The Sweet Days of Change

I have just been through three years of non-stop transition! 

Whew … am I tired!!!

Three years ago our youngest daughter, Joni, graduated from college and so Craig and I officially became empty nesters. 

I no longer needed to cook for, plan for or spend my days mothering. After 35 years of being responsible for children … it was over.  Just like that … it was over.

I missed it so much.

Then— the following year—we transitioned the church that we had pastored for 11 years over to a younger couple. 

I was no longer a pastor’s wife. I no longer had the opportunity to teach a weekly Bible Study to the women under my watch.

I missed it so much. 

Then—Craig moved to Oklahoma to begin his new adventure with an international missions’ organization while I stayed in Buffalo, NY, waiting for our house to sell.

I lived all by myself in the big house that used to be home to the family that was known as “McLeod”. 

I rattled around that delightful home the best that I could but something was missing.

It was them.  I was missing all of them.  The ones for whom my heart yearned.

Then—the house didn’t sell for nearly 18 months.  We took a huge hit on it. (I have a friend who says that Craig and I are experts at buying high and selling low.)

Whew … that’s a lot of change, isn’t it?!

But I’m not done yet …

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Then—Craig and I lived with our daughter and her husband for seven months so we could recover a little bit financially. I’ll be honest – this was the best part of the entire transition. It was a sweet pleasure to cook for them … to play games with them … and to enjoy evenings together. To say that Craig and I were grateful for their friendship and their hospitality for seven long months is an understatement, indeed.

Thank you, Joy and Chris!

Then—Craig and I decided to rent a house rather than buy one. It’s the first time in 40 years that we have not owned our own home. It’s different.

I miss my house.

Craig and I are growing accustomed to our “new normal”. He travels a lot— but so do I. He told me today that we have only been together one-fourth of the days of 2019. 

I miss my husband.

But – the one thing that hasn’t changed is the goodness and the faithfulness of God. In every season … in every change … He has been with us. 

I have heard His voice on the streets of my new neighborhood.   

I have felt His love in the care of friends who helped us pack and move.

I have seen His handwriting in the cards and letters that have come from near and far.

I have seen His handiwork in a million little ways both in my old life and in my new life.

I have felt His presence at the end of a long day filled with uncertainty. 

He is my certain.

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So … I thought that I would coach you a little bit today since I am now a certified expert on change! I’d just like to share with you a few things that might make your days of change just a little easier and a little sweeter.

1 – Look back with thanksgiving but look ahead with anticipation. Remind yourself daily that there are great, great things ahead for you! Be a person of wide-eyed wonder and grand expectation! You can reminisce from time to time but don’t linger there. Set your eyes on all that God has for you in the days to come!

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we have left behind.” – C. S. Lewis 

2 – Remind yourself that “stuff” and “things” are just temporary. Pry your heart off of material possessions and allow yourself to cling to that which is eternal.

3 – Keep friends and make friends.  Stay connected to the friends who walked with you through your last season in life but make a valiant effort to create new friendships.  Have people over to your home … invite someone out to coffee … knock on a neighbor’s door with a treat.

I remember a song that I used to sing in Girl Scouts when I was only 7 years old but it prepared me for life:

“Make new friends but keep the old – one is silver and the other gold.”

4 – And finally, remind yourself daily, that we serve a God who never changes! Climb up into His arms and rest in His security.

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!