It felt like the breath had been knocked out of my lungs as I heard the words come out of my husband’s mouth that we needed to move — to leave the newly renovated 100-year-old dream farmhouse on the charming street and the community we’d grown to love and the family that was nearby to help at any moment. We had only lived in that house for a few months when he broke the news.
I wish I could say that I gracefully accepted his words and submitted to his leadership without question or complaint. I believe the accurate description would be that I threw a toddler tantrum kicking and screaming all the way to my room. (We can clearly see where our girls get their flair for drama.) In the moment, I sat there questioning what God was doing. We had hardly lived here. We moved from a suburb outside Atlanta barely over a year before that point. Then, we spent 11 months pouring our heart into a home — dreaming and creating a home that we imagined our girls growing up in. I not only questioned God’s plan, but I questioned my husband’s agenda. Did he really feel like this was the change we needed? Was there not a way to remain where we were?
It really came down to change. Change is a word that most people don’t want. Sometimes I welcome change when it comes to seasons or TV shows or fashion, but change that affects the comfort of my family is a different story. And unexpected change or unplanned change is even harder. Maybe the change is related to a job or a home or finances or relationships. Unexpected change can shake you to the core. It can make you question everything you once knew as truth.
But no matter how change happens — whether by choice or unexpected — I have learned a few things from it.
Change creates a new beginning.
Have you ever thought about it in that light? You are given an opportunity to start something new. To maybe create something from nothing. And even though that the change may feel daunting, you can see good in it (if you squint a little). The process leading up to the change may have brought tears, frustration, or questions but once the change happens something new is birthed. There is new possibility. New beginning with a home or friends or even yourself. You get a chance to start over with a clean slate and start a new adventure. When we moved, my oldest was in kindergarten and I loved how her teacher framed our move. She said that as long as Sinclair was with us — her constant — then this change would be an adventure to her. And she was exactly right. Her constant didn’t change but her surroundings did and it created a new beginning and adventure.
Not only does it create a new beginning, but it changes the scenery.
What I mean by that is that it gives you an opportunity to shift how you see things. When we moved from the dream house to a new city and new state, it shifted how I saw my surroundings. The change brought my perspective of meeting new people back in light of the need to invest in the people around you to love like God loved. I had a renewed excitement about meeting neighbors and I saw my neighborhood as an opportunity for God to continue His story in my life.
Change gives you a new vantage point.
You receive an opportunity to see things differently. But it not only gives you a new vantage point of your surroundings, but it gives you a new vantage point of yourself. You get to see yourself in a new light. Maybe you didn’t like who you were around certain people but now you get to start fresh. You get to meet people who have no back knowledge of who you are.
Most of us don’t choose change. We don’t go looking for it because there is something uncomfortable about it. Its unknown. It can flood our minds with questions and concerns — especially when it involves our children. Its hard to trust that change can be good for our little ones but God is working His story in their lives just as He is in yours. He is creating a new beginning for them, too.
I think that God wants us to see change as an opportunity — an opportunity to start fresh with fresh eyes. Sometimes change can help us to see Him more clearly as it removes distractions and pushes us to rely on the One who doesn’t change.
Welcome to Ungrind!
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Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
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-- Darlene Schacht, author of Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages and co-author of Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
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