July 8, 2024

Trusting God in Times of Change

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

— Proverbs 3:5-6

Benjamin Franklin famously once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Life feels that way, doesn’t it? Just when you think you’ve settled into some sort of rhythm, you get sideswiped by the unexpected. And sometimes even those changes we expect can throw us for a loop.

I think back to when my daughter was born. I had no idea how much my life would change. I didn’t know that leaving my career to stay home would be such a difficult adjustment. I didn’t know what sleep deprivation would do to my physical and mental health. I also didn’t know how much I would love that tiny six pound, three ounce fireball. God grew me through all of those changes. (Read: When Paint Became Scary)

Now I find myself in a different place of transition. That little fireball has grown into a beautiful young woman who just got married. We all anticipated this joyous union. She’s 24 and has married the wonderful young man she’s been dating since she was 19. But still, I’m realizing it’s an adjustment. She has begun a new life. She’s making a new home. And I’m feeling her absence in our home in a way that surprises me.

My daughter spent four years in university in Scotland. After she graduated she started grad school five hours away from our home in North Carolina. But our home was still her landing place. She came home for holidays. Her room was still very much her own. And it’s different now.

Changes in life come in all shapes and sizes. Big, small, good, bad, routine, and unforeseen. There’s no way to live without change, and honestly, would you really want to? Sure, we all experience pain and loss we would rather do without. But a static life would not be a well-lived life.

It wasn’t surprising that losing my dad to cancer left me feeling like I’d been forcefully submerged underwater for an indeterminate period of time. We expect that from grief. But lately I’ve been pondering a tendency to roll through many significant life events without taking necessary time to process their impact.

All change involves some level of loss, a leaving behind of something we’ve grown used to. Buying a new house usually means leaving an old one, along with all the associated memories. Taking a new job might mean leaving close colleagues behind. The marriage of a child is an act of letting go and trusting God for his continued provision and guidance in that child’s life.

Adapting to change is how we grow as human beings. It’s what makes life interesting. It’s how we learn to trust. And we don’t have to do it alone. God is with us through every life change—guiding, comforting, sustaining. Even when life’s path is full of bumps and turns and the occasional pothole, we can count on Jesus to be our constant. Scripture reminds us that he “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). What a relief!

But what does it mean to embrace change in a way that helps us grow? I think it means slowing down—savoring the important moments and taking time to reflect. These days, I often find myself stopping to acknowledge a particular emotion. If I’m not sure why I’m experiencing that emotion, I ask God to help me unpack it. He never fails to meet me with his wisdom and insight.

Whatever changes are going on in your life, rest assured that God goes before you. He prepares your path—be it wilderness, mountain top, or pasture. He is your shepherd, and he his GOOD. Will you trust him?

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