When I was about three years old, my family moved from Fort Worth back to my parents’ hometown. My dad had quit his job and returned home, in a gigantic leap of faith, to start his own business. One of the first homes his construction company built was ours, a pretty little home in the country. But, while he was working to get his business off the ground, we moved into a rickety old rent house outside of town, which my brother and I absolutely loved. I still have fond memories of dancing around the living room, singing to Alabama records at the top of my lungs with my brother. This was a good change for our family. We loved being closer to family, and we were fans of country living.
Then, the cows arrived. Right next to the house was a fence, behind which lots and lots of cows began appearing to graze lazily. I was absolutely terrified of those cows. To me, they were giant, alien creatures who stared me down each time I came out the door. They chewed in that ridiculous way and glared at me from the other side of that flimsy-looking fence. I simply could not handle this change. After all, in our quiet neighborhood in Fort Worth, there were no evil cows waiting to gobble me up. So, my dad would oh-so-patiently pick me up, and I would bury my head in his shoulder while he carried me to the car. When we arrived home later, same thing. He would carry me, all the while laughing, I’m sure, at my horrible fear of the scheming cows. Some of the changes I faced that year were amazing. Some, like the cows, were not.
Tonight we had dinner with friends who are facing change. They lost their son this week. Here he was, on this planet for 49 years, their child, someone’s husband, someone’s father, and now he is in Heaven. Just like that so many lives are changed forever. And, his wife is trying to figure out what she is going to do. His daughter is wondering who will walk her down the aisle. His parents are remembering so many sweet times during his childhood. They never expected to be here. They wish it were them instead of him. Yet, here they are. Parents of an absent child. This change breaks hearts and devastates. It is a time for mourning.
We are on the cusp of changes, as well. School is coming for us. Sawyer is starting kindergarten. Adelade will have new classmates and teachers to adjust to. Emerald and I will be left wondering what to do with ourselves. And, there will be lots of good in the change, although I am afraid to see it coming. Because I miss my children when we’re apart. Because the world is a big place, and I would rather keep them in my view, or at least in my hearing. I’ll miss the happy sounds when they go.
And, here is the scariest part of all. Many of the changes in this life we are utterly unprepared to face. We have no idea they’re coming. All of a sudden, we are alone or we have another child on the way or a parent gets sick or an accident happens. Change could be coming this very evening. One phone call can forever alter our existence on this planet.
Sound dramatic? It is. And, it happens every day.
Change is coming. How will we face it? How do we get out of bed in the morning, knowing that bad things are happening in the world? How do we ever feel secure when even the good changes force us to do things differently or think in a new way or let go of people we love?
There is only one way to handle the change.
Trust Him with your babies when you send them off to school. Trust Him with your babies when He takes them to Heaven. Trust Him when the news from your doctor is bad. Trust Him when you’re starting a great new job that terrifies you. Trust Him when someone turns mean. Trust Him when you feel that baby kick. Trust Him when you see the bills pile up. Trust Him when you’re suddenly mom and dad to your children. Trust Him when you can’t see a way out.
He cares for us in our sorrow and in our hurt and in our fear. He cares about the changes that come. He knows what lies ahead for us.
When change turns our lives around forever, we can bury our face in the shoulder of our Father. He will carry us through. From kindergarten to the funeral home. For all eternity.