I’m a girl who does not like change.
I like the things in my life to remain the same, predictable. I like my coffee in the same mug at the same time every morning. I like the same thing for breakfast every day, and I wear the same ratty old sweater around the house because it’s comfy. And familiar.
These past two years have brought about so much change in my life. Some very, very good, most not. Relationships, careers, new babies (well, just one baby!). I thought I had been handling it well, until recently. I started to realize I wasn’t happy; I wished life was different. “If only _____ hadn’t of happened,” or “if only I could do both” replayed itself in my mind over and over again.
I was becoming bitter from the hurt my heart had experienced from so much turmoil. And I didn’t like who I was seeing in the mirror.
We have some raspberry bushes in our backyard alongside our house. A few years ago our neighbor’s house burnt down, with that side of our house sustaining extensive heat damage. Later that summer, when our siding was being replaced, the bushes were pushed down to make room for the worker to do his job. The branches were beaten up, battered, and bruised, growing in odd directions and trying so hard to bear fruit.
I’ve been like that. Beat up, battered, bruised, but still trying bravely to grow on despite the changes in my life. And yet, much like our bushes, I was holding on to so much dead weight I couldn’t flourish. I found myself tired and exhausted instead.
This spring, my husband and I ruthlessly tackled the raspberries. We cut away all the damaged branches and removed the dead ones. We even pruned healthy branches because they weren’t growing the way they should have been. The result was almost immediate – they are flourishing and I can’t wait to see them bursting with fresh berries this summer!
I’ve realized it is time to prune my own heart. To remove the things I’m holding onto that are no longer mine. To let go of the grief of life changing and instead embrace life.
Change is scary, isn’t it? It often leaves us sitting at a crossroads, wondering where on earth we are supposed to go next. I like things to remain the same because it feels safe and it feels like I am in control.
But the kicker is, I am not in control. God is. And when I resist the change He effects in my life, I’m resisting the good gifts He has in store for me. Be they a new ministry, new relationships, or even the joy of a toddler trying his hardest to help me write instead of having that nap I really, really want him to take.
Letting go has been hard. But facing the new? I have to tell you, my knees are shaking, my palms are sweaty, and I am terrified to not know what to expect – but oh, am I ever excited to start down this new path He is leading me on!
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV
I will, however, still take my coffee in my favorite mug, thank you. It is the biggest one in the house, after all!Leave a Comment
Spoke to my heart today…so much change and uncertainty in my life right now. It’s hard to let go, but I can’t thrive in the present while pining for the past that never was or fussing over the future that never will be.
Yes, that’s exactly where I have been. Praying for you (and me!) to thrive and find contentment in today!
“And when I resist the change He effects in my life, I’m resisting the good gifts He has in store for me.”
That’ll preach, girl. Thank you for sharing.
I hate change too. It always throws me into mental upheaval. I feel like that bush. Trying so hard to do better and grow but still hanging on to the dead parts. May the Lord prune me as He is pruning you.
The pruning is hard, but is done with love. Thanks for the great visual and reminder of God’s desire for us to flourish.
This is one I’m going to bookmark to read again and again. I completely relate to this, and I really appreciate you being vulnerable here!
Ruthie Lewis says
Wow, Andrea!! This is powerful! And how I love synchronicity. Just yesterday, I posted a blog called “Rhythms of Change.” It seems nature gets it, but we don’t – we resist. And you’re right, in our resistance, we forfeit everything we were meant to live. We don’t see that the trade off is stress, anger, bitterness and misery.
This is the link to my blog in case you’re interested. 🙂 http://ruthielewis.com/2014/06/30/rythms-of-change/
Sometimes I so blown away by how much God teaches us in the world around us – learning to pay attention is definitely a gift!
Jamie Rohrbaugh says
Change is definitely scary sometimes. I’m in a season where God is moving me out of some things I have LOVED in order to move me into… I don’t know what. I have total peace about it as long as I look only at God. If I start wondering “what if…?,” then I lose that peace and become a wreck pretty quickly. But I know He prunes us for our good, and we’re not called to have everything figured out. We’re only called to be faithful.
Amen! That’s the part I have found the most difficult – giving up what I have loved. But who knows what He has in store for us in the next season. It may make those old things pale in comparison!
Thanks Andrea for your post. And sharon, you took the words ‘right out of my mouth’.
Andrea, I needed this post! Thank you for the reminder that God does indeed make everything new. All we need to do is let go, and trust Him.
Meredith Bernard says
Love this, Andrea! I’m right there with you. Needing to do some serious heart pruning to be ripe to produce the fruit He wants and intends me to. He is showing me that in many ways lately….and I’m thankful for that. Your post solidifies this for me. And I hear you on the toddlers needing naps and largest cup of coffee. We could be great friends! 😉
Yes, we definitely could be! 😉 Raising my giant cup to you this morning!
Amber Kemp says
I love how God ministers to our hearts through others, and how His timing is always perfect. I know God is bringing change, and though scary, it’s always exciting to see Him move.
Donna M says
What a wonderful and oh so true to the heart post. I also am not one for “unplanned” change! However I have learned to have faith, trust God, and focus forward the best you can!
Thank you for this refreshing post. It summaries my life now, this were I am at. I thank God for using fellow believers in Christ to encourage me. We just relocated n my life has not been the same, but I hold onto God with my all. In all I want to fulfill His purpose in all I do, irrespective of all the challenges that comes with change. God bless you.
Nonye, I am so glad that you were encouraged. Praying for you today as you navigate this new season. Hugs, friend.
God sent this straight to me thru your writing. He knows how much I hate change and I have had my heels dug in. But, I realize that I need to allow Him to do His loving work. Thank you for sending this. 🙂
God has been truly speaking to my heart on this…Isaiah 43, has been the Comfort and Hope He has been revealing to me. Thank you for sharing.
Holley Gerth says
Wonderful words, Andrea! Thank you!
A beautiful and affirming post…thank you.
mary beth says
thanks for this. i just moved back to the states on sunday after living overseas for 4 years and its been a really rough transition so far and im only two days in. thank you for the reminder that He is pruning me and doing a new thing- the Isaiah verse was one He encouraged me with when he confirmed this move. i needed to be reminded of this bigger picture.
What a wonderful post. Just what I needed to hear, right when I need it. You’re awesome!
Sheila in Oregon
Cynthia K says
I read the portion on Facebook and thought, “Someone has gotten into my head.” I followed the link to the whole story and am glad that I did. Change. Control. Trusting God — the unchangeable God who changes everything.
Pam w says
Great words. Really felt what you were trying to relay
There is so much I can relate to in this post. I so needed to read this today! Thank you!
Beth WIlliams says
I, too, am not a big fan of change or uncertainty. This year has been tough on me. I’ve been dealing with an aging parent, a job that I don’t like and feel useful at anymore. plus hubby got some iffy news lately and this is how I feel: “I’ve been like that. Beat up, battered, bruised, but still trying bravely to grow on despite the changes in my life” I have been bitter and frustrated!!
Yes we have to hold on–because God has better things in store for us if we would just take the first step forward and embrace these changes some. I know that God is in control of this big universe and He will always be there for me no matter what!
Kate Lantry says
Thank you so much for this post; it speaks to me right where I am. Our family moved halfway across the country 7 months ago to a new state where we don’t know anyone because my husband was offered a new job. We also had a baby born 6 weeks ago. I know God brought us here and has exciting things planned for our future, but we still struggle with not looking back at what we had. Thank you for encouraging me to focus on the here and now and appreciate the pruning God’s done in my life.
Blessings to you and yours 🙂
Something you wrote stood out in big bold neon flashing letters for me: “I like things to remain the same because it feels safe and it feels like I am in control.” Oh my gosh! I had never thought of my reluctance to embrace change as a loss of control. Your words certainly ring true in my heart and attitude and have caused me to do some serious self-examination. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your heart. May God’s blessings abound in your life!
What a heart-felt, encouraging testimony shared to live a life of courage to change; to move on: to grow in God’s love more than ever imagined!
Andrea, thanks so much for sharing. God gave me those verses in Isaiah 43 two months ago. He also said to me…Behold I will do something New and Now it will spring forth. I have grabbed on to the promise but was feeling discouraged today and then I saw you post. Again to remind of what he will be doing in my life. I just have to remember that my timing is not God’s timing. That’s for sharing..it helps me to keep me focused. Thank you for the encouragement.
Thank you so much for reminding me to Embrace Life. Its so scary to do change. We want it, our lives/spirit craves it, but when we are in the actual moment, we hesitate and are afraid of the unknown.
You have inspired me to “do it”! I think I can, I think I can 🙂
You definitely can, Pamela!!
Wow ~ awesome post Andrea! Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us! I am a control freak, I admit it, but I honestly thought I handled change pretty well. I realize now that I really don’t. What a revelation that was! I have been trying so hard to relinquish my control and allow God to do His will in my life, but it hasn’t been easy. Now realizing that it’s the changes in my life that directly correlates to not being in control, maybe I can let go of that control issue I have a tad easier. Sometimes it’s just hearing someone else’s story that allows you to realize what is really going on in yours. Thank you so much for the eye opener. Peace out ~ Candy
Hi Adrea, this is a Beautiful reminder of what we want vs what God wants us to hv. The Isa verse touches my heart as I await for the new things fm God. Whatever it is and however long it takes to come to pass, I will trust that He gives us the best. Letting go is never easy and waiting is equally rough too. Blessings always.
Thanks to all of you with the comments. God wanted me to let go and allow Him to begin changing my life 2 yrs ago. Instead I allowed “hope” to take over even though I knew in 2012 what God had wanted for me. Well, I’m sure you know, the pain the Lord had stopped 2 yrs prior was relived this June and this morning. So, back on my knees I go and ask His forgiveness for not abiding in Him and allow myself to change and follow what my mind knows, but my heart is not quite accepting. I know if I keep my focus and mind on the Lord this too shall pass and the best is yet to come for me.
Keep Looking Up
Wow what an appropriate message. It certainly hit me. Since losing my Mom last year my heart has been in turmoil and I feel alone without a clear direction. How do I embrace life without my best friend. Scary because I do not know how to let go and let God. Like others have said and you I am like the raspberry bush that needs pruning but gently. God knows what I need and I know I can trust Him but to let go and let Him may be another lesson to learn in this life. Thank you for your message it is a keeper. I want to wait upon the Lord as an open vessel for Him to pour out His blessings and soothing balm.
Judy Bomar says
So enjoyed reading this, timing is just right. I need to hear this. I don’t like change either, but the doors have opened and I am walking through. I’m getting ready to have Chemo and have to leave my home for a month and go to another state, it is hard, but the Lord has a journey for me and I will try to embrace it. Please keep me in your prayers! Blessings, Judy
Father God, we lift up Judy to right now, that you would fill her with your peace and the knowledge that you are carrying her this journey she is on. I pray that her chemo would successfully attack the sickness in her body and that You would heal her body and restore it fully. Lord Jesus, thank you that we can come to You in our hurt, in our brokenness, in our fear and know without doubt that You hear us and love us. In Your Mighty Name, Amen.
After being a stay at home mom of 3 wonderful daughters for the last 17 years – yes that is years. I started a part time job 7 miles up the road. It’s been very scary & nerve racking. I asked for prayers from a church women’s group that I’m a member of and the anxiety is slowly decreasing. A huge thanks goes to the group leader, I call her my “fearless leader”, it’s out of love, admiration & respect, i really don’t know how I’d get through things without her in my life. I also owe the rest of the GIG’s a huge thanks for the recent prayers & words of encouragement.
This is so on target. Just learning to flex with the change observing that He is always with me whether I like the change or not.
I have been blessed by the daily note I receive from you ladies as an older person I too do not like changes but the Lord surely has been teaching me to accept change as he teaches me to trust and follow as he leads.
blessings to you all.
Thanks for this! Believe it or not, I am exactly at this point. Almost thought I was going to see my name somewhere in there.
Would appreciate your prayers.
I received this email just prior to my husband’s passing and only now am reading it, the timing was perfect…thank you.