07 November 2012

Change and its benefits

If you're just joining us, my family and I moved from the Boston area to a small town in Texas last summer.  We have lived in our new town for a little over three months.  Much of what I've written on the blog since our move has to do with all that the move entailed: leaving a home and church that we loved in order to answer the call of God.  I promise that I won't only write about that forever.  But that is my reality now, so it figures prominently in what I post.

What follows comes from something I wrote in my journal on October 11, almost a month ago.

What I've found, and what may seem obvious to some, but was nevertheless an epiphany to me, is that we take ourselves and our sin wherever we go.  Moving strips away all the things we used to hide behind.  What we are left with, in any monumental change, is our grief and our shortcomings.  We cannot get away from ourselves and the things that hold us back from becoming who we are meant to be.
When I find myself wishing that we were back in Arlington, in our old life, I realize that the problems I am experiencing now would not disappear.  Rather, I would have the old, familiar ways of making those same problems seem not-so-bad.  I would be able to find comfort in things such as place (my old bedroom, my old walk to the store) or friendships (people who know me and who speak the same spiritual language).  But in a new place, the old fightings and strivings seem amplified, for there is nowhere to hide.  There is no familiar routine for dodging such things.  The problems, they stare us in the face and dare us to do something.
So, we can either stew in our misery and wish for it to go away (it won't).  Or we can face it.  We can realize our weakness.  We call out to God and say, "Help.  We are failing.  We are falling.  Hold us up, as you have always done, only we've been under the illusion that we were somehow responsible for that. Now we know that we weren't."

In removing everything familiar, the illusion of control is mercifully smashed.  We never WERE in control; we only thought we were.

So now, I desperately awake 30 minutes earlier simply to intercede for my children.  To talk with my Father and tell Him how weak we are, how sad, how mad at each other, how grieved, and we are desperate for His joy and His help and His presence. 

Tiny comments become huge victories, like the night at dinner when Walter said, "I really liked the weather today."
Thank you, Jesus.

Psalm 94:19 When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul.

Isaiah 40:11  He will tend his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in his arms; He will carry them in his bosom and gently lead those that are with young.

NOTA BENE: For those of you who have prayed and are praying, THANK YOU.  Nearly a month later, things are so much better than they felt when I wrote these thoughts.  We have more peace amongst us, and God is meeting us. Truly.  If you have been especially praying for Walter, THANK YOU.  He is better.  He is happier.  His heart is softening and we are thankful.  It's not perfect, but it's BETTER. God is here, and you are here by your prayers.  We love you.

Linking with Emily today and the Imperfect Prose community.


17 comments:

  1. So true! Thanks, Kit, for articulating this so well! After about 3 weeks in our new house, I told Jack, " Oh, no! We brought all our bad habits with us!" How needy we all are -"But thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

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    1. Tricia, I'm glad I'm not the only one! Hope things are going well for you guys. Indeed, thanks be to God!

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  2. I can totally relate in our move over here to China. It stripped away all my comfort crutches, whether it was a close friend or a grocery store that made sense. It's amazing how comfort can be a lullaby to sanctification. Without even realizing it, we've grown sleepy in our walks with the Lord. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Oh Carrie, I can only imagine. When we first got here, John and I said, "We might as well have moved to Africa, it feels so different." We may speak the language here, technically, but there are subtleties that don't translate. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  3. "In removing everything familiar, the illusion of control is mercifully smashed." - praise The Lord, right?!! I love the imagery of it being smashed, but I'm sure I won't enjoy the sensation of it in another 4 days when I leave Boston. Thanks for sharing about this journey - I need to hear it and it is SO helpful to know I'm not the first or the last to walk this road. xoxox

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    1. Biz, you're right, it doesn't feel very fun in the midst. But praise God we know to whom we can run. And we know He won't turn us away..."She must and shall go free." Love you!

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  4. Kit, you lay open your heart so well. Thank you for sharing your struggles, right here in the open, so that we can all grow alongside with you. Praying that your transition to Texas continues to forge new pathways for your faith.

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    1. Amen, Holly. I have no doubt that the Lord will use our transition to mold and shape us and our children...for our good and His glory, may it be. Thanks for reading and commenting, Holly!

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  5. Hi Kit,
    I just found you from Becky's blog. I live in the Boston area, wish I had found your blog before you moved. I am looking forward to reading some of your older posts!

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    1. Hi Kerri! Great to meet you here! I love Boston so much...we all do. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting. Look forward to getting to know you.

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  6. i love how you wake 30 minutes early each morning to desperately pray... i love how you make room for God. love to you. e.

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    1. thanks, emily, for reading and commenting. grateful for you!

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  7. Kit! That journal entry is so fantastic and sums up what I went through moving back to Pittsburgh. It was a REALLY hard transition. God has been using it to strip away layers of my GIANT sin onion. Losing all of my comfortable places, people, and rolls really undid me. I love how your words give me an explanation for what happened to me over the last 2 years. Now I'm feeling comfortable again, but know that I'm not the same.... I'm better. You too will reflect your Creator & Savior more as a result of this time, more time with Him, and shepherding your little crew through it. I really, really, really appreciate that you shared that journal entry. Thank you.

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    1. Heather, thanks, as usual for reading and sharing. I'm so glad that these words resonate with you. "my giant sin onion"...I love that phrase! Will have to use that again.
      Love you!

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  9. Just had lunch with your dad today, he told me about your blog. He's right, you're a great writer. I'm one of the many thousands of Up with People alumni who've known Ralph (& the "Colwell Brothers") for years. Great blog post. As an introduction - I'm an imperfect Christ-follower & we've just made a move 'back' to Tucson...and just finished 5 years as a lay pastor at a Lutheran church in MN. As an aside, my daughter is also a blogger & you may enjoy checking out her blog as well, I think you'd like it: http://thoughtsbykaylee.blogspot.com

    Many blessings,
    Chris DeGraff

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  10. Wise words, as always, Kit. Thank you.

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