CHANGE: HOW TO ENDURE IT
“You can endure change by pondering His permanence.”
I pinned this quote by Max Lucado on Pinterest while I was in the struggle on bedrest waiting to find out about our son. It was an actionable step toward peace in the midst of chaos for me. And then, as life found order, things settled and I forgot about its helpfulness and truth for my life. I love the quote so much because every time I face a new trial, I battle the fear within my heart about the unknown or the change that is before me. I like to imagine or pretend that I’m super good with change; that I’m a natural adventurer at ease with the unknown. But really, I’m just not. I’m too big of a planner, a (wanting to not be) control freak, and lover of what’s comfortable. For example, when I was on bedrest from 21 weeks in my pregnancy until 27 weeks and the doctors could give us no guarantees and no real results of how our Samuel would be born or if he would ever live, it caused a huge upset in my heart. The upset was for obvious reasons, but also, for my need for everything to work out (the way I saw fit), my want for things to go easy and smooth or as planned, and the obsession with “all is well” was vastly disrupted when things just weren’t. When things aren’t straightforward or comfortable or the same as they have always been, and when I’m challenged to step forward into something that requires hope I have no idea about, I have to take my eyes off of it; I have to stop obsessing about it and controlling it. I have to, instead, look to the giver and perfecter of my faith. When things are unknown, when I don’t want to do something but need to do it anyway, when my whole world feels like it’s crumbling around me or change is upon me, it causes me to run to the only sure thing, the only permanent guarantee in my life: Jesus.
For those of you who aren’t my immediate family (there a few of you, I know), our family has made a huge life decision that will change almost everything. I was born and raised in Hawaii, spent 8 years of my marriage here, birthed our 3 children here and now we are planning to MOVE. Now, I know there are so many families that have to endure this change several times throughout their lives, and I am truly in awe of how they do it! TRULY. I am under no disillusionment that this is something that only our family is going through (and that this may also come off as overly-dramatic), but this blog post is the truth of my heart about the matter (written down of course). Maybe it’s the change that has me squirming, or maybe just the type of change, but whatever the case may be, I have been struggling through it.
We are moving. It’s a radical change in our life that I never imagined would actually ever happen, and as the days draw closer, the chaos within me is struggling to find order. Does anyone feel that way when things are about to change? Does anyone else bounce from one emotion to the next? I bounce from scared to excited, from anticipation to sadness, and I experience every emotion in between. The roller coaster of “can’t we just stay?” and “what an adventure!” and “my heart is breaking” and “the best is yet to come,” is exhausting. It is a roller coaster that we’ve been on since deciding many months ago and I assume that we will be on for years to come.
I have had over 6 months of mulling over, pleading, crying, clinging, and abandoning my hopes for our future. I have spent the same amount of time since we decided on moving for choosing Jesus, choosing His word, His songs, His peace. And then intermittently, I have spent the time in denial, holding back from friendships, my husband, and my own family who we will be far from when we move. I spent some days ignoring God, and other days desperate for His call, His touch, His peace. And throughout all that time, not much has been cleared up, except this: I have been carried through trial before and the future belongs to that same Faithful One. To think that “I am alone in my grief” or “this is something smaller than other trials past,” or to think “God doesn’t show up in the trivial,” is straight ridiculous. Through everything, through every heartache, every unknown to come, every change that is endured, I declare even as I’m writing this now that like it says in the song below, “I’ll remember how far you’ve carried me.” How can I look at my trial now and not already see the glory before me? I can literally look to the glory that I’ve seen in the trials past and already confidently see the glory of our future and our victory in Him who covers us and leads us through the change we’re so afraid of.
Yes, I am hurting. No, I don’t have this figured out. But I don’t have a handle on it, and I’m certainly here writing hoping my vulnerability will ring true for another. And frankly, all I know is this: The only way to Peace is the King of Kings, The Comforter. I love my family, I love living near, spending time, growing our relationships, and investing in our future together. The hurt I feel is because of love; it’s because love is powerful like that. And I’m a huge believer that there will be no end to God’s Peace when that love feels like it’s being ripped apart; that nothing, nothing, nothing, not even heartbreak, change and trial can separate us from His love. I witnessed the glory revealed over and over again while we were in our deepest valleys in our journey with Samuel, and why should I not stand on that as confidence in His goodness? I should and more importantly, I get to.
There is no doubt that this season will yield many things: the good, sad, life and also pain. But, I am also sure and find a peace that the author of the love I have for the ones I’m leaving is my Peace Maker. He is moving with me. When life sprouts change, there is only one permanent factor, and that is Jesus. The changes we experience rock us, move us, and sometimes hurt us, but the beautiful promise in 1 Corinthians 13:7 is this:
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
This promise was printed and taped to our preemie’s isolette for the three months he was in the NICU clinging to his tiny life, and although the change we’re in the midst of pales in comparison to that trial, this scripture and promise still stands and brings life and hope and comfort.
This scripture and promise is for every moment, in the good, the bad and the ugly, and although I’d like to say that I will “from this day forward” be fully at peace because of the revelation before me, the truth of the matter is that I am as human as they come. I struggle in the big and the not so big, and as I write through this change in our life, my hope is that my dwindling perspective on what is yet to come would somehow grow and the clinging would override the running. I would LOVE every and all the encouraging scripture and words that bring life if you feel so lead to share! May this 2018, although full of change, also be also full of His abundant love and peace that surpasses all understanding.
All photos photographed and copyrighted by Yanah Brennan Photography
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