I’m a girl who does not like change.
I like the things in my life to remain the same, predictable. I like my coffee in the same mug at the same time every morning. I like the same thing for breakfast every day, and I wear the same ratty old sweater around the house because it’s comfy. And familiar.
These past two years have brought about so much change in my life. Some very, very good, most not. Relationships, careers, new babies (well, just one baby!). I thought I had been handling it well, until recently. I started to realize I wasn’t happy; I wished life was different. “If only _____ hadn’t of happened,” or “if only I could do both” replayed itself in my mind over and over again.
I was becoming bitter from the hurt my heart had experienced from so much turmoil. And I didn’t like who I was seeing in the mirror.
We have some raspberry bushes in our backyard alongside our house. A few years ago our neighbor’s house burnt down, with that side of our house sustaining extensive heat damage. Later that summer, when our siding was being replaced, the bushes were pushed down to make room for the worker to do his job. The branches were beaten up, battered, and bruised, growing in odd directions and trying so hard to bear fruit.
I’ve been like that. Beat up, battered, bruised, but still trying bravely to grow on despite the changes in my life. And yet, much like our bushes, I was holding on to so much dead weight I couldn’t flourish. I found myself tired and exhausted instead.
This spring, my husband and I ruthlessly tackled the raspberries. We cut away all the damaged branches and removed the dead ones. We even pruned healthy branches because they weren’t growing the way they should have been. The result was almost immediate – they are flourishing and I can’t wait to see them bursting with fresh berries this summer!
I’ve realized it is time to prune my own heart. To remove the things I’m holding onto that are no longer mine. To let go of the grief of life changing and instead embrace life.
Change is scary, isn’t it? It often leaves us sitting at a crossroads, wondering where on earth we are supposed to go next. I like things to remain the same because it feels safe and it feels like I am in control.
But the kicker is, I am not in control. God is. And when I resist the change He effects in my life, I’m resisting the good gifts He has in store for me. Be they a new ministry, new relationships, or even the joy of a toddler trying his hardest to help me write instead of having that nap I really, really want him to take.
Letting go has been hard. But facing the new? I have to tell you, my knees are shaking, my palms are sweaty, and I am terrified to not know what to expect – but oh, am I ever excited to start down this new path He is leading me on!
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV
I will, however, still take my coffee in my favorite mug, thank you. It is the biggest one in the house, after all!