Revisiting the Lily Field

Most of you know me the way I am now—you’ve watched me teach songs in the Children’s Institutes, you’ve spent a month (or more) with me at VOICE

But none of that was part of my plan. I had life all figured out—until my parents decided to start home education my junior year of high school. When the rest of my friends went off to college, I found myself going to Taiwan for a “short-term missions trip” with my family. No one ever told me it would last 13 years.

For this post, I want to share something I wrote a couple years after high school. I didn’t know what the future held, but I can tell you now that knowing the One who holds your future makes all the difference.

We huddled together on the curb, sheltered from the drizzle by a few umbrellas. I looked back and forth between the long graceful calla lilies just peeking over the edge of plastic buckets and the wire-fenced field six to twelve inches deep with water where I could pick my own. I pulled on rubber boots and overalls, then sloshed down the aisles, choosing the tall ones, just beginning to show their white petals, but not yet in bloom. My fingers followed the stem to its base beneath the water and carefully tugged upward until the prize came free into my hands. Three elegant hand-picked lilies now bloom in plastic juice bottles in our dining room. They remind me of something I recently read in My Utmost For His Highest:

“‘Consider the lilies of the field’—they grow where they are put. Many of us refuse to grow where we are put, consequently we take root nowhere. Jesus says that if we obey the life God has given us, He will look after all the other things.”(Oswald Chambers) 

For the past couple years, I have been praying that God would reveal His purpose for my life. Why did He take me out of school? Why aren’t I in college? Why did He move me to Taiwan? Will people look down on me, because I don’t have a “proper education”? Will I ever get a “real job”? What in the world am I doing here?

As I looked at my lilies, I realized my faithlessness. If centuries of lilies have blossomed under the kind hand of our Creator, how much more my Father cares for me! Through the years, He has given me the same answer to my questions, “Seek ye first My kingdom…and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) So I am the Lord’s lily, and He wants me to grow and blossom for His glory no matter where He chooses to place me.


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About Karen Kallberg

Karen helped found the VOICE conference back in 1999 and has served on staff ever since, her primary role now being conference advisor and internship instructor. She and her husband Luke live in Saint Louis with their three children. When she's not brainstorming ways to improve the conference, she enjoys exploring the city, trying local restaurants, singing with her family, reading books by Tim Keller, and spending quality time with family and friends.

2 thoughts on “Revisiting the Lily Field

  1. Thank you Karen for the sharing… For the longest time, I almost forgot to remind myself one genuine love of what I received from our heavenly Father. I am so used to what I have been watched over by Him and sometimes took it for granted. It is great to see this old photo from the time I first met God. We had so much fun together and so much love shared in God. As much I miss the old times, now I better seize the chances to turn back to him like a newborn child.

    Thank you, my old friend! I wish we could meet with each other one day and share the life we’ve been through over the years…

    Your friend… Phoebe Y.

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