Piles of boxes, packed and taped. Untaped and unpacked and folded flat, again and again. Saved carefully for next time, because I know there will be a next time. Organizing, rearranging, re-planning our lives. I’m up all night with my old pal Worry. Or is it Hope who sits beside me?
Tonight I tuck into bed my little two-year-old boy. Tomorrow, the page on the calendar will turn and he will be three. When he used to say, “Pick me up!” now he says, “Put me down!” Where before he loved only Mama, now there’s room in his big heart for more. I linger at tuck-in time a little bit longer. Aching at the changes that are coming. Or am I aching at the beauty of all that’s been?
Yesterday I gave up one dream. One long-lived, long-pursued, long-loved dream. But today I picked up another. It hurts to say goodbye. But the possibility… the chances of goodness revealed… the ripple effect that this new choice might cause… I almost shiver to think of it.
We let go of old friends and dare to make new ones. We outgrow our dreams and give birth to fresh hope. Careers change; housing changes; relationships falter.
Sitting in a class last month, trying to fill out the required form, I struggled over this question and others like it: Do you like change? Or does it scare you? Both, I thought.
Because I know something about change.
My family has moved eight times in the last ten years. I have pursued more passions, more hobbies, more career ideas than any one person should. I know the fear that comes with letting go and beginning again, and the excitement. I know that my own heart is fickle when adventure is in the air. I know that even my feelings about change… change. My feelings about change are like a flimsy piece of Scotch tape that will never hold a moving box together.
But I’ve also learned that when the world spins fast around me, one thing never changes: The love of the One who made me.
Psalm 103:17 says, “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children…” He must have known I would doubt. He must have known we would fear. Because He takes time to remind us: from everlasting to everlasting.
And I remember what my friend Nikki whispered when our Discipleship School ended. “During times of change,” she pleaded with us, “Cling to Jesus.” Cling to Jesus.
He is like an anchor that holds us steady. Whether you’re packing up boxes, or saying goodbye to a career, or watching your children grow like I am, the lifeline that is Jesus is only one desperate prayer away.
During times in my life when the change was thick like a fog and I couldn’t see through it, I knew that I only had to call on Him, and He would be there. Like a good father that comes running when his child is hurt. And now I know that seasons of newness aren’t just a time for adventure or a time to be brave. They’re a time to experience how it feels to have your Father running for you. Wrapping His loving arms around you like tape around a box. Good, strong packing tape. Taping you up, holding you together, with the same good, strong love He’s always had.
Times of change give us the chance to experience the constancy of our always-loving, always-Fathering, never-changing God.