I am no stranger to Change. I know her well. Sometimes I embrace her, allow her to let me see this world in a new way. Other times, I struggle to embrace her. I prefer routine. I prefer knowing where I am am, what streets I am traveling on. But this life of mine? It requires me to befriend Change.
Going into this season I struggled more than I have in the past. I was more fearful of what was ahead. I wanted to run and hide and tell Change to just go away. I can't quite put my finger on why. Perhaps the older we get the harder change becomes. Perhaps it is simply because I have started over so many times. (Ninth season abroad = five countries and eight cities that I have made home.) Or perhaps it was because I wanted to see my Kaleb continue to have fun playing with his friends at home, knowing he is beginning to better understand Change. I wanted to go to grandma and grandpa's and watch the joy on my boys' face when they realized where we were going. I didn't want to leave that, and so much else, behind.
But I did what I had to do. I kept packing. I kept taking my boys to all the places they loved. I kept encouraging my husband as he trained for a new season. And I prayed. Prayed that God would take away my fears, my anxiety and replace it with an eagerness to serve my family in this way. I prayed that God would help me to go alongside Change- not to cowardly stand behind her.
I knew if we could just make it to the doors of the airplane the excitement would come- it usually does.
Then came the morning of departure. I was still struggling. I sat down to open up "Jesus Calling" a devotional I had recently ordered. My fingers feebly turned the pages to what I thought was the right date. (These things do happen when you are packing up a family of four to move across the ocean, but I am convinced this was a God thing.) And this is what I read:
"HOLD MY HAND, and walk joyously with Me through this day. Together we will savor the pleasures and endure the difficulties it brings. Be on the lookout for everything I have prepared for you; stunning scenery, bracing winds of adventure, cozy nooks for resting when you are weary, and much more. I am your Guide, as well as your constant Companion. I know every step of the journey ahead of you, all the way to heaven."
It was as if God was literally speaking to me. Telling me it was going to be okay. That if I would just cling on to Him... we would make it. Again. Through another move. Through living in a new culture and not knowing the language. We would all adjust.
We made it. God granted me the excitement I knew would eventually come. That is not to say this transition has been easy- but I think my heart knew that it wouldn't be. I am ready for what lies ahead. God is giving me a peace that comes only from Him and I know we are where we are supposed to be.
Change reminds me to look at the world around me and see His beauty. When we go to the park I listen to the little ones chattering away in French and remind myself how lucky we are for this opportunity. That this is shaping my boys as well. And I pray that they will remember what it is like not to have friends- that one day they will be the ones to reach out to the new kid on the playground because of it.
When Kaleb looks out the window to the street below and says, "My new friends out there." Well, it half breaks my heart. But then it reminds me just how adaptable kids are. If only we would all look at the world and say the same thing.
Whatever you do today, wherever you are... try to find something- albeit little- to embrace Change. At a favorite restaurant? Order something new. Test a new recipe. Try taking a new way home. Eat dessert before dinner. Shop at a new grocery store. Go to a museum you haven't been to for a while. Download some new music- and dance while doing your household tasks. Do something. Anything.... to see the world through a fresh, new lens today.
Change? She IS good for our souls. She reminds us to see the beauty that God created in all of the world.