Friday, August 7, 2015

Fearing Change

Before I declared myself a writer, I didn’t fear change. For years I’ve reminded Bob that God is faithful and that we don’t need to live in fear, waiting for the “other shoe to drop.” Then I put those words to the test when I all-but-quit my job to pursue writing.

Suddenly I had more time on my hands. I could rise with the sun, like most people, instead of silencing the alarm at 3:30am. I could dedicate serious time and energy to contemplating words and their meanings and crafting stories to share.

Or I could take the Dakota to the lake to swim.

I wasn’t behaving exactly like Jonah (the guy whose name is always followed by “and the whale”) as I ran away drove to the quiet cove that’s ten minutes from our house to give our lovable lab her daily exercise. But I was growing increasingly unsure of myself and perplexed. Why wasn't this writing life working out like I thought it would? Although I believed the God Who gifted me to write, I was avoiding Him. I was afraid.

My afternoon escape also didn’t work out like I’d thought it would. As I neared my turnoff for the lake, I heard the distinct sound of squealing tires behind me. Immediately, I knew someone was trying VERY HARD not to hit me.

One glance in my rearview mirror confirmed I was about to be rear ended.

The white Dodge Ram lived up to its name and rammed the back of my Suburban, sending me about 15 feet down the empty turn lane to a stop. Yes, I was wearing my seatbelt, so I was fine. Dakota? Check. The other driver? One glance at the North Forsyth Raiders vanity plate on the front bumper told me that the young man who was trying very hard to remain calm could’ve been my son. Three gifts in a span of five minutes.

The only casualty from the incident was my 13-year-old Suburban.

Initially, it didn’t look that bad. His truck fared much worse. But last week the insurance company determined that the vehicle--that I’d vehemently denied we needed as a only family of three with just one dog, that had transported us on our home turf of Illinois and to Wisconsin for our summer weekend escapes, that had served us faithfully on the salt-free roads of our not-so-new-anymore home in Georgia, that was like an on-road La-Z-Boy--had come to the end of its road. It was hauled away on Tuesday.

Was the vehicle’s demise a stroke of bad luck, given that it was 13 years old? No. I don’t believe in luck. Was it a sign, something God allowed to shake me up? I don’t think that’s the case either. For me, the accident was a reminder that God can be trusted with each day. Psalm 139:16 says that all my days were ordained by God before one of them came to be. This experience was just one more indication that God remains the same in the midst.

Hebrews 13:8 says that Jesus is always the same: yesterday, today, and forever. God didn’t keep me from being in an accident, but He kept me safe. In the same way, God He is keeping me during this season of transition.

My parents are selling us their car. A new-to-me vehicle will be picked up at the end of the month when Michael returns to college in Indiana and I’ll adjust to riding lower to the ground. The real question that remains is how I’ll adjust when the time comes that I drift again toward fear. I’m discovering that the way to walk through change is to remember Who has authored my days and is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

How have you handled change that has come into your life? I'd love to dialogue with you in the comments section.

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