Change has never come easy for me especially when I’m happy and content where I am. So, a couple of weeks ago when my pastor talked to us about change, I was reminded of a change I had to make 10 years ago–a change I was none too happy about at the time, but a change that turned out really well for me.
I was a productive member of an active church in Rome GA, growing spiritually under the preaching and teaching of a self-proclaimed good old boy with a doctorate in theology; singing in a huge choir; and coordinating the prayer ministry. I had retired from 20 years of coaching and teaching tennis, and my days included long walks with God and my dogs through the woods on our property out in the country.
My walking trail ended at what I called my “prayer tree” that stood beside a fenced pasture where I could see sheep on one hill and cattle on another. As I sat beside my prayer tree and looked in the distance, I was always reminded that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and these were just two of them. At that time in my life, I was content and at peace with the world.
But circumstances change, and peace flew out the window when my husband came home from work and announced that he was retiring at the end of the month, and we were moving to Tims Ford Lake. It didn’t matter to me that we had already built our retirement home there or that we had discussed and planned the move for 12 years. I just thought that day would never come. But it came, and he was adamant. And, I was angry.
I’ve heard that all great changes are preceded by chaos, and that’s where my mind was–in chaos. As my situation changed, so did my attitude.
Those peaceful walks in the woods turned into three weeks of stomping through the woods; and the Lord let me stomp until I was worn to a frazzle and confessed my anger.
Knowing that I couldn’t change my fate, my attitude would have to change. So I said, “Lord, if You really want us to make this move, You’ll have to change my heart about it because it is not right with this move.”
I could almost hear Him say, “No kidding.”
Confession changes things, too. So does praying in God’s will.
Immediately, the burden lifted, and I was at peace as I walked out of the woods and back to the house in a much better humor. That Sunday when I went to church I told my Sunday School class we were moving, and I put our house and property on the prayer list for a quick sell. God must have been sitting on ready for that prayer. We had a buyer before I returned to church that night.
My next conversation with God went something like this: “Okay Lord, You know I don’t want to do any church hopping, so where do You want me to go to church when we move?”
Since the Lord had obviously approved our change in residence, I felt sure He had a church in mind, too; and He did. He called me to Marble Plains Baptist Church located inside Tims Ford State Park.
Now I’m celebrating, yes celebrating, 10 years at the little white church in the wildwood where the church family is welcoming and loves others the way Christ loves His church; and the pastor always preaches under the influence of the Holy Spirit and pastors his flock much like the Great Shepherd pastors His.
I am blessed with a spirited neighborhood brunch bunch that supports each other all year long.
My peaceful walks in the woods have been replaced with long walks along lake roads and hours on the water with my dogs, my camera, and my Gheenoe. So you can see how God changed my heart about change.
Only He knows the plans He has for us and the path He wants us to walk; and when we walk it with Him, even when it includes change, we discover it’s lined with blessings.
God changed my heart about change. It isn’t all bad. Change is all good, if God is in it.