I don’t remember this, as I was only three years old. But, my dislike of change was already established.
When I was in grade six, my family moved from Toronto to Calgary. My best friend Elizabeth and I hatched a brilliant plan – I would live with her family until we graduated from high school.
Sure, they had five kids, and sure, it was six years, but it seemed like the perfect solution. I was more than a little indignant that my parents laughingly dismissed this as impossible!Each time my dad received a call for another church in another city, I would become fearful and anxious. Please, please, please, I don’t want to move, I don’t want things to change! Even at a young age, I understood that change meant something had to go, had to end.
As I got older and experienced more changes, I learned that change always means the death of something. Yeah, that sounds morbid, but if you think about it, I think you’ll agree.
This week is the anniversary of several significant changes in my life. Seventeen years ago, my mom died. Eleven years ago, my husband abandoned me. One year ago, I left my life in the United States. Nine months ago, I arrived here in the DR to begin my ministry with SI.
Yes, the first two were out of my control, the last two (more or less) in it, but each one caused a little part of me to become that three-year old again… I don’t want it!Of course, as Christ-followers, we are called to change. We are to work out our salvation, being transformed more and more into the image of Christ. That change, too, means the death of something – several somethings, really. Old habits, old ways of living, of thinking. It means, in fact, that the first thing that has to die… is me.
Dying each day is hard work. What would happen if as friends, spouses, parents, brothers and sisters in Christ, we not only accepted change as inevitable, but helped encourage each other to embrace it as part of our God-given call?
What if instead of complaining that a person we loved has changed, we express concern if nothing is different? Change, not just for the sake of change, of course, but change that makes us more like Jesus.During this week of anniversaries, I want to begin to change my perception of change. God’s mercies are new every morning, and, if I am living for Him, living into His plan for my life, I will be, too. Each day is an opportunity to look more like Jesus. That means changing.
It’s a process, of course, and some days are slower than others. Some days I take steps backward. Okay, some days it’s more like leaps backward! But, I can be confident that the One who walked with me through events 17, 11, 1, and less than one year ago, is with me still.I don’t know if I’ll ever reach the point where I face a change with “Yippee, bring it on!” But each time I choose to allow God to change me, I find that His grace truly is sufficient for whatever is next.
Because, of course, the One orchestrating the changes does not change. He invites me to submit myself to His transforming, changing work in my life.
Father, You know that I still struggle with change. If I’m honest, it makes me afraid. Who will I be if the me I am is dead?
Please allow me to trust You more fully. To trust You, and to obey You. To obey Your call to die to me, to live for You. To change more and more into the image of Your Son.
Show me again that Your grace, Your love and mercy, are sufficient. That You, Unchanging One, are my All in All.