Friday, December 12, 2014

What Does Change Mean To You?

Change ~ If you are like me, that word does not have a good feeling associated with it all the time. There are good changes and bad changes. Then there are those changes that kind fall in between the two. They are good, but they involve apprehension and questions, lots of mixed emotions, like sending kids to college, moving, weddings.

Then there are the changes that hurt, really hurt.

I have had some big, big curve balls thrown into my life lately, changes that have as a result, changed me. Over the last four years so many things have happened, I tend to forget what I was like before them. My Mother has had several strokes and had to be moved from her independent life to a small apartment and then to a nursing home, to today where she does not know hardly anyone, does not communicate well and is frail and weak. I had a small stroke myself that has permanently damaged my left eye to where just walking some days is like walking on a rocking ship deck, finding words can be difficult and sometimes impossible until someone else says it, and reading easily gives me a headache from the strain on my eyes. My husband almost died, lost his job as a pastor because of his health, we lost our home (the parsonage), church, and in the process lost many friends to say the least a huge chunk of our income. Then my husband went partially blind.

When I look at that long list it seems a little overwhelming. Okay maybe a lot overwhelming, and it didn't include things like car breakdowns, broken dishwashers, broken teeth, and all the other smaller problems we get in our lives. Yet when I think back about the day by day life and not just those big changing moments I can see how each and every one of those events has been good for me and my family.

It's hard to put into words everything I feel about all these changes. I would be lying if I said I had gone through each of them bravely and never wavering with my faith in God. There have been days I have been so consumed with the junk going on I could hardly function, could hardly sleep or eat, or I ate too much. I'm thankful that I did not stay in that state of mind for very long though.

God blessed me with some very important people outside of my immediate family. They were perfectly placed in my life and I know it. They are friends, and even a few people I had never met before the difficult times, who have stood by me when I was standing tall and walking completely in faith and did not walk away when I collapsed in a puddle of misery and pain. They held my hand, sometimes virtually since they live many miles away from me, and never lectured or yelled. They just loved in action and word and have remembered to hold me and my family up in prayer.

I am reminded through those people that God has never failed me through all of this. He has given me such an amazing amount of grace and mercy and has done so through the hands and words of His people and His Word. His love had been manifested through their kindness, concern, help and presence. His love has shown through as I read Scripture and focus on what it really says.

What comes from all of this is growth. While you are mulling things over in your brain that have happened in your life, it's a way for you to grasp and understand the change that has happened, especially when it is a drastic change. Through His Word, God helps you sort out and piece together the mess you feel like you are living in.

I'm not the same person I was four years ago, far from it. Those events that hurt, and hurt badly grew me up in the Lord. I have more compassion and understanding than I used to. I understand the utter fear of losing everything, your spouse, your home, your livelihood. I see things from a new perspective. I love more freely, and hang on to things, even people a little less.

Change, even if you don't believe it right now, really is a good thing. I admit that going through difficult things like my family and I have can be rough, almost devastating, and it would be easy to lose sight of how good it actually is.

I have been reminded of a couple of verses;
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NKJV)
We were told a long time ago that change would happen, painful, difficult change, but at the end there would joy. In fact, through it there could be joy.

I can honestly say that there have been many moments of joy over the last four years. I can also say that there still is, even in the midst of my husband being partially blind. Some days it is harder to feel and see, but I know it deep down inside, because that joy is based on a promise.
Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. John 16:20-22 (NKJV)
I've learned to embrace change. It hasn't happened overnight. It took years, more than I would care to admit. Through it all He has never allowed my joy to be taken from me. In fact, my joy is greater today than it was four years ago.

Change to me? It means increased joy. What does change mean to you?


  1. Change to me means stress and anxiety. I don't handle it well.

  2. Same as above - I do not like change at all! It doesn't sit well with me

  3. Change is for the best at times, as humans we are very good at adapting!

  4. Change is hard, even good change. I pray things get better for you!

  5. Wow. Strength to you and your family. Change can be scary, but also good.

  6. Change can be good and bad. I tend to be up late at night when changes are happening to make sure I am making the right decision.-Jillian Fisher

  7. Change for me is either good or bad. I like change, I get bored with things easily so I like to change things often. I just dont like it when something goes bad :)

  8. I can't say I embrace change, but over time I learn to appreciate why the changes occurred and find blessings in them or because of them.

  9. Change can mean any number of things, though I try to look at it positively to help me cope. I can't say that I deal very well with change initially.

  10. So very true. God is leading you on a path and sometimes it's hard to think about the positive things. Good job seeing that!

  11. it takes lots of guts to accept change but if you see them to be beneficial in the long run, why not?

  12. Change can be very hard. I have been through some tough times and often wonder how I did it.

  13. change can be either good or bad...this is a great topic!

  14. Change to me, means seeing the good in events and shifts in my life. They are not always to my liking, but in the end I recognize the points of growth.

  15. Change can definitely be very difficult. But if things stayed the same, that could be even worse in some situations.