Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Seasons of Change

Hate is a strong word, so I will say this...I strongly dislike change, and as I grow, I'm realizing it more and more. I always order the same drink at Starbucks (chai: hot in the winter and iced in the summer); I always eat the same dish at the Cheesecake Factory (lemon herb roasted chicken); I like to follow the same weekly routines and keep things in my life as predictable as possible.

Ironically, in the past 8 years our life has been anything but predictable. We moved to Kenya twice (once before kids and once after) for over 6 months each time, all three of our children were not exactly planned (by us at least ;)), my mom was stricken by an extremely rare disease called Pick's around 8 years ago and became someone unrecognizable almost overnight, my dad passed away completely unexpectedly around a year ago, and here I am now in Fairfax, Virginia, my husband an ordained a priest for the Coptic Church...none of which we could or would have predicted at the beginning of our marriage.

So seeing that I dislike change, one would think that I would be miserable, but it has been quite the opposite! There is a special grace and blessing I've found in allowing God to take us places- both literally and spiritually- that doesn't necessarily make sense logically. This past Sunday, I was visiting a family with my husband and he shared his meditation about St. Mary and her thoughts and feelings when she was informed that she was pregnant (out of wedlock) with the Son of God. That isn't exactly easy news to swallow for a young girl who lived a very simple and most likely predictable life. This change would affect every part of her life- her emotions, her social life, her responsibilities, her daily routine, and so much more. She had two choices: obey God and submit to the plan He had for her life, or continue on with her life pretending she didn't hear Him.

Clearly, we know what her choice was. Was it an easy choice? NO. Was it an easy life? NO. But was she blessed? EXTREMELY. Was God glorified? TREMENDOUSLY.

We all have the same choice as St. Mary when God ordains some type of change in our life. We can obey and submit to His plan or we can act like we never even heard Him. If we choose the latter, our life will be simple, routine, and predictable, but it will never be blessed. I've had the blessing of experiencing this several times in my life, yet now when I am the verge of an eminent change, I still fear and long to cling to routine, stability, and predictability.

But as I write this post, I am reminded of an all too familiar verse, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11. I make the decision to willingly submit to the upcoming changes that God has planned for us, with full confidence that even though tough times may lie ahead of us, there is blessing and glory at the end of the tunnel, and through it all, we have a heavenly Father who will hold our hand through it all.