Sunday, June 23, 2013

You Want Me To Change What? Change can make or break you!

Over the last two years there have been major changes in my life, ones I never imagined would happen. Changes are things that sometimes sneak up on you and really surprise you. Some changes are ones you think about, plan, research, and initiate. But no matter what kind of change you are involved in, it can be one of two things in your perception, good or bad. There is seldom neutral change.

With everything that has happened in my life, to me and to my family, I can honestly say that ALL of the change has been good. Yes I said all! Some of you may remember two years ago I had to move my mother from her home of 32 years into a small efficiency apartment. It took me 4 extended stay trips from Indiana to Western NY to get this taken care of. It was a change that a daughter doesn't like to think about, the decline of her Mother's health and quality of life.

About 6 months after that I had a slight stroke. For almost 6 months I dealt with debilitating double vision and vertigo! The dizziness was almost unbearable some days. The ability to do little, including walk myself to the bathroom without almost falling over, was humbling. My husband had to step up in the house to help. He was not only being a full time Pastor, a part time security guard, but he became chief cook and bottle washer too. As a result of his extra effort to help me and keep our household going his health began to decline.

In November of last year his health took a nose dive. He almost died. Two stays in the hospital and thousands of dollars later with little to no insurance coverage he was a very sick man. He had to resign from his pastorate. We had to leave our home of 9 years. We had some major and difficult changes in our lives.

I'll admit there were a few times I was going through all of this kicking and screaming. I DID NOT want all of this to happen. There were times I was as cool as a cucumber and walked with grace through the turmoil and change. But no matter how I reacted to the change, it happened and wasn't going to go back to the way it was before.

Through the whole 2 years there was one major thing that never changed though, the love and grace and mercy of my Lord!! I knew beyond a doubt that He was always there, always in control and always working out the path of change for me and my family! That's one promise I have held on to for a long time in my daily walk with Him.

Philippians 4:12 & 13 says, "I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"

Even through change? YES!!

Without those big, hard changes in my life I may have never experienced some of the blessing changes that came along too. I had a dear sweet friend go with me to NY to help me clean out my Mom's house. She blessed me with a change in my heart of seeing how God can work through the hands of another. I was blessed with a special spa vacation to San Francisco to get away for the stress and go relax, a big change for me in so many ways. This was a trip I would have never planned for myself, but the Lord knew I needed. We learned the blessing of true friends who will come hold your hand in the ugliest and desperate hurts in life. We were changed and encouraged through a difficult time through their expressions of love towards us through their time, energy, gifts of food and money and mainly love! We were blessed with the gift of a home through the change in a dear woman's heart over those 2 years and her listening to the leading of the Lord. Her change brought on a major change for us, a humbling sweet spirit and a new home!

Change is going to happen. How we handle the change, how we walk through that change, how we accept or rebel against that change is really what matters the most.  You can't escape it. Change will happen. Through change is how we grow and mature, how we become who we are supposed to become. Change is ALL good even when you don't think it is!

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing (even change), but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to god, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil 4:4-8 (italics my addition!)

You want me to change what? Okay, Lord, let's go!!

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