Blossom Where You Are!
Updated: Jul 14, 2019
Recently we were considering enrolling our 2.5-year-old daughter in a school which offered a toddler program. We were struggling to find a place that offered all the things we were looking for: safety, age-appropriate learning, and a curriculum that also focused on spiritual formation. This stressful process reopened an old feeling; one we had when we first moved to Miami: “We don’t want to raise children in Miami”.
At one time we were strangers in a foreign land.
No matter the circumstances, many first generations of Hispanics that leave their countries for one reason or another - war, famine, political unrest, natural disasters, or simply for better opportunities - oftentimes feel strange and lonely in this new country. For us, it wasn’t any different. Although almost 10 years ago, we moved from Puerto Rico to Miami under “good” circumstances, we nevertheless felt the same feeling of not belonging that lead to a big case of homesickness. Not having close relatives nor many friends in the area didn’t help much either.
However, after almost a year, we finally started to plug-in. We started meeting with a local Navigators’ couple from Cuba (who discipled and trained us), and we joined a local church, which allowed us to make friends along the way. But when we learned we were expecting a little one, a thought that echoed the same sentiment of that first year in Miami came up: “we don’t want to raise children in Miami”. We even got some validation when talking to friends (some who were raised here and were already parents) because we weren’t the only ones who thought Miami is a hard place to raise godly children. To make things harder, we lost our first pregnancy and another one after that, making us feel even lonelier. Now we really wanted out of Miami. We didn’t plan on getting settled in Miami, to begin with. And that’s how our testimony of how God showed tremendous favor upon us, by opening doors and leading us here, turned into bitterness and complaining.
For years we lived like that, just working, traveling whenever we could, all while being ghosts in our local church and neighborhood. This behavior worsened our dislike of Miami as time went by and we were still unsatisfied, dreaming of a way out. Until one day, God revealed to us that it was our discontentment that prevented us from making meaningful relationships and from fulfilling God’s purposes for our lives.
Discontentment = Mistrust
Did you know we can pass on discontentment to our children, robbing them of friendships and learning experiences crucial for their development? What’s worse is that discontentment reflects and breeds mistrust of God. It’s really saying, “my plans are better than yours, God.” Instead, we should heed the psalmist’s advice: “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps. 37:3-4
Blossom where God plants you!
Back to our opening story, as we walked into the lobby of the school we were touring I saw this big sign that read “Blossom where you are”. It really spoke to us at a time when we were, again, looking for a way out of Miami. Yet, God has called us to blossom where we are. Only He knows when or if the time is right to be planted somewhere else.
Ask yourself: Am I discontent with my current situation? In what ways are my kids being affected by my dissatisfaction?
Principle: Trust that the Lord has a plan for you and your family wherever you are in life, and blossom where you are!