I’m a person who thrives on routine. Every morning I make coffee, slip away for a few minutes of Bible study, shower and eat the same breakfast — a bowl of oatmeal with milk and walnuts. For date nights with my husband, John, I want to eat at the same restaurants. During the day, I visit the same websites, read the same blogs, interact with the same friends. And in the funny way life works, my life seems to be one of constant change. I homeschool my kids, which means new subjects and assignments daily. Under various deadlines, I write books about ever-changing topics. I can’t count on summer breaks, Saturday lazy days or even sleep.
As if that wasn’t enough, change happened when I felt drawn to launch a crisis pregnancy center. After that, my heart was tugged to lead Teen MOPS — and deal with teenage moms who are in a crisis of change in their lives! And for the last two years, our family has traveled to the Czech Republic where we taught English at a family camp. New culture, new food, new language, oh my! In fact, the only thing that hasn’t changed as my children have grown is the realization they still need me. (And I have a feeling that will never change.)
Without change always happening, I’d be happy within my four walls — left picking lint off the floor and stressing over fingerprints on the windows, which I’ve been known to do. You might think I’d be feeling a little perturbed with God by now. I mean, he made me one way and pushed me to act another by stirring my heart and my compassion. But instead of being mad, I’m thankful.
I’m happy that I’m pushed out of my comfort zone sometimes because I find God there. I discover he not only equips me and meets my needs, but he’s present through every change: comforting, guiding and encouraging me with his joy and peace.
Looking back, perhaps all these minor changes have been in preparation for the bigger ones to come. As I wrote this, my family was preparing to move 2,000 miles so my husband could accept a new job. We were also eagerly awaiting the birth of our fourth child, Alyssa.
To say our lives changed is an understatement. My youngest was in high school, and things were getting easy. But we went back to diapers, bottles and spit-up on my clothes. That summer I planned a wedding and a graduation from community college while also dealing with teething and middle-of-the-night feedings. Who would have thought?
The one question I’ve been asked is, “Why? Why did you start again when your kids can cook, clean and care for themselves?” The first (and obvious) answer is that I get to be part of a local MOPS group again! But two other answers follow: 1) John and I know there is no greater job or greater joy than raising children, and we see it as a privilege and a gift. 2) Through change God will show us his amazing ways. I’ll be changed as I change diapers.
Is change happening in your life right now? Yup, that’s to be expected. Are you eager yet scared, hopeful yet anxious? That’s understandable, too. Just remember that even though you’d rather keep everything the same, God is waiting for you — often just beyond your comfort zone. He’s there with open arms, prepared to walk with you every step of the ever-changing way.
And that’s something that will never change.