If I were asked to define my current life in one word it would be "change". Loss of a parent, new financial situation, working outside of my home, different schooling choices, and clarity on ministry areas (to name a few) all contribute to my choice of this word. Any one of these areas would take some period of adjustment and a whole lot of prayer to come out victoriously on the other side. I'm facing them head-on at once. People have told me that making more than one major life change at a time is not wise. Sometimes though, it is unavoidable.
Simply rereading this list makes me breathe a little quicker, eyes darting before I close them to ground myself. Change can be overwhelming. In his book, A Grace Disguised, Jerry Sittser puts perspective on change and loss. He comments, "Living means changing, and change requires that we lose one thing before we gain something else."
Change is constant, but it's forms and severity differ. In order to move on and receive new blessings, I have to accept each change. I do not have to be happy about some changes that are forced upon me, but I can choose to trust that God is good.
He is in control when I feel like I am not, but am I really in control in the first place?
Control is an illusion, a magic trick of keeping it all together while those around me stand in awe. I think I have control over my home, my finances, and my health. But, to paraphrase another line from Sittser's book, "The only control I really have is the control I have over my response to discovering I have no control in my life." Wow, that one stung.
Who has the control if if is not me? Since I put my faith in Christ, he does. Actually, even if I did not believe in him, he would still have the control. Similarly, I could choose not to believe in gravity, but when jumping, I still land on the ground.
Control and change. Change and control. Seems like the best option is for me to admit most of it is out of my hands. Thankfully, his hands hold the world together, and the control he has is not an illusion. I am a very small part of his grander plan. When I ponder and accept this, I fear change less. I am also less anxious when I realize more changes will come. Psalm 62:2 says, "Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken." (NIV)
One song I have clung to during the past few months:
"Your Hands" by JJ Heller
God, when my world is shaking, I am thankful Heaven stands. You know what changes I am going through right now. You know what changes lie ahead. Help me to release my illusion of control into your able hands. Amen.