Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Change Changed Me

Change is hard.  Much of my time and energy is spent trying to maintain the status quo.  Even if the status quo is less than ideal, or downright miserable, it seems better than the unknown. 

There is change we choose; getting married, leaving a job, or moving.  Then there is change that happens to us; health issues, money problems, losing a loved one or losing a job.

2014 has been a year of dramatic change for me.  Some we chose and some we did not chose.  I did not choose to lose my mom to cancer, or have a big tumor removed.  I did choose to move and leave a lot of things that have been a steady comfort to me.

Whether we choose change or change chooses up, there is grief and hardship in change.  I think, especially as a woman, I interpret change as negative and it causes stress.  And in those times, like this year for me, when wave after wave of change continually sweeps through your life, it is easy to become numb. Or paralyzed by fear.

The thing I think I don't like about change is the unknown.  There is fear in not knowing what will come?  Where will we live?  Will we make new connections?  How will we go on without mom?  What is it's cancer?  How will I pay my medical bills?  Those are the kind of questions we all face when the waves of change come rolling in.

Fear is definitely a factor in my desire to resist change, but I think the biggest thing is Control.  I want to be in control of what is going on in my life.  But I can't control everything.  Nor should I.  Control and fear do not make things better but actually make me a prisoner.  Only trusting God for the future and embracing what is to come brings freedom.

The thing about change as I look back at this year, is that change has changed me. Could God be using all this change to make me trust Him more?

It is hard to fear things when I have seen some of my biggest fears. 

I sat by a bed when my mom died. And God was there.

I went to the funeral.  And God was there.

We left a ministry we thought we would stay with forever.  We did not have a plan for the future. And God is here.

We left a community we loved.  We had friends, connections and felt secure.  And God is here.

I had a tumor and surgery.  I recovered.  It was not cancer.  But what if it was?  What do I have to fear?  God is here.

The change produced in me through change is surrender.  I surrender my desire for control and security.  I hold things loosely.  Change has taken away much fear.  What do I have to fear?  I trust Christ.  He has been there.  He will be there.  Whatever comes. 

Ten years ago we were on our way to my sister-in-laws for Thanksgiving.  We had our three little kids in the van and I was pregnant with Annie.  We got off the interstate and were driving through the unknown.  I had never been there.  And I was afraid.  I realized that over every hill was excitement and adventure for Mike but for me it was fear.  What is over the next hill?

On this year's Thanksgiving road trip when we went over the hills, I couldn't help but think God is over the next hill.  Whatever comes, God is already there.

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