Her advice was simple, her definition of grace even simpler:
“Put change at the beginning, middle, and end of your life – and then you’ll really find Life!”
I stared at her, head slowly nodding as my mind rapidly tried to process the weight of her words. Sipping my tea, I asked her to repeat herself again, and then a third time, so I could truly hear what she was saying, so I could write it down in my notebook, so its simplicity could sink into my bones.
You see, my husband had just been offered an incredible promotion – two states away. Like a jumbled pile of puzzle pieces, the idea of relocating held possibility: most of my family lived there, along with a good handful of friends. The cost of living was cheaper, the pace of life slower, the possibilities for growth outstanding.
All of it looked good on paper, but paper doesn’t necessarily reflect the heart.
And paper certainly didn’t reflect that I had no desire to pack up our house, move eight hundred miles north, and deal with all the newness moving brings along with it.
You see, we’d just moved eighteen months earlier. There were boxes we still hadn’t unpacked and paintings that sat dormant in the basement, still waiting for a permanent spot on our walls. But even more than that, we’d fallen in love with our neighborhood, our church, and even our preschool community.
And the last thing I wanted to do was let go of a place that felt so profoundly us, for a place marked by change and uncertainty and unknowns.
I think that’s why my friend’s words felt like a sucker-punch to my soul.
I needed to be reminded that change is inevitable – and, that if I go into life with an expectation that change is going to come, then I’m already ahead of the game. But just as fall leaves change color and blue skies give way to crayon-box shades of gray, I needed to be reminded that God is present in the midst of it all.
The more I hold onto my need to control and fight to keep things neat and tidy and without the upheaval transition brings, the more I neglect to see Christ. When this happens, I neglect to see the one who is the source of all life, still in the center of everything.
So, I don’t know about you, but for me, I’m bookending my sentences, my expectations, and my world with change – so I might hope to see Life in the midst of it all.Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I am the first to admit that I don’t do well with change. I made several major moves around the country and each was it’s own sort of “giving birth” if you will. It wasn’t easy, but given time, I learned that God had placed me exactly where He wanted me and He had prepared a place just for me in each of these new cities and communities. I look back on my life and think of all the people, places, and experiences I would have missed out on if I hadn’t accepted God’s invitation to change. In each place, though, I would say it took me a good year to feel like I was finally at home so change and adaptation take time. Also, not every change is of God, so learning to weigh with discernment the opportunities for change that come along is key. Thanks for the invitation to welcome change…
This was so timely. We are experiencing a season of transition & change at church – all good, incredible reasons due to growth and better discipling our kiddos! But much of the coordination falls on me…and I do not like change or unknown! I felt God nudge me this morning -“Give up control. Let me show up and show off. This isn’t about what you can do. I’ll show up in the change if you will let me.”
And then your post came through my inbox! Giving up control is so hard – but when we give it up to
Him, our situation is in the best of hands!
Here’s to embracing change with humble expectation that God will indeed show up!
Beth @Lessons From The Sidelines says
We are in the middle of a stressful transition and this is exactly what I’ve been trying to cling to. Thank you!
Thank you for this. Seasons of change in years past chewed me up and spit me out, partly because the changes were terrifying and sad, and partly because I am not an embracer of change. This message is one that I will share with my teenagers to serve as a reminder, and help them understand that openness to change can be their friend.
PS-Did you move?
Kathy Cheek, Devotions from the Heart says
You have definitely opened my eyes, and heart, to realize I need to do so much better at embracing change instead of my default, which is always initially resistance.
Lacey Goolsby says
This is wonderful. This is true. How I hate change. But wow, to embrace it could mean a while different world. I loved reading this!
My family recently experienced a tragic loss of my uncle, he was my mom’s younger brother, he was 80. A few months ago my mom fell, and thankfully she has healed but since then I have been preparing my heart that she won’t be with us forever her on earth, and I would love to be sure that I will see her again, our faith’s are very different.
Waking up this morning after seeing family gather together to celebrate the life of my uncle. I was reflecting on life and the constant change we experience, those we love get older, and the joy of knowing that they have a relationship with Jesus and seeing them again, death where is your sting. Does not take away the pain. and the joy we experience now. I needed to be reminded that God is present in the mist of all our changes, the good, and the bad. My hope for this year to spend time with those I love, and enjoy the beauty of this life, and if Lord will to reflect the beauty of his love for us.
Beth Williams says
Watching your parents, aunts, uncles, etc. age is hard. Knowing they won’t be here forever can be hard to accept. May God hold you in His loving arms. Prayers for peace and contentment.
Just think one day you will get to see them all in Heaven. Praying for you and your mom. Perhaps God will work a heart change in her and she will become a Christian. I witnessed my dad go through a transformation. He was Christian, but had fallen away. While caregiving for my mom he read New Testament and decided he needed to be re baptized, dunked this time.
Michele Morin says
Cara, these words are so real, and you’ve spoken with gentleness into an area of such resistance and heartache. I’m reading in Job right now, and asking myself, “What would I do if God asked me to accept the unthinkable?” You’ve given every reason for me to bookend this new year with open-hearted acceptance of whatever God wants to do. May we find grace to end the year on the same basis.
Great reminders. Thank you for sharing, Cara.
Kelli McKnight says
YES! Embracing change is a counterintuitive practice that feels so awkward and off. Yet…I’ve always felt a sweet closeness to God in and after times of big changes. It keeps us dependent on Him in ways that same/same can’t. Thanks for the great words today!
Chara Donahue says
Cara, Those northern states are glad to have you. There is great encouragement in your words!
Emily R Green says
Cara, your words are such sweet encouragement to my heart. Rolling with change – expecting it, even! – and seeing God in all of it… yes. ♡
“The more I hold onto my need to control and fight to keep things neat and tidy and without the upheaval transition brings, the more I neglect to see Christ”.
Cara, these words are so true. I think I am a bit of a control freak. I always want to be in control of things and ensure that situations turn out right and sometimes I miss letting go and letting God take control. I’ve had a lot of change in my life the past decade. Life-changing changes, if you catch my drift. Sometimes I don’t want the change and wish things could go back to the way they were but then, when I take a look back, I see that God is teaching me something new through every season of change.
Thanks for the beautiful reminder 🙂
Rebecca L Jones says
Change really can be a good thing, this coming from someone, who lived in Atlanta 35 years before moving, wished she’d left sooner and could travel and missed out on a lot due to health problems. Go with it but go with Jesus! Don’t miss anything good, His plans are better!
Thank you Cara. I am going through changes with finding a new job and a new place to live. I resist change. I am trying to embrace change now and not fear it. Putting my trust in the Lord.
Susan Shipe says
Today began as a Crayola gray and now it is a beautiful Crayola Goldenrod…just in a span of a few hours there was a huge change! I love change and sometimes long for it until a discontentment moves in. That’s when I have to back up and bookend with “same.” xo
Cara, your words are so timely for me at this time as I appraoch retirement from a third position and plan to offer myself for the ordained ministry. I am trying to embrace these changes and to know that God has His Hand in my affairs. Thank you for sharing.
Melissa Henderson says
I have learned to embrace change. I try to always pray for God to give me wisdom, discernment and revelation in all situations. 🙂
Beth Williams says
Change is hard to accept. There are times when change is needed, although it may be unwanted. God may have new adventures for you to enjoy out there in His wide expanse. Don’t look at all change as bad. Remember He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
I am not a huge fan of change myself. I’ve learned that God orchestrates our lives and brings new people & experiences. His plans are perfect! We are just along for the ride!! Praying the move goes well and everyone can get adjusted.
Krista Rule says
I got this in my inbox a while ago and just now read it ….perfect timing and perfect article. God is awesome thank you for sharing your story I needed to hear it ❤