It was to be my last Core Team meeting and I had mixed emotions. I love every one of the ladies on the team. I have had the privilege to work with these amazing women for several years organizing Women of Purpose events. I have enjoyed the personal investment and I believe in their abilities and commitment to the purpose of our ministry. However, God said it was time for me to transition and to move with my husband to NC, near our children and grandchildren, and to remain open to new doors He has planned for us in the future.
We arrived at the hotel, set up the meeting room with gift bags, theme folders packed with information, and set out lots of snacks. Our Friday night agenda was my responsibility which included sharing a final devotional word for these ladies from my heart in obedience to what God told me to say. My opening verse was from the story of Hagar where she gains insight about God that came to light as a result of her painful experience in the desert. “You are the God who sees me. Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” Genesis 16:13 (NLT)
I expressed my heart-felt desire that all of us would know that God sees us in every aspect of our life…our desperation, our rejection, our rebellion and yes, even in our future…just like He did for Hagar. How precious it was to proclaim that God cares about us more than we can imagine and that even when we get in trouble or off course, He sees us and reaches out to help us get back on track because He has great things prepared for our future.
The next day, the future director of Women of Purpose, Liz DeFrain, was in charge. She opted to use her “devotional” time as a time to bless me. Each Core Team member brought a gift, a card and an explanation of why they chose that particular gift for me. The gifts were delightful but the reasons for the gifts were absolutely heartwarming.
Now to get to the bicycle mug…I know you have been waiting for the explanation of this blog title. One gal on the team bought me a large mug with a bicycle on the front. She apologized immediately saying she knows I have a ton of mugs, especially ones from our Women of Purpose store. Yet, God would not allow her to get anything different. She even argued with God right before showing up at the hotel. Still God said, “Give her the mug!” After everyone gave their gifts, I shared an amazing story with the team about “bicycles.”
When we transitioned four years ago, leaving our church of 20 years, I found it hard to settle in to the rental house where we landed in Delaware. I had sold so much of our belongings in preparation to move and now found I was lacking decorations for this big rental home by the beach. God usually provides me with one object upon which to base my color scheme and theme for a room. I found a picture of a “Tuscany street with a bicycle” that fit perfectly on our large living room wall. As time passed, I was gifted with two metal bicycles for decorations to add to the theme of the room. Then someone was throwing away old metal bicycle rims, which I accepted, spray painted and added greenery to adorn the corner shelves of the living room. Somehow this bicycle theme has become a sweet reminder of God’s attention to detail and how well He knows what brings delight to my heart.
In this transition, my grandchildren have been speaking with glee of our future time together by enticing me to get my own bicycle so I can ride with them when we move there. One granddaughter just received a bicycle from us for her birthday with a basket on the front and a stand over the back wheel for carrying extra items. She has encouraged me to find one like hers and get it for my birthday before we move. How amazing that the Core Team member gave me a “mug with a bicycle” and then proceeded to point out the basket on the front of the bike, stating I should own a real bicycle just like it with a basket.
Only God knew my hesitation about the future. He used this simple mug with a bicycle to remind me that He knows all the details of my life and He is paying attention to what is important to me. He spoke through another person, to remind me that I do not have to be afraid of the future because He knows what is near and dear to my heart.
God’s messenger asked Hagar in Genesis 16:8, “Where have you come from, and where are you going?” Just as God knew the past and the future for Hagar, so God knows and sees the details of my life. He will be there ahead of me ready to provide whatever is important to me in my transition. He will be there for me and He will be there for you.
A bicycle mug message: He knows our past, He knows our future, and He cares about the details.