As I watch the leaves turn loose from the trees, I am reminded that change is a part of life. I was just talking to a friend this week about how much she hates change. It’s true. Most of us would rather avoid change. Even if our lives stink to a degree, if we have to go through a major change to improve our lives, we’d rather plod along in our stinky lives. But sometimes change comes along in spite of our best efforts to prevent it.
That happened in my family this week. In an instant, things changed. One phone call altered my day, and every day since. This change couldn’t have been predicted or controlled. It just called me up on the phone and said, “Here I am. Deal with me.” I don’t know yet if this change is permanent or not. My hope is that it is not.
This change came in the form of a small stroke in my father’s brain. One moment his world made sense to him and the next it didn’t. One moment he could make a call on his cell phone, and the next he couldn’t. Bam. Just like that, change came. Thursday my dad could drive his truck. Friday we took his keys.
What I do know is that the brain is a really amazing organ, and I am hopeful that over time my dad will experience full recovery. I want the change that came crashing into his life to go away just as quickly. My nurse’s brain knows the recovery will be much slower, but my daughter’s heart still hopes.
I am seeking the peace that passes all understanding that is promised to me in the Scriptures. (Philippians 4:7) I am trying to still trust in the Lord in all my ways for right now I really need him to make my paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6) My parents are leaning very heavily on my nursing experience and knowledge right now. They are hoping for a real return on that college investment they made twenty-five years ago. Proverbs says that the fruit of the womb is a reward. I think my parents would like their reward now.
I take their trust in me, and my opportunity to be here to help them, as a privilege. I am blessed to have always had parents who were there for me no matter what. Now it’s my turn to be there for them. It would do my parents no good if I found what happened to be too overwhelming to handle.
When these uncontrollable changes come along we have to be able to look to the One who saw them coming long ago. This little stroke my dad had, did not come as a surprise to God the way it did to me. I would have appreciated a little heads up from Him, but alas, that’s not how things work. I have to trust that He is still in control and that more than I; He loves my dad and plans the best for him.
Not many of us like change, but here’s a fair warning: If you aren’t experiencing a change in your life right now, hang on… it’s coming. It could be a perceived change for the good, or it could be a perceived change for the not so good. We tend to judge for ourselves what is good and what is bad, but let us always remember that in some way, each change that comes to us will ultimately be for our good. God has a real knack for weaving those things into the fabric of our lives and making something beautiful from it.
Change comes at the speed of life. It will try to pull the rug right out from under you. When it does, plant your feet and stand firm. We either trust Him in the change or we don’t. I am learning there isn‘t a lot of middle ground there.
In times like these, we often go to God and unload. That’s fine. He wants us to come to Him. He is our Father in heaven and He loves us. But what if we tried something else? In times of trouble we are supposed to run to God. But what if, when we got there, we turned around. What if we turned around and with God at our back, we faced our problems and life changes that way?
What if, instead of telling God how big our problems are, we turn around and tell our problems how big our God is? I didn’t make that up, but I like it.