Change is uncomfortable.
I’ve always been a person who likes predictable routines, predictable jobs, predictable friends, and predictable faith. Change terrifies me, and it always has. As a kid I would get butterflies in my stomach for days before trying something new or going to a new place, because when things are new, they are unpredictable, and unpredictability terrifies me.
As an adult, I still get knots in my stomach over change, and I often fight kicking and screaming to avoid the change that will inevitably come. It’s not that I don’t want to grow, it’s just that…growth hurts so darn much.
Ministry in the summer is always a transition for me, and though I want to do this, and believe in doing this, I cannot deny that sometimes it hurts.
It is at these times of change that I am the rawest, most exposed, and most vulnerable version of myself, but it is also here that I relearn who God is.
When routine is interrupted, I realize how much I rely on earthly comforts -my own bed, my books, my own messy space, my pillow – when all these things change I feel swept out and empty, yet also clean.
In the emptiness and in the change, I see my need for Him and His constant, fulfilling love.
From time to time I find my comfort in things other than God, but it is His grace that strips the comfort from my life so that I will seek Him more, and yearn for Him out of my need.
Maybe the hardest thing about change is not starting something new, but knowing that you must give things up in order to follow where God leads. It’s hard to learn to be ok without the former methods of comfort and coping that were found apart from Christ.
I must shake off the warm sleep of night and learn to unfurl my life before Him, like a flower opening itself to the light, I must face the change and turn my eyes upon my Saviour.
When I face Him, I cannot hide. His light shines on us like the summer sun, illuminating everything and calling us to remove our cumbersome layers. Times of change require the shedding of my protective skin (which is quite thick) and standing with open hands and an exposed heart.
I am afraid because I cannot control what will happen to me. I want to be prepared, but I have nothing. I want to hide behind professionalism, distance, or a smile – but I am at a loss.
Then Scripture cuts my soul with this truth:
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,” 1 Peter 1:6-8.
Jesus believes our relationship with Him is worth all the hurt and vulnerability of trials and change.
Though now we do not see Him, yet He is here, and He is coming again.
When He returns, He will restore all things and bring justice to the earth. He will show us the greater plan He has been working, and furthermore, He will show us Himself – the scars in His hands and the arms that have so tenderly carried us through every change and trial.
Rejoice. The vulnerability and rawness you feel is not in vain, but it is in fact for your great joy, as you are shaped, carved, and molded into the image of Christ.
Rejoice. As you are tested, your faith is being strengthened. You are in the hands of a good Father, and He is caring for you, loving you, correcting you and shaping you.
Rejoice. He is coming again to take His bride and restore the earth.