This is a season of change for my husband and me. Recently we were thinking about how many things have changed for us in the last few months.
The first change is into a wider sphere of influence. My husband and I have been overseas teaching for the last six weeks. For several years my husband has been offering me more opportunities to speak on these trips, but I preferred to be behind the scenes. This time I stepped out and taught on some subjects I’m particularly passionate about. From one of those sessions, I have been given the opportunity to write a series of articles for a local English language newspaper. It is a season of change that is bringing many new opportunities for touching others.
When we leave here we will be going to Japan for three weeks. We have traveled through the Tokyo airport for years, but never had the opportunity to spend some time, see some of the cities, meet some of the people and so on.
Since we have not done this before, we really don’t know what we are facing. I’ve been really excited about the opportunity to visit four cities there and meet with some different groups of people. On the other hand, I’m a little frightened by all the unknowns. You would think after all these years of going to new places and doing new things, I wouldn’t be frightened, but I am. Change, particularly stepping into the unknown, is still hard for me.
Our youngest son is getting married in October. He has been living at home with us and keeping our home while we make these two to three month trips. We have known changes were coming, but we were not prepared for how it would affect us.
This week in a phone call, he told us about his move to the apartment he and his fiancee will be living in after the wedding. He was bubbling over with details about the apartment, the furniture they had bought, the moving day, etc. I was happy for him. Then he told us he had the piano movers move his piano. That’s when the tears started. We have enjoyed his piano playing every day for years. The piano move symbolized in a poignant way that our youngest son was moving out too. We expected it; we encourage it; but it is still an emotional time. So for us, even home is changing and will never be the same again.
I was on Instant Messaging with my Dad and sisters later in the week. I was telling them how I felt when I realized Matt was moved out. My Dad said, “I know the feeling!” I never had thought about how he had felt when I moved out.
We will have a little over a month at home before the wedding–enough time to get over jet lag, plan the rehearsal dinner, and enjoy the festivities. Then the emptiness will really hit us. My personal challenge is to not look too far into the future and imagine what life will be like. God doesn’t give us grace for imagined situations. But He does give grace and strength for today.
As I sit here writing this email, the tears are flowing again. None of the changes I’m facing at this time are bad changes. They are things we prayed for and believed for over many years. So why the tears? Some people seem to make these changes effortlessly, but apparently I’m not one of them.
I know Heb. 12:28 says we should be thankful that we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Instead of focusing on all the changes going on in our lives it is good for us to focus on some of the things that cannot be shaken.
A relationship we’ve built with the Lord over many years is a life-line during seasons of change. A long and satisfying relationship with our spouse will not change. We can help each other when the jolts and jarring of change have knocked us off balance. Our children move away, but they don’t stop loving us.
It’s good for me to remember that just as God wants to be our sure foundation when everything seems to be changing, the enemy wants to sow destructive seeds in our minds. Since our enemy is the father of lies, it’s not surprising that he tries to fill our minds with anxiety, helplessness, and hopelessness. I do not have to be victimized by him!
One of the lies he loves to torment me with is that if I were just more spiritual, I wouldn’t find change hard. God has been my Comfort and Peace many times in my life, and He has never seemed to disapprove of genuine tears. He made me with that release valve and I really don’t think He minds me using it. What can be more spiritual than taking our hurting hearts to the Lord for comfort!
On the other hand, there are some times in our lives when it feels like we are slogging through knee deep mud and nothing will ever change. But one thing I’ve learned, nothing stays the same forever. If things stayed the same, we would become secure in the “normalcy” of the sameness and forget to depend on God. Above all else, I believe, God wants us to trust Him and lean on Him.
So whether you feel you are stuck in the mud or in a time of a multitude of changes, remember to keep your eyes on the One who directs our lives and upholds us in change. He promised to never leave us or forsake us. He won’t abandon us in the sameness or in change.