Freedom to Embrace Change

We recently had a few inches of snow here in the Dallas area, reminding us that winter is not quite over and yet spring is knocking at the door. The “snow” came and went in a matter of a few hours, very unlike the snow I’d been accustomed to seeing in March and early April while living in Minnesota.

Spring is beginning to bud in the gardens around my neighborhood and I’m thinking of all the things this new season brings. What comes immediately to my mind are change and new beginnings. Some changes are brought about by the seasons of life, some we embrace and can’t wait to start, others are consequences to previous events, and some cause us to go kicking and screaming our way through them…hopefully with a big dose of prayer along the way too.

Regardless of what we want, or don’t want, change happens (sounds like a bumper sticker) every second of every minute of every hour of every day.

A major change will soon be happening in the life of my only child and in my life as a mother as well. By the time you read this, we will know the outcome from his April 1 sentencing hearing. He is currently in jail in Minnesota. We have no idea what lies ahead for Chris as he experiences change and begins a new season of his life. I’m anxious to know what the decision will be and yet I’m unsure that I’m ready for what that might mean for my only child. Good or bad, he is experiencing the consequences of his actions and after April 1 his life will change from months of sitting in a county jail to either spending years in a state prison (Stillwater) or serving his time while attending the Teen Challenge program.

Have you ever experienced a new beginning or change and because you didn’t know what was ahead, you became a very unwilling participant? You felt pulled in two different directions – to stay where you were or to move forward?

In Windows of the Soul: Experiencing God in New Ways, Ken Gire describes a picture by Norman Rockwell, titled Girl in the Mirror. “There is something about this girl, this girl whose arms are held close and whose hands are curled inward like the petals of a flower. She is somewhere between bud and blossom.” He goes on to relate this image with how we face change, or as he calls them, thresholds.

We go from threshold to threshold with something pulling us forward and something pulling us back. We sit in front of the mirror, tentative, hesitant, and unsure.

How does God feel about us when He sees us at one of those thresholds, sitting in front of one of those mirrors? What is He wanting to tell us at those very insecure, very fearful times? “Grow up. Get a grip. Get up and get on with your life.” Is that what He is wanting to say?

Or is He waiting to sit beside us, put an arm around our waist, and tell us a story of the thresholds His own son had to step across, at Bethlehem, at the Jordan River, and at Gethsemane? Times when His son also felt something pulling Him forward and something pulling Him back. Times when He also was tentative, unsure and yes, even afraid.

I have had many thresholds in my life and there will no doubt be many more to come. I’m thankful that with each one, regardless of whether they are easy or difficult, God is there to give me the strength to walk across that threshold and experience what lies ahead. I’m not sure that I’m ready to embrace the unknown change for Chris. I do know that I can embrace the truth and hope from my heavenly father when he says in Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

Are you sitting at one of those thresholds, not sure which way you want to go? If so, please say this prayer with me:

Dear Heavenly Father, Please empower me to be strong as I start making the changes that are necessary in my life. Please give me the courage to see that You can do a new thing in my life. I open the desert of my heart so that your healing streams can flow through me. Thank you for giving Your Son as a sacrifice for my sins, that I might not die but have eternal life with You. Fill me with Your love and the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

©2008, Allison Bottke

Available now from Harvest House Publishers
Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children
Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents
by Allison Bottke
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