Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Cringe of Change

I can remember numerous times in childhood that my mama would look at me and smile and say these words, "Please don't grow up.  Stay little."

Now I hear myself saying those words to my little ones that seem to grow like weeds by the day. 

I get it now. 

She wanted time to stand still.

She wanted innocence to remain.  She wanted curls and bows and pigtails to always be my style.

Change was happening right before her eyes and the thought of it made her want to cringe.  Not in a bad way~ just in a < s l o w d o w n>  kind of way.

Sometimes change happens so quickly.  Too quickly.  We find ourselves groping for something that remains untouched by change.  Something above the tarnish of time.  Something lasting and forever and true. 

Shep and I are so blessed to come from sets of parents that remain married to each other.  Their marriages are strong and marked by devotion.

In the past week we have encountered serious medical issues with 3 of our 4 parents.

It has been sudden and scary.

Our normal somewhat settled-but-busy routine has been replaced by "wait and see".

My thoughts have wanted a stable place to land instead of bouncing all over the place and filling in open-ended questions of "what if?"

Here is the truth that I run from and can't escape: CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.

It happens.

Rolling with that change is hard.

There are certain amounts of change that I enjoy.  Love even.  

The fact that God created four different seasons is so marvelous to me.  By the time one season gets underway I begin thinking about the season that will follow.

Spring is so fresh and colorful.
Summer has the feel of freedom and fun.
Fall brings breezes and hayrides and a color of blue in the sky that you can't forget.
And winter....brings fires, chili dinners, the holidays and maybe, just maybe, some snow for those of us here in the South.

We love the change of it.  Even those of us that hate change like the differences.  Or maybe it is better said that we appreciate them.  


Because this type of change is predictable.  We know it is coming.  We prepare for it and look forward to the newness that comes along with it.

Unpredictable change is what leaves me shaking in my boots.

The call that Shep's dad is unresponsive.
The news that my mom has suffered several mini-strokes and there are more tests to do and more hurtles to jump.
The drive to the hospital following the ambulance that is carrying my dad.

These unpredictable changes have shaken me. 
All three scenarios have happened in the past week.

Change that leaves us cringing.  Longing for something solid, sturdy and constant.

Jesus is it.

His character is unchanging.
He is always good.
He has always been.
He will always be.
His love never fails.
He never leaves.
His grace is enough.
He is always a refuge.
He is the Great I AM.

Circumstances are often the very tool that teach us to search Him out and find that He is true.  My invitation to taste and see that God is good has come through emergencies that scare me.  My choice is to either stay scared and try to do this on my own...OR allow God to be what He says He is.  Right here.  Right now.  In the midst of my scary place.
This unexpected detour could just be a place where God gloriously teaches me to trust Him yet again. 

When my soul has not been able to find rest~ I have chosen to rest in the One that changes not.

 You can too.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Hebrews 13:8
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90:2
If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself. 2 Tim.2:13
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22:13
To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Tim.1:17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. Col.1:16

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Isaiah 44:6

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Last week was a spiritual doozy for this gal.

It seemed like each day held some type of mental assault.  These days aren't exactly new but when you string 2 or 3 days like this together...it becomes too much.

As I look back nothing big really happened.  Discouragement just wanted to be my best friend.  By day 2 I could really feel myself letting go of the resolve to stand strong in faith.  The flow of discouragement seemed so much easier so I jumped in.

Add to that a bad news phone call from a doctor and a message, that was supposed to uplift, but left me just plain sad...

Then the doorbell rings.  I go to open it and see that a package has been left.

***Had I known the crying that would ensue after opening this package I would not have done it***

I opened the package and lifted out several sample diapers.

The words "youth/adult small" might as well have punched me in the stomach.

Tears came quick.  Moans came from my mouth.  Anguish engulfed me.

As long as I can go into a store and purchase diapers for Caroline...she is still a little.  These diapers smacked me right in the face.  I held the proof in my shaking hands that she isn't so little and this situation really is very hard.  More than hard actually...exhausting and excruciating at times.

For anyone who looks at me and thinks I have it all together....
For anyone who thinks that I am strong and smart and super spiritual...

Think again.  

These are the real days.  

This day happened to be a Wednesday.  I called my husband and cried to the only other person who gets our life and situations like this one.

He listened and hurt with me.

I ended up taking the kids to church and coming back home.

I never skip church.  Ever. 

But I couldn't do it.  I had nothing in me to serve. Or worship.  Or pray.  Or anything for that matter....

I came home and collapsed on the couch.

As I laid there and cried a picture began to take shape in my mind.

I had been asking God to help me understand child-like faith.

And here I was laying on a couch.  Helpless. 

Babies are helpless.

Babies can do nothing except cry out.

Babies are completely and utterly dependent on their caregivers to provide their needs.

God was showing me the "how".

After asking Him repeatedly how to have child-like faith...He let me get low enough that I became helpless...JUST LIKE A BABY.

As this understanding began to clear my current fog I sensed Him all around me.  His love was bigger than my sadness.  His love engulfed it all. His love lifted my spirits.  His love calmed my fears.  His love carried my burdens and dissolved my doubt.

His love came when I could do nothing at all.

His love never fails.

His love cannot be explained.

His love isn't deserved.

His love fills every gap that pain and sorrow leaves open and exposed.

His love.

Ephesians 3:17-19New Living Translation (NLT)

17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.