Summer just turned to fall here in the US, a change some embrace and others dread, a change barely perceptible in some parts and already visible in others. And besides the seasons changing, many people have other changes happening in their lives. For me, my latest change (besides in my career working full-time now as a book coach and editor) is that my husband and I have gone from being empty nesters to once again having “kids” under our roof. Adult kids (ages 20 and 23); I’d say some days they act like adults and other days, kids for sure. They’re good kids and at least they have jobs, but it’s a pretty big change for me since I work out of my house now. And I’m sure the changes I’m going through are far less than those others are experiencing as I write this.
The good news is that despite the changes in our lives (and the havoc they sometimes wreak) God has a plan for us to grow and to prosper. He says so in His Word, the Bible. If we trust in God and allow the changes to grow us to become more like Jesus Christ in how we respond and act, then we are promised that all things will work together for good for those who love Him and keep His commandments. (Romans 8:28) It’s our choice, really, how to “roll” with the changes…to fight them and be angry, sad, stuck and feel out of control and helpless, or to step back and try to be grateful, peaceful, and trusting; to focus on today – not the mistakes and failures of the past, nor the projections and worries for the future, leaving those in God’s hands – and to focus on eternity, which gives us a sense that no matter what the changes, growing pains, problems and challenges we might and probably will face, they will all be fleeting and eventually blow away like the wind because we know all that matters is God’s perfect plan for us to enter heaven.
So let’s remember we are not like the leaves on the trees that change color but then whither and fall away to die; we are the trees, growing each day, each year, bearing burdens of cold and snow, welcoming the joys of spring, outstretching to others with green shelter, and shining in our Autumn glory – changing with each season of our lives and hopefully growing little by little into the magnificent, wise and saintly people God calls us to be.
So as St. Paul says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (Cor 4:16-18) and again, “Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12 1:2)
I have learned in the 11th step of my 12-Step program that if we “sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out,” we can experience serenity and a new freedom and happiness. Sometimes I’m not sure of His will for me so I have to just do the next right thing until I receive further direction…and know He really does have a plan and promises for me to join Him one day. Until then I need to roll with the changes and pray for strength from the Holy Spirit to grow into the person God wants me to be.