A few weeks ago I had the amazing privilidge to share part of my story with Pastor’s wives at the Radicalis conference at Saddleback Church. Here is a portion of what I shared:
Change is inevitable. It’s going to happen. If we’re alive and breathing on this planet than we know we will experience change in some shape and fashion. Why does God bring change into our lives? I believe he brings about change to grow us, to draw us closer to Him, to bring Him glory. However, while change is unavoidable, spiritual growth through change is a choice.
When we moved from our home in Arkansas to Southern California, my sweet family experienced a heavy dose of change. I struggled. I frequently found myself in tears, or angry and frustrated. When these feelings would come-I had to retreat. One of the problems in living in a small condo with no yard (with a newborn baby) is there isn’t anywhere to go. So I found myself getting as far away as possible in my little home – on the bathroom floor. Just me… sitting there, facing our 1970′s model toilet with it’s mahogany seat. Just me and the Father and all of my feelings of fear, sadness, and entitlement.
While I was struggling with the questions of “why are we here?” and “what’s my role?”, God very clearly began to teach me three big lessons. It was critical that I began to move through this change, to grow through this change and eventually get up off the bathroom floor. Here’s what I learned:
God wanted me to trust Him. I had put all of my “trust” in my husband. I would say to myself, “he’s God’s man” and “I trust Him to know God’s will for our lives.” But I was really not trusting anyone. When things got tough or didn’t work out the way I had planned, I had someone to blame. I could point the finger at my husband and say “I trusted you,” which wasn’t God’s plan. He desired for me to trust Him. He could handle my questions and fears. He could reassure me the way only a loving Father could with His peace. Psalm 9:10 say’s, “Those who know your name will trust in you. For you Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
In change, we worry about “what’s next?” We worry about finances, relationships, and health. I would often say to my husband, “How is this going to work?” I couldn’t see the answers, and he had no answers. And the whole time I’m looking for answers, God is saying “Watch me.” Ephesians 3:20 says, “God can do anything you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His spirit deeply and gently within us.”
During the initial stages of this transition, much of my old identity was stripped away: the friends that occupied my time; the responsibilities I had in our previous church; and a full-time job in a professional career. God was removing all the “noise” from my life so that I would see him and know him. He was pursuing me with His love. “Be still and know that I am God”. (Psalms 46:10)
So…what is God teaching you through change? I’d really love to know!