “Sing to the Lord a New Song”. I put away my suits, my brief case, and my high heal shoes, and away we went.
We thrived. We both stayed busy; there was so much to do. So many stories. Our skin was a different color than everyone else, but there was never discrimination. I got to assist with the birth of a Nigerian baby. A little girl. Her mother really just wanted boys. I was saddened with the idea this little girl had one strike against her – just for being born a girl. And so goes the position of women in a male dominated third world country.
Two years into our term, Mike’s plane went down, and God took him home; we buried him there. By the time I got home to the States, my mother had passed too.
It was time, once again, to Sing to the Lord a New Song.
I attended Colorado State University as, what we called ourselves, chronologically disadvantaged…okay, older. I earned my degree in Landscape Architecture and quickly found my first job as a Land Planner in Urban Denver. I married a man who could play the piano like I have never heard. Jeff invited us to help launch a new church in Fort Collins, Heart of the Rockies Christian Church. And all seemed to be going the way it was supposed to.
I wanted to be a mom, but I was told it may never happen; I feared it may not. But miracles happen, and we had a son when my friends had teenagers. Now he’s a teenager and my friends are grand-parents.
Our marriage wasn’t healthy though. It wasn’t whole; it wasn’t true. “I don’t love you anymore,” were words that were spoken. We parted.
Sing to the Lord a New Song.
“Mom. I don’t know my dad very well. And I want to. I will live with him for High School. I will see you on the weekends.”
Sing to the Lord a New Song.
I moved to Greeley, and went to work for an Agricultural Consulting Firm. A cultural transition for this City Slicker every bit as foreign as going to Nigeria. I decided an industry that feeds the world, is an industry worth working for. Besides the chewing tobacco and cowboy boots (I never quite got the hang of those) I quickly learned to respect this hearty, healthy way of life. For my work, I learned it seems like there are more regulators regulating our farmers than there are farmers. There are regulators regulating our regulators who regulate farmers. Our farmers just want to work the way they always have for generations. I find my days are filled with conversations with regulators to prove “What you are asking for just doesn’t make sense.”
Today, my song is Mom to a bright, ambitious teenager, Senior Land Planner at AGProfessionals, Board Member of SKYhill, maker of banners. I love my church family. Thank you.
The season of Epiphany reminds us to look for the places God reveals God’s self in the world. When we share our stories, we see how God is at work in and through us. Each week, we’ve seen God revealed through our storytellers.