Recently my husband and I had a conversation around what words we would use to describe each other over the past few years. One of his words for me was heartbroken. At first, I thought this painted me in an unfavorable light, and not as the happy person I think I am most days. But as he explained, his meaning was the opposite. For him, that word described how deeply I love my people and how my heart breaks for what used to be as change ushers them into new seasons.
While I’m no fan of change, I know change is inevitable…and there lies the problem. When change starts brewing, I want to do all I can to keep it from happening. It’s like standing in front of a freight train, thinking I have the power to make it stop. But unfortunately, I don’t. In the last four years, we’ve changed jobs, moved kids into college, launched one into post-college adulthood, become grandparents, helped aging parents, and on and on. Whether your list resembles mine or looks totally different, I know it contains change, and if you’re anything like me, these changes didn’t come easily.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” It doesn’t say in some circumstances, or just in the easy ones, but in all circumstances. Talk about a hard pill to swallow. Sometimes our circumstances change quickly, or we get caught up in all the emotion and drama. Sometimes things are going well and, we think we don’t need to take a minute to give thanks to God because He’s only concerned with the bad things that happen. Whatever it is, we get distracted, and giving thanks in all circumstances takes a backseat.
These days, I’m slowly learning to become thankful for the changes that come. They show me things about myself. Lately, it reminds me that God is walking right beside me, carrying me through these changes. I’m learning to take a step back and readjust the lens I’m looking through. Changing my perspective often reveals a hard lesson I need to learn or a simple truth I’ve always known but hadn’t thought of in a while. Other times God brings His word front and center to help me loosen my grip on those things I desperately want to stay the same.
As we move into Thanksgiving and then Christmas, the changes I work so hard to keep out will be present whether I like it or not. Some will be hidden in the unseen consequences of life choices, while others will be on display in the aging of parents and children. But through it all, I’ll commit to pray for eyes to see things as Jesus sees and for a mended heart thankful for how the changes have grown and shaped me over the past few years.
Question: What about you? As you approach the holiday season, are there circumstances you need to be thankful for instead of heartbroken over?
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