If you had asked me twelve years ago if I would ever get married or have six kids, I would have given you a “Are you a creeper?” stare and promptly walked away. Twelve years ago I was as single as could be and never thought I could be wife or even a mom. To be honest, I was SCARED to death of getting married or being a mom. I mean, who you marry is a HUGE decision! Not to mention having children.
I never really gave thought to how many children, but after finally facing my fear of marriage by falling in love with my husband, I gave it serious thought. I was one of three girls, two of which were teenagers when I was born. My husband was one of – brace yourselves – NINE. So we compromised and said if God would give us seven that would be just peachy. Then we narrowed it down to six. But that’s a story for another time. Long story short, we are currently expecting our sixth child. We will be married twelve years in September. I sometimes wonder what would happen if I had stayed afraid of that change.
Change is scary. For me, even small changes can be wearisome. I think I have what the old southerners used to call a “weak constitution” or something. Maybe I just read that in a book or something. I digress.
Where were we…oh, change. Yes. Change. It’s scary. Sometimes we face big changes like marriage, or a new baby. In our churches we face pastoral changes. Building programs. New Sunday School classes. Every four years a change in government. Daily life brings fluctuating income and bills. Changing our grocery budget to fit growing or shrinking families. Every single day we are surrounded by change. We can either cower in fear or embrace it and “go with the flow.”
When you are facing change, it can be terrifying. We tend to back up and retreat to our comfort zone of what we know and are familiar with. We doubt that the change in front of us could be good. I mean, it very well may be downright awful! Or it could be the most awesome thing God has put across your path yet.
Recently our church went through a pastoral transition. Our founding pastor of forty-two years had retired and passed the mantle on to a young man who is but twenty-six. No doubt some people were probably very skeptical or fearful of this change. No doubt some said, “Nope. I like the way things are. I don’t want to change. I don’t want to learn how to follow a new pastor. Nope. Nope. Nope.” Then there were people like my husband and I who were excited about this. We loved our old pastor. We knew what he expected of us. We knew how he thought about things. We KNEW our pastor. But still, we voted for someone new. Yes, we know this young pastor and have known him for a long time. But did we know how he would lead when we voted? No. We prayed and voted how we felt God leading us. And you know what? We’re okay! Our church is okay! It’s growing slowly but surely! There is an excitement bubbling around. What if we’d all said no?
What about a new baby? I’ve always been nervous about routines and schedules when new babies come. It takes a while to get into a new swing of things doesn’t it? It’s never very fun, especially if you’ve other children to handle and care for. It’s never easy on Sunday morning to factor in another little body to dress and feed around Sunday church schedules. It can be downright terrifying to a new mom who loves this little one but isn’t sure how she can fit one more into an already tight schedule. But you know what? You’ve done it! We have done it! I’m getting ready to add another little one to our schedule in eleven weeks. I would be lying if I wasn’t nervous. I’d be lying if I said that this is old hat and no problem for me. However, there is one thing that helps me. Looking back on God’s faithfulness to me through every change.
I look back over my life and I see so many times God has put change in front of me and somehow, in some way, He has walked with me through it and helped me. Even when I was in tears and not sure how to get through some things, He was there to comfort me, to encourage me through His Word or one of His children, to guide me through the tough part.
I’m on the other side of a lot of change. A marriage, children, new pastor, job changes, income changes, loss of a parent, loss of friends, so many changes. All of those changes I wasn’t sure how I would come out of or how things would be on the other side of it, I’ve lived through. I survived. Some of them came with some “scars” but they all came with blessings. Yes, even the loss of my father brought some blessings. 🙂
I’m sorry I have no great Scripture passage to apply to this post but maybe Philippians 4:19 would do. “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” How does that apply, you ask? Well, once you step through a door of change you’re going to need something. Maybe it’s grace, mercy, finances, physical needs, spiritual needs. Whatever it is, you will need something. As a child of God, He says He will supply whatever you need. Simple as that! If He promises to do that, why do we hesitate to accept the change He brings our way, good or bad? Don’t be afraid. Jesus is with you. He promised to never leave you nor forsake you. That change you’re facing, that big scary change, it’s going to be okay. Maybe right now, or maybe not. But it will be okay. Because God said it would be. So pray about it. Make the decision God would have you make and open that door. Once you’re on the other side you’ll look back and wonder what in the world you were ever scared of in the first place.