20160304-Patrick-Constant

Change is hard for me.

I like the comfortably predictable and the gentle rhythms of routine.

Last year was a year of big changes for me. My best friend in the world asked me to marry him in May, and in October we said “I do.” I moved in with him, and we adapted and shaped our lives around each other. It was exciting and fun.

Change is hard for me. Unless I choose it myself.

In November, my grandfather passed away, peacefully and leaving behind a legacy of new beginnings and perseverance. In November, my brother admitted his addiction and was accepted into a rehab program.

These changes hurt, they pinched my soul, frustrated me, and frightened me. I wanted to pretend they never happened, I didn’t want the beauty of Christmas to be blemished. I didn’t have answers, and these changes didn’t make sense to me. How is it good that my grandmother is left without her life partner? How is it good that my brother will be in recovery every day for the rest of his life? How is it good that my family hurts and aches in a season of joy and celebration?

And then we went to our family counselling session. It’s a part of healing for my brother’s addiction, because families have to heal, too. And I saw God’s grace. Grace in the honest words we could speak to each other. Grace in the love and support we could share.

Grace and goodness.

What is grace, but goodness come to earth? What is the greatest goodness, but grace dwelling among humanity in human form? I want to see the good, but what about seeing the grace instead?

Change is hard for me. But there is grace in change.

And more importantly, there is grace in change I did not ask for. The grace of a God who has a better solution than I do, the grace of a God who knows the beginning and the end.

I fight so hard to perform, to earn things myself, to fix things myself. And in the middle of it all, God gives a gift: A baby in a manger who will change the world, who earned grace and goodness when we could not earn it.

Christmas comes at the end of each year, wrapping up changes and heartbreak and joy in the celebration of God’s greatest solution: changing humanity’s fate. It was a reminder for me that all change is part of God’s plan and His plan has a beautiful purpose and a glorious ending.

And then the calendar flips and another year begins. Change continues.

But God is constant and His plan is unchanging.

You and me, we can embrace the changes this year brings because He is always grace. We can find the goodness in changes we did not ask for because His grace is sufficient to carry you and me and each of our insufficiencies through to the other side.

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” {Isaiah 46:4, NIV}

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His grace is sufficient to carry you and me and each of our insufficiencies through to the other side. {Tweet This!}

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Laura,
    Congratulations on your marriage! May you have many wonderful years ahead! Hmmm….God has better solutions than I do. So many times I want to take the future in MY hands because certainly I know best?! I have lived long enough to have witnessed God thwart my plans (thankfully) because He had a better plan in mind. It’s like He says, “Why settle for a tootsie roll, when I want to give you a Godiva bar?” He answers in ways beyond our wildest imagination and in most cases it involves change. Enjoyed reading here with you this am.!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Laura

      Thanks for your congratulations and your kind words, Bev! I know exactly what you mean, its hard to let go and trust that God’s plan is best.

    • Missing Mickey Mouse

      LOVE the tootsie roll analogy :)

      • Bev @ Walking Well With God

        Ever since I’d heard that it stuck with me :)

  • Peggy

    Laura,
    A kidney stone brought me up short this week. In the unbelievable pain of it I could not pray, other than “make it stop! ” I was not controlling this and I felt hopeless and unfaithful. I now reevaluating my ability to roll with change – with crisis. Apparently when I am under the false impression that I am in control I allow grace in and feel that I am a child of God. Control. My way. Not His. Lots of Journaling and prayer. Curiously every piece of Scripture this week seems to point to an increase of faith and trust. Letting go. Knowing he does know the beginning and the end.

    Your post was good for me today. Thanks!

    Peggy

    • Laura

      I’m praying for your pain and healing, Peggy. Know that in the hardest times when we don’t have the words to pray, God still hears our hearts. Thankfully, being a child of God isn’t about feelings or finding the right words. I’m with you on learning about faith and trust, my word of the year is Trust!

  • Susan

    What is grace but goodness come to earth. I love that, Laura. I am a lot older than you and I have seen more change than I can keep track of! I like change – but not the emotional, gut-wrenching kind; however, it’s usually those things that God uses like no other. Beautiful post. Yay for your brother. Congrats on your marriage. And, grace for your Grandma. xo

    • Laura

      Thanks for your kind words and encouragement, Susan. I’m happy that these words could resonate with you!

  • Julie Garmon

    absolutely LOVE this post. I can relate–big time. xoxo

    • Laura

      Thanks, Julie!

  • Nancy Roe

    Love this verse today! I find myself injured and broken and in this stage of life. “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” {Isaiah 46:4, NIV}

    • Laura

      Thanks, Nancy, I’m praying for your stage of life.

  • Rebecca Jones

    Some changes are good, some are great! Some definitely need grace. Thankfully, He’s always there and His grace really is sufficient. Look forward expecting His best.

    • Laura

      I agree, Rebecca, so grateful for His sufficiency.

  • JeanneTakenaka

    Beautiful words on change, Laura. I’m with you, I seldom embrace it willingly. As I walk through my own change now, I’m learning to be still more, to lean into the Lord more, and to simplify (because I have to) my days more. I don’t always like it, but I’m adapting to it . . . with lots of help from God. :)

    Congratulations on your marriage!

    • Laura

      Thanks, Jeanne! I’m praying for your season of change.

  • http://livethegoodnews.com Crystal Hall

    Laura, I’m right there with you, change that I do not want is hard for me to accept, but thank God for His grace, oh, how it helps me accept that which I cannot change.

    • Laura

      Thanks, Crystal, amen to that!

  • Beth Williams

    Laura,
    May God bless this marriage!! I pray for many wonderful joyous years for you both!! Change is hard! I have been in a “season of change” for 2+ years now.
    I needed grace to get myself through each day!! Christmas last year was difficult due to some changes. It was hard to be joyous!! Praise God He has other plans and can turn things completely around!! His grace and plans are far better than I could imagine!!!
    Blessings :)

    • Laura

      Thanks, Beth! God is so good and his ability to work miracles always astounds me. I’m so glad this post could strike a chord in your heart!

  • http://joleneunderwood.com/ Jolene Underwood

    Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate to handling change much better when it comes from a decision I’ve made myself. I’ve said a number of times, “I don’t corner on a dime,” because when plans suddenly need to change I need time to process what’s going on and reset my will towards what needs to happen. God’s grace is such a blessing because He allows me what I need in the shifting and provides in the change itself.

    Congratulations on your marriage. Lots of changes there. :) And dear Laura, thank you for sharing honestly about your brother’s struggles and your family choosing to go to counseling. What a brave & loving thing to do. What an encouragement.

    • Laura

      Thanks for your encouragement, Jolene! I can totally relate to what you’re saying, I often need a bit to process changes and “reset my will” as you so nicely put it.

  • Missing Mickey Mouse

    I am going through some unwanted changes I am also learning to trust God. This post really encouraged me. I know God has a purpose even in the midst of pain.

    • Laura

      I’m glad you could find encouragement in this post! I’m praying for your pain and your season of change.

  • Tammy Miller

    This is what I needed to hear. I have so many of these feelings going on right now. My Grandmother passed away Christmas Eve of last year. Thank you for giving me words to express what I am feeling. This was truly from God’s mouth to my ears!!! <3

    • Laura

      Tammy, I’m so glad this post could give voice to your feelings, that’s a beautiful thing! I pray God will give you peace and comfort, and carry you through your change.