New Assignment

Like a new school year
with its anticipations—Who will be my teacher,
who will be in my class, who will be my friends?—
so has been my life, Lord,
with more changing roles than I ever imagined.

My name as wife, then mom
took getting used to.
Then it became comfortable . . . and I liked it.
The day my youngest went to school
hard silence greeted me as I stepped inside our front door.
How did home become lonely, empty . . . ?
I dropped to my knees and asked,
O Lord, what do You have for me next?

Becoming a “mom of teens” another role,
for my littles were now bigs
more independent as we let out the kite string
and I was needed less and less.
Then they were gone.

Who was I without them?
For twenty-eight years I’d been their director
orchestrating each beginning act
encouraging each one’s talent, strengths
comforting after every fall
preparing each for their solo debut.

My empty nest assignments
took years of time to feel a new rhythm,
my new place in God’s greater dance.

Now I’m one of the older ones,
looked to as a repository of wisdom, advice
and this too feels odd, disorienting.
How did this happen?
How did we, best friend and I, get here?

You, O Lord, rule the seasons of earth;
planting and harvest, summer and winter, shall not end,[1]
so You rule the seasons of my life.

As I fly higher
snuggle nearer to Your heart,
I know greater peace,
much more rest in Your good provision
for every season
for every new assignment.

All that I need You will always provide.
Always enough for each day
because it is Your nature to give abundantly
to Your children who ask.

With You I smile at the future,
anticipate the journey,
because You are with me,
my Emmanuel, my Friend.


Another dream of mine, this one vivid and oh so real as I awoke one February morning in the winter of 2017: I walked downstairs to my kitchen to get my coffee, and as I rounded the corner into the dining room, I was startled to see small white discs all over the floor. Scanning the room, I saw them sprinkled on the kitchen floor too.

I was curious, puzzled, intrigued. So I bent over to pick up one of the dime-sized rounds. And then because I thought of what it might be, I tasted it with my tongue. It was sweet and I knew. It was manna!

At that moment I woke up.

I threw on my fleece and hurried downstairs for my coffee and my Bible. I looked up the verse and I was right; manna was white, had a sweet taste, and was provided daily every morning.

We had just begun our voyage to a new horizon—transition from forty years of ministry to new yet unknown ministry. Already the water was choppier than expected, but in His great kindness God reminded me and us that He was not only with us but would daily give us bread. Sustenance for every unknown step ahead.

Though the memory of that dream has faded, the confidence in God’s fatherly care of us has not wavered.

No matter what uncomfortable unknown assignment you are facing, you can know that God will be with you and will care for your needs every single day.

It’s who He is. He cannot stop loving, caring for you, and providing for you.

[1] Genesis 8:22

More from the Blog

8 thoughts on “New Assignment”

  1. It is not by bread alone that we are fed but, by His very Word. And Jesus is the Word and the word was made flesh. Manna was the bread or sustenance for the is Israelites in the wilderness. They did not realize it was not only for physical but spiritual nourishment as well. I love the dream you had of “manna”, symbolic of God’s providing for you at this time in your life.

  2. Perfect timing for this post! God is so good. I have just become an empty nester after 22 years of having my two children at home and now both are away in college. I’m trying to find what is next for me and having some anxiety now and then. What a beautiful thing God did giving you that dream, and now you have shared that with us. I enjoy your writings very much. Thank you, Barbara!

  3. Thanks for the reminder that like the manna, His mercies are new every morning, Great is His faithfulness! Something I claim every morning, how I need them!

  4. This is just the reminder I needed today! God moved us here to VA for a reason that He has not yet made known to us. It’s a challenge not knowing but I’m so glad He is faithful!

    1. Thank you Barbara for sharing this. You are such a blessing. This is what I needed to hear! I am in this season also as a empty nester and my husband and I have to move to a new place, an unfamiliar area that we do not really know, maybe even far from family and friends. A new assignment awaits me. Honestly I am nervous, yet I am reminded daily that God is faithful. He will never leave us nor forsake us. God will prepare the path that we will travel. He knows what is best. No matter where we go He is right there with us and that brings me comfort that everything will be ok. Thank you Lord.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top