Changes hurt. Unexpected changes are especially prone to cause fear, anxiety, confusion, and doubt.
I thought I knew what I was supposed to do at this point in my life. I was prepared for it. I worked out and prepared my timeline as young as 17 years old. I worked out that when my children were grown and responsible enough to not need me at home full-time, I would begin my teaching career. Texas offered a life-long license, and it would be okay that I would start later. But, it hasn’t worked out the way I planned.
God is doing something; changing what I expected to happen, and I am fighting against fear, anxiety, confusion, and doubt. I want to trust God. I really do. He knows I like to plan. He knows I need some sort of road map to feel like I know where I’m going and what I’m doing to feel a sense of security, even if I don’t know where I will be. My security and comfort has been in that plan.
One of my friends suggested I read “Wait and See” by Wendy Pope. She and several other friends are in a similar place of being almost Empty Nesters. I didn’t get the book at first because I’ve spent my whole life in wait and see moments. Then one morning, I was being completely honest with God about how I wanted to trust Him, but it was kind of hard because I felt so in the dark. I was grieving over the loss of not only one major purpose, but also the second purpose of teaching which I had been patiently waiting to happen over the course of 20 years.
He reminded me of an activity I had done with my most recent class of 3rd graders. A student brought in a rock tumbler and the materials to produce actual polished rocks. I was more than happy to find a way for us to make it work. Reading through the instructions, I was surprised at how many weeks it would take, the different grades of grit that had to be used, and at how slowly the tumbler turned. We proceeded to find a place where the loud tumbling wouldn’t interfere with the class and dutifully followed the plan. We barely had enough time to finish before the end of school. The class and I were thrilled at the results of the polishing. Each student got to take a shiny rock home.
God, in His gentle way, reminded me that although I may not see the changes, that although it is painful and slow, He is working.
Now, as I am reading the book, “Wait and See,” I feel more hope and some structure to the work God is doing. Sometimes it is quiet, sometimes loud, and sometimes the grit has to be changed to work on smoothing the rough edges even more. I am waiting to see what He has planned. As God breaks off the rough edges and polishes me, it still hurts as I feel the grating at times, but I am willing to endure patiently. I can more easily trust Him and His promise knowing the result will show more of Him in me.
O Lord, I will honor and praise your name,
for you are my God.
You do such wonderful things!
You planned them long ago,
and now you have accomplished them. Isaiah 25: 1
The Lord will work out his plans for my life—
for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
Don’t abandon me, for you made me. Psalm 138:8
For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10