Monday, June 2, 2014

My Love-Hate Affair with Change

When I was about 8 years old, I remember trying to rearrange my bedroom by myself. My room was the back corner bedroom in our 60s suburban ranch home in Thornton, Illinois. The floor featured 1970s era orange, green, and gold shag carpeting that I had selected. The walls were adorned with matching orange floral wallpaper. Very Brady, all the way.

On that particular day, I used all of my skinny might to maneuver my twin bed into a rakish angle. The head of the bed would now be in the corner, with the foot projecting out into the center of the room. Behind the bed was a hidden little triangle where I planned to sit and retreat from the world, absorbing the latest Nancy Drew or Cherry Ames. But moving my bed wasn't just about needing a hiding place,

I liked the change.

By shifting the furniture in my 10 X 10 foot corner of suburbia, suddenly my room became brand new. This angular perspective created a fresh start. This simple change was thrilling.

I've always craved little bits of change in my life. Perhaps it is because, for the most part, the staples of my life have been overwhelmingly stable and consistent.
  • I've lived in the south suburbs of Chicago since I was born.
  • I grew up in one house on Mohawk Drive for the first 18 years of my life.
  • I took a job at Moody Bible Institute where I have worked for 24 years.
  • Then I married my husband - we will celebrate 22 years this September!
That is why, these past few months, I've had a pit at the bottom of my stomach. Life is about to change. Really change. Not just move my bedroom into a new configuration, but move my family and job and home across country type of change.

This is scary.

I am excited to shake things up, to try something new. And, I am petrified. What am I doing? Why would I leave what I know for what is unknown? Why would I rock the boat when it is sailing along at a nice pace? I want this change, and yet I fear it.

In December, I resigned from my faculty position, and last month we put our house on the market. We are planning to move to Florida as soon as our home is sold. We are excited to live closer to family and enjoy warmer winters. I am doubly blessed to still work for Moody from a distance, but in a new position as a writer of fundraising materials.

While all of this is wonderful, this change is also prompting an onslaught of questions:
  • Where will we live exactly? Not sure
  • When will we move? Not sure
  • What will my new schedule be like? Not sure
  • Where and when will my daughter start school? Not sure
While I am excited, the "not sures" are making me crazy. Although I like change, I want to be the one in control. I am like that skinny 8-year-old pushing my bed. I want to maneuver it all by myself and then, maybe, hide in the corner of my new room.

The parts that are out of my control are terrifying.

As a Christian, I've always believed God is in control of my life, even the smallest parts. I also realize that whether I stay or go, there are no guarantees my life will not change. I am not in control. I know it.

Now is the time to put my faith to the test. I need to walk in faith and loosen my grip on my future. If I truly believe in God, then I have to fully accept that I am not in control. This change is not up to me. I need to calm down and rest in Him.

My pastor has a tradition at the end of our church service. As he reads the blessing and sends the congregation out, he has us hold our hands open, palms up, and listen. We are in receptive mode, letting God bless us and shine upon us.

So that is me, now.

Hands open.

Palms up.

Waiting and accepting whatever change may come my way.

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