Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. –Joshua 1:9 NLT
It’s been a rough start to 2018.
On Jan. 2 we arrived home from a weeklong visit with our daughter and her family in South Carolina to discover one of my two kitty cats had crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
I was devastated. Rascal was my little buddy, keeping me company during DH’s long workdays. When I worked at the computer, she’d curl up at my feet. In the evenings when I crocheted, she’d hop up onto the pillow-like arm of my cozy chair. Many times I’d be watching TV and realize she’d snuck onto my lap.
She slept on top of the covers at my feet, the perfect foot warmer on cold winter night. When I took my Sunday afternoon nap, she often stretched out beside me. She didn’t mind being cuddled, as long as it was a brief cuddle. I loved to rub my cheek over her soft, silky fur.
Then my 33-year-old son informed us he and his girlfriend were no longer together. I really liked her, too. I thought for sure she’d soon be a member of the family.
This past week my three grandchildren moved from the house they’ve called home since they were born – the house my husband grew up in, the farmhouse his ancestor built on land he homesteaded. The house next door.
My heart is breaking. Watching the swing set come down. Realizing I won’t see lights on in their rooms, knowing they’re home safe. No more watching them play ball in the backyard, swing on the swing set, walk in the lane after school. No longer will I pick them up at the bus stop on rainy days or watch the youngest when he’s home sick.
Even more changes lie ahead. Retirement. Our oldest grandson going off to college.
Change is a part of life. No, let me rephrase that: Change is life. Life is change. And the older we get, the harder it is to cope with. How do we deal with change?
Remember the 4 A’s:
ACCEPT: face changes with calmness and grace. Remember God is in control and will work all things for good (Romans 8:28). Remember Abraham. Remember Joseph. Remember how faithful God has been to you throughout your life. Remember Paul and his thorn in the flesh: “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:8–9 NLT)
ADAPT: fit yourself into the change. Ask God for wisdom, strength, and courage. Once again, remember Paul, who wrote: “I have learned the secret of living in every situation. . . . For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:1–13).
APPRECIATE: cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for what you had in the past and what you have now. “In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, AMP)
ANTICIPATE: look forward, not backward. As Paul wrote, “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13 NLT).
Facing change? Remember, you are not facing it alone. God is right there with you, giving you all the strength, wisdom, and courage you need.
Help me, Lord, to forget what’s gone, appreciate what remains, and look forward to what’s up ahead. Amen.
Read and meditate on Ecclesiastes 3:1–11.
© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.