2021 posts

Do Changes in Our Circumstances Always Change Us?

Today it hit me.

As we inch closer to the “big move” reality has sunk in.

We are moving cross country.

While I’m excited about the next chapter in our lives, I am still sad to move away from where we’ve called home for the past almost 3 years.

Funny thing is, I am no stranger to moving, and I’m not quite sure while this one feels different than the others.

Yes, I am. My kids. My oldest. My oldest going to school here and making friends and establishing her own life here.

Thankfully she still is young enough that she won’t necessarily feel the harsh “goodbyes” and “see ya laters.” But she is understanding where we are moving and what that means in terms of a “new school” and “new friends.”

I think the other reason this move feels different is because it has the potential to be permanent. We are moving with the hope that the position my husband has accepted becomes a long-time partnership, therefore the goal is to put down roots.

The house we’ve bought (umm the housing marking craziness is another story, but praise God we got one!) is one that we will grow into, perhaps much like the original owners have done, watching our kids hit major milestones along the way.

Change is hard.

This simply stated fact is sometimes easy to make excuses about, but it still holds true.

CHANGE is hard.

Change IS hard.

Change is HARD.

I’m hit with that reality today as I continue to wrap up my life here and the memories we’ve made and the life we’ve established.

I actually thought that I might write a post about semi-funny things that being under stress has shown me during this season, maybe that will be another post, but right now I feel the need address something deeper.

Do the changes we go through always change us?

Let’s think of COVID and everything that happened as a result of the pandemic.

Are you the same person you were before the shutdowns? the lockdowns? the quarentine?

Besides the obvious that we had to learn and adapt to a many changes that were beyond our control, do you feel that you embraced these changes or resisted them?

Now being about to go out more freely and establish more of a routine, I’m not ashamed to admit I like the routine and structure.

In fact, I prefer it.

For me, change is challenging, and the biggest change I had to adapt to during the pandemic was being at home with my toddlers for days on end, the only change in scenery we had was perhaps a walk around the block on nice days.

I like knowing what to expect throughout my day.

My routine and busy schedule actually calms me because I have a sense of “control” that comforts me.

The truth is that our perceived sense of control is a complete illusion, like trying to grasp sand the tighter we hold on, the more it slips through our fingers.

Change, whether something we sign up or something we have no control over, can absolutely shake and rattle us.

Unless we are properly anchored, we are susceptible to being tossed as the waves of life wash over us.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19 NIV

Actually I’m in the middle of leading an in-person study through my book, and it seems as though I feel as I’m in the cocoon stage once again.

Change is coming and change is emerging, but I’m in the darkness of not being able to see what the future will hold.

Not darkness of hopelessness and despair. But in the dark about what is to come.

In the dark about what our new house will be like. Our new neighborhood and community will be like.

In the dark about when God would provide us, but never doubting His faithfulness.

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV

In addition something else that adds another layer of uncertainty is leaving the military community. Everywhere we’ve gone I just pick up and plug into the military community, but now it will be different.

I will miss the “wow it’s a small world” statement. There is no doubt that the military community is close-knit and in the world my husband has been in the for the past seven years, is particularly small.

There have been days throughout these past seven years that I wasn’t sure I’d make it. I wasn’t sure I’d survive. I wanted to be out and couldn’t wait to be able to make our own decisions about where we go and what we do.

And now I’m realizing freedom can be scary.

I think the way circumstances change us is largely dependent on whether or not we are ready and willing to grow from the experience.

I’ve heard it said that what we go through can make us bitter, or it can make us better, and it is up to us to make that choice.

I’ve joked with a friend lately that I want to stop praying for a deeper and closer relationship with God because whenever I pray for that something always happens that has me running into His arms in desperation.

Can you think of instances where you ran to God in desperation?

I don’t like that it seems like it takes so long and so many things to have to happen for me to throw my hands in the air and say, ” Ok Lord, I don’t know what to do now, but you do.”

Yet, change only comes when you’re willing to surrender.

I think that’s why we resist change so much sometimes, because it is scary to step into the unknown and dealing with the unexpected.

What comfort me in these moments is to remind myself that nothing catches God off guard, nothing surprises Him.

His timing is always good and always perfect. (Even when we are tired of the “hurry up and wait”) We never can really be completely sure what He is up to.

Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV tells us:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Thus things that seem obvious to us, or circumstances that we can’t understand become less about trying to figure out WHY this is happening and more about learning How to spiritually mature from them.

“Grow through what you go through.”

This statement popped on my Facebook page and it caught my eye. The sentiment actually was advertised with a piece of jewelry that resembled a branch (a cute one!) and the idea was to wear the ring and remind yourself to, “Grow through what you go through.”

Cute, right?

Spiritual growth and maturity is less about cute reminders and quotes and more about a deeply rooted relationship with our Savior.

There is nothing wrong with sweet notes and reminders to “Seek God” and “Be Still”, but the growth and maturity that happens in our struggles and hardships only happens when we make a conscious effort to trust God and obey God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

So, going back to my original question, Do Changes in Our Circumstances Always Change Us?

The answer depends on us.

Blessings dear friends! I encourage you take inventory of any changes and transitions you may be facing and keep circling back to the truth of God’s word, remind your self of His goodness and faithfulness and allow your heart to be transformed in the process.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me
Psalm 51:10 NIV

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