A lot has changed in the last five years. I guess most people can attest to that same thing. After all, we did have a worldwide pandemic. But for me, for us, I can’t remember a time in our lives where there has been more intense change, than these past five years.
Change is hard. Change can be painful. And change is challenging. It challenges you in unimaginable ways. Sometimes change can be this complete obliteration of everything you know and you’re left a stranger to your own life. Change is messy.
But change is also necessary. There is a place, position, a new journey that the Lord has purposed for our lives. And often, between the here and there is a swampy area of unknown and discomfort. A wilderness. A season of seemingly endless pain and hardship that separates us.
So we walk through it. Hoping for a “Promised Land” on the other side. But there are no guarantees of milk and honey for anyone. But you still must go. It’s faith. It’s stepping into the unknown with no guarantees. Regardless, the other side brings with it those refining fires needed. They shape us.
A lot has changed in the past five years. I quit my job. My plans were to retire out of the city at 60. But I quite. We left our ministry. And we left so many wonderful friends and relationships. We sold our home and moved to Texas. We started a new journey. A new ministry. We made new friends. We have a new life.
A lot has changed in the past 5 years. Two of our sons got married. All of them moved out. We lost three of our four pets, my brother went to prison, I lost a lot of family, and began the season of life known as menopause….. just to name a few.
It’s been exciting. Adventurous. Scary and unsettling. It’s been painful, downright tormenting at times. It’s been lonely and even isolating. There were days when my heart longed to go back. But you never get to the other side when you go back.
“Forget the former things. I am doing something new,” says the Lord. It never means it is easy. And it doesn’t mean it comes quickly. And we are never promised smooth sailing and ease in that newness. But it doesn’t mean it isn’t where we are supposed to be. Trials and struggles are all part of the journey. It’s about how we respond.
I know the the next few years will bring change. I’m excited and hopeful. And If I’m honest, I’m anxious and even fearful of what lie ahead. But I know His promises are for all seasons and circumstance. They have been tested, tried and remain true for all times of change. And in the midst of it, I can confidently say, it is well. I trust Him.
But for today, for just a quick minute. A quick week of vacation I get to unplug with these people. My family. Sadly, it isn’t all of them. We usually travel as a tribe. But there’s a wedding to plan, a church to maintain, school to attend, and so I take what I can get. A savored moment with with a few of my very favorite people.
A time to reflect. A time to reminisce. A time to plan. A time to let go. A time to rejoice. A time to laugh. A time to be still. And, a time to prepare my heart for what lie ahead.