Things are changing around here, and we haven't adjusted as quickly as we thought we would.
For example: I told you that we got a new companion for Flash - a sweet little mini donkey named Henderson (AKA "Henry").
Aww! What a nice change! What a welcome development! It would take some getting used to, but hey. How long can it take? I then proudly announced here on the blog that the two were getting along and had stopped biting one another after a couple of weeks together.
Well...that was a bit premature.
In hindsight, I probably should have said, "The bite wounds, which they continue to inflict upon one another, generally heal quickly."
Now, this is not to say they aren't happy to be companions. Flash seems very settled and content to have a buddy, after flying solo for so long. And Henry is thrilled to be in a place that has plenty of food, lots of land to roam, and all the affection a little donkey can stand.
But even good changes take some getting used to.
One month in, and they are still working it out. I'm happy to report that it still only gets ugly when the donkey-to-human ration is 2-1, and both of them want attention simultaneously. Also when there is food involved. Other than that, they are golden.
Observing these two react to change has reminded me of how I respond to it, too. I'm not always a happy little camper when there are shifts in reality. Changes, even good changes, cause me to want to hold on to the past and and succumb to "good old days syndrome."
It's wonderful to remember the past with fondness. How I loved those shoulder pads and stirrup pants I wore in 1985. I was so cute. But it's even better to look at the changes that are happening with excitement and anticipation for what is coming next. I'm super excited about the loose tops that are coming back into style because, the muffin top. Or, more importantly, I'm looking forward to a season of freedom to write and create in new ways, even though it means I have to let go of some of the things I loved in the past.
If you're dealing with change today, I'll leave you with a few thoughts I'm thinking.
1. Seasons of change mean that you'll get a chance to grow.
"Oh, yippee!" you say. Woo hoo.
I get that. I get it because some change is painful and hard and you wouldn't choose it for anything. But, here it is. Change is upon you. Maybe someone else's crummy choices have put you in a tight spot. Maybe your job is on the line. Or maybe that kid you raised so lovingly has decided he'd be better off without you in his life. Things are a real barrel of laughs.
But I say to you that somehow, some way, in some manner, you will grow and become more and better in the midst of it. You cannot fix some of the changes in your life, but you can set your sail toward maturity and faith. Change insures that you don't remain stuck in the same patterns forever. God is giving you compassion, empathy, endurance and patience – all while He is working behind the scenes to create something good.
YOU are changing, and that is a good thing.
2. Change brings new opportunities.
Way back when, I was super happy when my husband had a nice job with benefits, and I was able to be the stay-at-home mama I always dreamed of. But that job went away, and suddenly I needed to help bring in some income. Yikes. Suddenly that little hobby painting flower pots and birdhouses became very important, because it turned into an opportunity to start a business. Without the need to put food on the table as incentive to get out and beat the bushes, I would have continued to plunk along with a nice hobby. And a whole lot of painted flower pots. You can't have too many of those.
If there is change going on, don't miss the opportunities that come with it because you're too engrossed in the past. Open your eyes, stay hopeful, and try some new things.
You never know what will arrive in your life, now that there is room for it.
3. Change brings new people.
I'm convinced that the secret to success, besides the Lord of course, is people. It's in the friendships and relationships that are made along the way. Perhaps you will be the answer to someone else's prayer today. Perhaps someone will step into your world who will play a pivotal role in your life. Change means that your circles are widening, and that can be a very good thing. Look for an opportunity to connect with someone who may be experiencing the same kind of change that you are.
There is nothing like shared experiences to cement a friendship.
4. You might as well trust.
There aren't a whole lot of scriptures on dealing with change. I know this, because I've looked. But there are a host of verses on trust. It seems that the entire Christian life is based on trust – from trusting in Christ for salvation, to trusting for strength, to trusting that all of this is for something.
Listen. Trust that God will not let you down. Trust that He is with you. Trust that He cares about you. Trust that He will work everything out. What do you have to lose? Except fear and doubt.
Psalm 91:2 “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”
When the earth is shifting under your feet, run to the Rock. He's got this.
I'll be honest. I've got some big changes going on right now and sometimes I'm just plain scared out of my head. But I found myself walking around the house yesterday, with my palms up, saying "I trust you, Jesus." Out loud. Over and over. And somehow, just saying those words calmed my soul and brought my attention to the One who is bigger than any amount of change I find myself in. "I trust you, Jesus. I trust you, Jesus." My heartbeats subsided and I felt peace. Amazing.
How about you?
Are you facing some changes that feel scary? Unsettling? I'm holding out my hand to you today and I will pray with you. I don't do a lot of preaching on this blog, but today I'm putting it out there because I think I'm supposed to. Drop me an email or leave a comment with your name. I'm going to pray over each name and ask for God to calm your heart and fill you with joy and anticipation for what's ahead.
He is with you and for you. And I'm praying for you today.