To preface what I’m writing about you should know, this year started out with me, along with my family asking God where He wanted us this year, laying our travel, festival, music, business and all other plans on the alter, preparing ourselves to make the necessary changes to go where He wanted us and only there, even if that meant, we were supposed to stop doing certain things we’ve always done, that were good and right and important, all that mattered was where He wanted us. Sometimes this left me feeling like I was waiting on the edge of the dark unknown, standing with a calendar in one hand and a pile of questions in the other, with the only answers being, we have to pray about it… That’s all fine and good, praying and seeking God, but deadlines are deadlines and time waits for no man, that’s what my calendar was saying to me and what I was saying to my Dad & what I was thinking towards God. This carries over into my personal life, kind of like a mirror. Anyway, It is probably significant that in our 20th year of ministry God has really taken us back to our roots in walking in faith, trusting only in Him not in man.
As this seeking and planning or putting planning on hold to pray was happening earlier this year, we got an email telling us that something we had done for years wasn’t happening this year. Now I was all fine and good surrendering my plans to God as long as I was orchestrating & planning the surrender, but as doors closed and things changed and parts of my life disappeared, I realized more & more how much I was not okay with it. If I make a decision to change my life or end something so be it, but when someone else tells me its changed without my consent….that is not the same at all.
In the days months and years that follow the significant changes that happen in my life without my consent, I learn to live with them but find myself rarely accepting them, because they weren’t my idea… In my process & all the kicking and screaming that accompanies it, I ask myself why I’m so violently opposed to change, some of it is fear of the unknown, a little bit of “look how you trusted the changes last time and got in this mess.” And some of it is insecurity I suspect…
So though I’m saying that I trust God with my life I’m too worried to believe that His plans will work for me. When I’m faced with a change in a relationship I hate it, and I give it what for and continual grief over how it failed me. Never trusting that God can look out for me, my heart, the boy I loved, the lilies of the field & the sparrows with equal strength & ability. I have come to realize I have to get over myself, because my planning skills & ability to manage the world while keeping it spinning fall significantly short when I step back and compare my methods and track record to Gods. As much as I need to learn this in relationships, I have to learn it in every other little way. His ways are not my ways. When the jobt that I have done all of my adult life, over 8 years, was taken from me against my will right after I told God to handle it. I had to do a lot of dying to self. I had to step back and ask if I was only hurt because I had worked and sweated and served until I was far beyond my self, for so many years and I didn’t want to disappoint the people I wanted to keep serving. Was that all? No somewhere in there it became much more about grieving for me than just them. At some point it turned a corner and became about that job being a piece of my identity. And at what point insecurity & a sort of pride overlap I can’t tell you. But I do know with all the other unexpected changes and the ways I doubt myself, the idea of not having that big piece of my identity to wear around suddenly became a very real problem for me. Or maybe I suddenly realized that it probably wasn’t right for me to feel inferior or inadequate just because one little job was ripped away. It didn’t define me. Just like all of the times people question my unusual lifestyle and choices, to the point that I used to feel the need to prove who I was or wasn’t. Or why I was or wasn’t. And suddenly I realized that it was all the same, what I do doesn’t define who I am anymore than what I do needs to be defended so that I can prove that who I am is okay. I am who I am. Things change, change comes and goes, People grow and change, I change and as I grow I see the need for change and for sameness. I realize that change is good but knowing who you are is better and makes change less traumatic.
In the midst of all of this change, I have my ups and downs because while knowing who I am helps, I am still human. I still have to close the doors in myself that Time, God & circumstance has closed around me. I still have to accept things, let go of things face things & people, end, start over, be friends or enemies or be somebody or nobody, I have to face and move within every change & its a beautiful thing to learn, the healing that comes in change and the change that comes thru healing… A beautiful paradox of sorts.
So, though I spent my childhood hating change, even the.changes in my storybooks. I didn’t want to grow up, I didn’t want my friends to grow up, I cried everytime I read Little Women, I didn’t like it when people cut their hair, I didn’t want my friends to get married, I didn’t want heartbreak and death. But you learn to accept it, you learn to live, and living learns you. Something like faith comes thru hearing and hearing thru the word of God. Change comes with healing and healing is a type of faith. A trust in Gods sovereignty, a belief that He knew you before you knew anything and loved you there. Perfect love casts out fear so the more you accept who you are, become accustomed & okay with being who you were made to be the less there is to fear in change. It moves you and moving makes you.
I ask God for healing and He gives it, or the way to it… But His ways are not our ways and I must be prepared to accept healing even though it may come from the most unlikely places… the most unlikely Changes