The day my mom called and told me my aunt was getting married was an exciting day! After we hung up, I began to wonder and hope that because of the enormous change in their lives, my mom would decide to move her home back to Texas. My mom and her sister had been living together for the past five-plus years, but that living arrangement kept her far from us, her kids, and her grands and great-grands. We longed to have her around more!
The next time we spoke, my mom said, “yes!” she wanted to move back to Texas. I enthusiastically, and without reservation, offered my home to her, and from there we began making plans for her to move in with us.
What I didn’t realize at first was making this change would be hard. Even though I had a spare bedroom, I had furniture in there and had recently redecorated it. I had to find new places for my furniture and I discovered that making space was exhausting both physically and emotionally, even though it was a change I wanted to make and was very happy to make.
Change is like that – even when a change is embraced, like getting married, landing your dream job, or just moving your furniture around in your living room. We expect the difficulty change brings when it is forced upon us, like a death, a layoff – or other loss.
I’ve discovered that even a welcome change can evoke feelings of loss, grief, and uncertainty. Embracing something new means you have to release something old. That something old may not be doing you any favors, but it is known, and there is a level of comfort in it.
The children of Israel were the same. They wanted to be free from slavery – they were fed up with the hardship, and they cried out to God for deliverance. But their hearts were not ready to take on the responsibility of freedom. In their hearts, they were still slaves. They took every step forward with one eye focused behind them. They were double-minded, divided. The wrestling between their heart’s affections kept them from making any real progress.
God gave this example so each of us could learn from it. To move into the new, you have to change your mindset. You have to be willing to keep both eyes on the destination while walking through the desert of uncertainty.
Have you ever instigated a change but then in the midst of it, realize it wasn’t all you thought it would be? Usually, the realization comes after you’ve crossed the point of no return! You know you want the change, but the price to get it was more than you bargained for.
What do you do when you find yourself in the middle of a change?
Don’t look back with regret. Release the past – all the good, the bad, and the comfortable. Realize God is directing you, so keep your focus on Him. If you realize you made a mistake, do all you can to learn as much as possible from it. Don’t let it go to waste! Where did you err? Fix it. Repent. Refresh in the Lord. Then ask Him, “What next?” and go that way in faith. You have to deal with your past to move forward in faith and hope.
Trust God. Transition holds lots of unexpected challenges and surprises. They can be difficult, even when it’s a change you seek, like with my mom (who, by the way, is dealing with the exact same things: what to keep, what to release, and all the friends she’s leaving behind, including her sister…it’s all emotionally and physically exhausting).
Change pushes you into new territory. And how you handle the transition will determine if you cross through the unknown and enter your promised land.
Every scenario of unknown and unexperienced situations demands we trust God or fail. Trusting God every step of the way through the wilderness of transition is the only way to walk successfully into your new change and possess your promise. Trust His faithfulness.
Looking back on the past is beneficial when you see God’s faithfulness there. It is good to remind yourself that His past faithfulness is evidence of His future faithfulness.
Whatever change is in your life right now, and whatever uncertainty is cropping up in your heart, dreams, and quiet times make the deliberate decision to deal with the past, let go of regret, face the future with hope and expectation because you trust your God and His track record of faithfulness.