Change

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I’ve been going through a season of change for the past few months. Ever been there?

It all started with my dear friend that had been greeting me every morning for years with a sputter and my favorite hot beverage. Yes, our coffeepot began to change when it stopped sputtering and started spewing water and soaking the countertop. After a few weeks, the time had come to let it go and get a new one (and learn how to operate the thing!).

My laptop and cell phone were next when they started to move like slugs wearing bifocals. Not good. Not good at all. I had to say goodbye to those slow-moving friends and welcome two Jack Russell Terrier fellows into my life. They’re so fast they leave me missing my bifocal-wearing friends because, well, I’m one of them.

My eyesight took a turn down bifocal alley, and I’ve been wandering around aimlessly as I try different pairs of bifocal contacts and reading glasses. What’s really neat is I broke my reading glasses, so I used our daughter’s pink zebra duct tape to fix them. I have to wear this pair over my regular glasses if I’m not wearing my contacts.  How neat indeed and so attractive!

There are more changes taking place, but I’ll stop there.

I’m learning through these little changes and the bigger ones that are coming that God is leading me from the familiar shore of Comfort and Predictability. He’s asking me to trust Him and take His hand as He helps me to let go of those pretty seashells I’ve been collecting, those “things” I’ve been putting my trust in and relying on.

And He’s holding both of my hands as He guides me, gently backing into the water so I can see Him and the ocean behind Him. Just like the shepherd leading the way for his sheep, Jesus is leading the way for me into deeper waters, a grand adventure, and a time of more intense trusting in Him.

Sure, those seashells were pretty. But they could never compare to this moment with my loving Savior, His hands in mine, and the thrill swelling in my heart as we move into the water.  Together.

Things are going to change. Big and small. And I may even have to wear two pairs of glasses as I learn how to operate my new cell phone and laptop.

But I have the One in my life Who never changes and is totally trustworthy to lead me in unfamiliar waters, especially when I can’t see the way.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV.)

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” (Jeremiah 17:7 NIV.)

 

(Photo from pexels.com.)

A New Chapter

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When I was a little girl, I loved Christmas so much I’d sulk when it was over as I headed back to school. There was a vacant spot in our family room where the Christmas tree had been with a few abandoned pine needles stuck to the carpet and mere crumbs staring up at me from the bottom of the cookie jar. My young life seemed bare and gray without all the decorations and sugary goodness.

But now I’m a little more grown-up (a little!) and there is such excitement with a new year stretching out before me because I know the Author who is going to write the next chapter in my life, giving me the tiniest glimpse in the form of a single word to ponder and pray about. (And if I know anything about God, it’s that I will never know all there is to know about Him; that alone leaves me biting my bottom lip in anticipation and wide-eyed with wonder.)

I’ve learned that when I ask God to give me a clue about the upcoming year, I’m like a little girl again only I’m not wearing pigtails and I’m not waiting to shred wrapping paper to get to a new toy. Instead, I’m sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to pounce on the “new” and follow God on some grand and amazing adventure.

Funny, the word “adventure” leads me right into this year’s word, but it’s important to look back because the words are connected just like the chapters in a book.

Previous words: obey, new, wisdom, hope, and perseverance. And last year’s word: bold.

I smile when I think about some of the things God called me to do last year and how I needed to be bold and rely on Him for His strength – start a women’s group, speak to two groups of ladies on the same day (yikes, I was nervous!), submit my novel to an amazing agent, preach, let go of the past, ask for more of God, loosen my overprotective-momma-bear grip on our daughter knowing God’s gentle touch is always going to be better, and start speaking up about things I don’t like and things I know God doesn’t want me doing. (I’m really not supposed to have a garden or a bakery; the little pig-tailed dreamer in me has her pouty lip out.)

As I began praying and asking God weeks ago in the middle of December for the next word, the chapter title for 2019, God whispered it so profoundly to my heart:

Journey.

Oh my, what a big word! It could mean anything, really. A spiritual journey, a physical journey, a journey of healing… The list could go on and on.

Thankfully, I don’t have to have it all figured out, but I know I’ll need to be bold (see how the words are connected!). And I know God will walk with me, step by step, into this new year as He and I set out on this journey together.

And really, my friends, there is no toy or cookie that could ever be as sweet as the excitement and anticipation of drawing close to God as we begin the new chapter He has for us, revealing the abundant life He’s planned all along.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV.)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NASB.)