Today I am delighted to have a guest post from Kristen Strong, author of Girl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You Through Life’s Transitions:
I am a country girl who spent childhood surrounded by endless blue skies and wide open Oklahoma prairies. I grew up in the same house on a street aptly named O’Neill Lane—my last name and the last name of everyone who claimed that lane as their address. In my little corner of Osage County, I tirelessly played with sisters and explored with neighbor-cousins, always with imagination to spare. When I needed a break from roaming, climbing, or swimming with the family posse, I kept company with books and diaries under one of many open-armed oaks. Friday nights meant sleepovers with Grandma Rea and Sunday mornings meant church and pot roast with Grandma Mary. I found comfort in deep roots and familiar ways.
He is a city boy who, as a child, lived in more states than I’d visited. He loved anything and everything with definitive boundaries and straight lines. A straight-up thinker all the way, his analytical mind reveled in knowing the reason behind everything and how everything had reason. He embraced change as one of the most exciting parts of life, as well as a great excuse to learn new things.
Our paths converged in a college town when we both saw each other for the first time and couldn’t help but look again. It took ten seconds flat for the analytical, thinker boy and the free-spirited, artsy girl to fall for each other.
So on a humid June evening in north central Oklahoma, David put a ring on my finger in the only church I’d ever known. And when we loaded up my grandmother’s old orange and cream Chrysler Horizon for our first military move to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, I was introduced to something that would be a part of my life from there on out: Change.
Goodbye, comfortable Familiar. Hello, Change. So nice to meet you.
Actually, during the early years of our marriage, it was nowhere near “nice to meet you.” For a long time, I resented Ms. Change for obstinately dipping her fingers into all aspects of my life. She took away the only home I’d ever known and by the time I started to feel settled in a new one, she up and took it away, too.
But ever so slowly, I began to warm up to Change. And miraculously, I often found myself looking forward to her arrival.
So, what changed in me? Several things, including an understanding of this soul-southing perspective found in Genesis:
“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you.’ So Abram left, as the Lord had told him. . .” (Genesis 12: 1-4, NIV)
When God sends people packing, He sends them with a promise. So when Abram and his wife Sarai moved away from the only home they’d known, they packed God’s promise close to their hearts. And while their future years were not free of trials, they remained full because of the promise they received for their obedience to God.
As a former military wife, to say it has always been easy for me to leave comfortable familiarity for brand new everything would be a wild exaggeration. But it is helpful to know that God—not Uncle Sam—has placed us where we are for a divine purpose. I wouldn’t alter how God has used change to gift my family’s history, bring us to amazing places and beautiful friendships, and ultimately minister to me. Along the way, I learned change is not something to be faced with gritted teeth and clenched hands. It’s just the next step, God’s next best thing for me.
It’s His next best thing for you, too.
Oh, sometimes I still struggle with change and the difficulties it brings. Maybe you do too. But you can take comfort in this truth: the Giver of all good things wouldn’t allow you to be in your current environment today unless it brings you to a better tomorrow. If something is happening that you never fathomed—then God is working out something unfathomably good for you and in you. Together, you and I can rest knowing God’s plans will outdo anything our own hearts and minds can fathom (Isaiah 55:8-9).
And this is one thing we can always count on staying the same.
Kristen Strong is the author of the newly released book Girl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You Through Life’s Transitions. You can find out more about Girl Meets Change at www.GirlMeetsChange.com and read more of Kristen’s writing at her blog Chasing Blue Skies. Kristen and her husband, David, have three delightful children and enjoy their home under the wild blue skies of Colorado.