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Life is interesting, isn’t it? We go through different stages of life in what seems like a blink of an eye. Big changes can come at any age, time, or season of life - when we least expect it.
Each phase of our lives can contain stressful situations. Even new, exciting changes can cause stress and even fear. Those big life changes can take us away from what we’ve known in the past and cause us to worry about the future. Our concerns can consume us with dread - or bring us closer, in our desperate need, to the One who created us and knows us better than anyone else!
God’s Plans for Our Lives
I thought I had almost figured out dealing with the Big Life Changes concept after having lived overseas for many years as a missionary. I’d been through many moves, learned a new language, and dealt with hard situations. Lots of changes, right? Years later, as I prepared to retire, I thought my husband and I could finally go back overseas as volunteers.
Notice how many times the word “I” was used in the last paragraph. I had been looking at our future through my own eyes, but God had other plans. Had I forgotten to check with Him? Surely He would want us helping on the mission field. However, God’s plan for our lives shocked my socks off! My husband of 48 years was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. We’ve now gone through many stages - denial, anger, fear, and years later, I’m learning to accept God’s plan for our lives.
Give it all to the Lord
For me, fear was the worst! In my head I kept hearing a little voice that said “There’s no way you’re going to be able to handle all that this disease will bring!” But it wasn’t until I began to give it all to God, almost daily, that I was able to stop feeling overwhelmed. I had to give all those worries to God and recognize that I can’t, but HE CAN! He tells us so in one of my favorite verses, Matthew 11:28-29 CSB:
Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
When I took that verse to heart, I not only felt relief and comfort, but I found that He was leading me, helping me make big decisions with a clear mind and a real sense of relief! Sure, I still get tired, but when I do, it helps to remember what Deuteronomy 31:8 CSB tells us:
The Lord is the one who will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.
How encouraged I was as I rested in those beautiful verses, finally beginning to understand the impact of each word. Another verse that encouraged me in the hard times was Philippians 4:6 CSB:
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Did He say everything? Yes, Everything. I find myself talking to God many times a day. Sometimes it’s as simple as “Help!” And what’s so exciting is that we are told to come in confidence, knowing, with relief, that He loves us enough to want us there, right at His feet resting in His love.
Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 CSB
Thank you, Lord, for Your wonderful Words of Life!
Are you going through a big life change? I invite you to rest in the four Scriptures above and lean into God as He guides and comforts you in these next steps of your journey. And always remember to place your trust in the One who loves you most.
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Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thess 5:11 CSB