I wouldn't say I am the most comfortable person with change. God has been stretching me a lot the past couple of years to make me more flexible and open to whatever He has planned, including changes, but I still have kind of a hard time with it.

I think this year may just hold the record for the most changes within a 12 month time period ever in my life. Not only did I pack up my life, sell most of my stuff, say good-bye to family and friends and move across the world, I have also watched myself change and grow in so many ways this year. God has shown me some not-so-great areas in my life and helped to grow me in them, and He's stretched me in more ways than I can count. I've found I can do a lot more than I thought I could when I am doing things in His strength and in His ways. It hasn't always been easy at all, but I already see some of the great results of what He's been doing.

However, today I am kind of having a "change anxiety" moment. It's all kind of hitting me how much is changing in the next two months. Almost every single friend I have made here has already or will be moving in the next month and a half, including my best friends here (Gary and Stacy) and my beautiful god-daughter. One of the missionary families that I am closest to will also be moving in a few weeks. On top of that, the school year is winding down and some of my kids will not only be moving classes, they will be moving to other countries! (This is what happens when you teach at an international school in a transient town.) I am finding out now that there will also be lots of changes with boarding next year. New boarding parents, new boarding students, and it looks like the boys will be moving to another housing area so it will only be girls around here. (Who will I talk football with next year??)

If I sit and think about all of this too much, including that this will be the first Thanksgiving and Christmas away from my family, I definitely feel overwhelmed and pretty sad. But I am inspired by a verse God recently showed me in Isaiah: "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19. God is challenging me to not hold on so tightly to the things of the past (or the present) but to hold loosely to things, knowing that God will give and take away many times in our lives. But His ways are always perfect and He's always working things out for good.

So, today I am making a choice to trust Him and wait with expectancy to see what great things He is going to do. As a good friend once told me, when God removes something or someone from your life, He is creating a void that He can fill with something or someone else. He is doing a new thing, so I'll just patiently and expectantly wait to see what all that is.


Honea Household said...

Praying for you.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel! For years now, change has been the story of my life. Friends coming and going become a staple and your heart grows to accept it. Just know that you are not alone in this area and my heart goes out to you right now. I leave in less than a week (again) so the process is beginning all over. We'll both be away for the holidays so lets keep in touch as much as we can. I'll be praying for you :) Love ya!

Sarah W said...

Welcome to the life of a missionary. I've seen more "changes" in my almost 5 years here than I sometimes care to. Many people come and go, but others come along as well. I know we're on opposite sides of the property and don't see each other as often as I would like, but we'll have to play lots of domino and you'll have to come chill with us in the AC. It's not always fun to be here during the holiday's but we make the best of it and usually always have a great time! We'll have to make it special for you this year!!

Heather said...

Isaiah is such a great book of encouragement. On our trip to Egypt our most poignant verses came from there.

KSA said...

I remember my first year overseas. It seemed like I would just start getting attached to someone and they would leave. But it did a lot to force me to draw closer to the One who never leaves or forsakes. I will be thinking of you over the holidays. To be totally honest, I think celebrating Christmas overseas is more fun. It is not nearly as much of a rush to shop, you can enjoy the season with those who are around.

Botswana Mama said...

With a son in Iraq and a daughter in Africa, there will obviously be a huge void in our home during this Holiday season but you are both in places that God has led you to and He will be right there with you to help celebrate the birthday of his Son. The prayers of so many of your supporters will calm the anxiety and you will experience a truly meaningful time. My heart explodes with awe at my magnificent children who serve both God and Country. Yes, it will be a different Christmas, a quiet Christmas but we can take this opportunity to reflect back on those wonderful times we were all together and anticipate next year when we celebrate two homecomings, two new members of our family joining us in our unique, crazy traditions and we will continually hug each other while listening to the adventures of our Missionary and Soldier - who are safely home. I love you.