And I’m not talking about the amount you get back after a purchase. I’m talking about a change in your lifestyle, your “normal” routine, out-with- the-old and in-with-the-new type of change. Do you want to “love it or list it”? (a little HGTV humor)
ME? Not a big fan of the “c” word. I’ve learned the benefits that come along with being “open” to it, yet it still takes me a long time to mentally prepare, and then there’s the actual walking-through-it thing.
I do realize that change happens in different ways. There are times when I commit to a change (pledging to floss my teeth every day) and truly intend to stick with it for the long haul, yet eventually it fades. There are other times when my dedication runs hard and fast (marathon training). And other times, there are changes that affect many aspects of your daily life (job loss and job change). This last example has been the most recent journey for myself and our family.
It’s been a ride (and it’s only just begun!) As I was driving home from school today, I started thinking about this concept. I’ve realized that it’s one thing to prepare for it through thought, and it truly is another concept to walk it through daily. Our “old normal” included days of morning time with the kids (dressing, breakfast, chores, and Jesus time), a slot of time to run, “lunch time ministries”, volunteer opportunities, and part-time provider work, amongst the normal daily living chores. Aaron has worked out of our home for over 12 years. We’ve had someone “in-home”, near the kids at school, since they began schooling. Now, we’re three weeks into my role as a leave-at-7:00am Mom, and a SAHD. Role-reversal. And he has done a smashing job! And then he gets the call…
It’s official. We are a family in ministry. Aaron has joined the top-notch team at Rock City Church in the role of Executive Director. And I’m thrilled for him! The Lord gave me 2 months to be able to say this in full honesty. I am thrilled! I can recall specific moments over the past year or two that gave me this indication. It just had to be God’s perfect timing, and in looking back, it is. It is this, this line that traces God’s faithfulness, is what allows me to stand on the truths that I’ve come to cherish with all that I am. These truths speak louder than the voice of doubt, the voice of condemnation, the voice of speculation. The one that speaks the strongest is the voice of both earthly and eternal hope. The reason this voice is the strongest is because I entertain it. I choose to believe it. And in that truth, lies the sweetest peace. Peace like I never thought possible.
Has this been easy? Nope. The first week, I felt overwhelmed, and in my exhaustion, I looked over my shoulder. I pouted. I missed the kids. I missed people. I longed for a bit of my “former ways”. And yet, Iwas so grateful that this job was even an option for me. I knew I was to be here. I was thankful for the provision. I really kept smiling and plowing forward in His strength. And yet, I came face to face with my biggest nemesis – limitations.
I wanted to be able to plan these amazing lessons, I wanted to be able to jump into American Sign Language without skipping those 9 years, I wanted to learn the computer systems/copier/email/progress reports/IEP access on the first attempt, I wanted to continue to plan family meals and activities same as before, I wanted to fit in running time early as to not miss out on time with family, and yet my mind, body, and soul tells me I have flesh and a brain that WILL shut down. I had to learn afresh what I can so easily tell others – Heather, you simply must extend your perfection-driven-self some grace. Items will be accomplished, one day at a time. Check-in with your heart, it’s a great indicator.
And it happened. The morning “heaviness” subsided, the brain-fog of details cleared, the fast-heart beat slowed, and the stay-at-home lessons on choosing contentment in the day washed over me with no self-effort what-so-ever. It’s here. It’s resided in me all week. And today, I am excited for my husband. As he sent me a text while setting up his new work space, he spoke of his feelings. And they ran straight to our children. He’s already missing his newly-found time with them. And my heart rejoices in this natural occurrence. He’s now beginning his 3-week process of adapting to the “change”. And three weeks later, I know it will be good.
And I am encouraged. This is my new normal, and soon it will be our new normal. We’re entering a new season as the final leaves of the season fall. And I don’t know what this season will hold, but I know it will be good. I know that God loves my children, even more than I do. I know His plan includes a plan for them. I know that He is with them when I cannot. And I can release my stress. I can peacefully reside in the comfort afforded to me in the release of control.
Change? I suppose it can be both a foe and a friend.
What are your experiences with change?