Monday, June 18, 2012

How Are You Going To Handle It?

How are you going to handle it? That's the question that is being asked of me all the time now. Everyone knows that we have a close, tight knit family and that we have big changes coming our way. Alannah, our youngest, is going off to university on Aug. 31st and Matthew, our second, is going to be married Oct. 13th. We will still have Benjamin, our oldest, home for awhile, but he is engaged too and will be married sometime within the next couple of years, at the latest. 

So all eyes are on me, 'mama', to see how I am going to get through this life transition. I don't think anyone is expecting me to 'fall apart' or take to my bed in deep mourning, but I'm sure they're expecting some tears and, truthfully, I am too. I love my kids. I loved being with them everyday of their growing up years. I loved homeschooling them and discovering new things together and sharing experiences with them. I loved watching their first steps, hearing their first words and seeing them ride a bike for the first time. I was blessed to be the one to capture all those firsts. It wasn't a babysitter, it was me. I know I am blessed. 

But just like you wouldn't want your child to be in Kindergarten forever, neither do I. I have celebrated each stage of their lives and have enjoyed the adults they have become. I am excited to see each of them serving the Lord and I'm excited to see the doors He is opening for them. I would never want to hold them back from any of the wonderful things the Lord has in store for them. 

Alannah is going to be a teacher and will be shaping young lives. Matthew and Gabe will be starting their life adventure together. They are still my children, that will never change. I am not losing them. Because I have spent years cultivating my relationship with each of them, I will still have a strong bond with them no matter where they live. Yes, I will miss having them at home with me every day, but that time has come to an end and a new chapter of our lives is beginning. Who knows what God has in store for all of us? None of us know but we do know this one thing: it will be good, because He has promised in His Word that He will bring good to us if we honor Him, and we do. 

I have faced many things in my life. Some I have seen coming, like these, and have been able to prepare my heart to accept them. But some I haven't seen coming. Those I like to call the 'whammies', those life events that come with no warning and hit you broad side. But even when the whammies came I was never capsized. I hung on to God and had faith that He would bring me through. Yes, there were tears and heartache but there was always hope that He would bring me through and He did. 

Because I am a Christian, and especially since I am a pastor's wife, the world is watching to see how I handle the situations which come my way. Will I handle them with hope or be hopeless and despondent? Will I crack under the pressure or handle the situation with grace and dignity? The world is watching because they want to see if my faith is real, if what I say is true. Do I really depend on God? Does He really care for me? Yes, He does. 

This fall our lives are going to change, but change isn't always a bad thing. Without change a caterpillar couldn't become a beautiful butterfly. Without change a wiggly, tiny tadpole couldn't become a great bull frog. Without change our lives would be stagnant. Change doesn't have to be a scary thing if you know Who is leading you through the changes. There is a childhood game where one child is blindfolded and another leads them through an obstacle course. It's a game of trust. If you have someone you trust leading you through the obstacles, you are confident that you will make it through safely. I trust the Lord to lead me through the obstacles I will face in my life, so I don't have fear of change. He is with me and has promised to never leave me. 

So back to the question: how am I going to handle it? I'm not. I'm going to let God handle it and I'm just going to hold His hand. 

"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour." Isaiah 43:1-3

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