Never would I have imagined feeling so much sorrow at the same time as I felt so much joy.
My husband and I were taking our oldest son, Eric, to college. He was the first one to leave home and I was excited for him, but I did not enjoy leaving him in the dorm and walking away.
I had loved being a mom, and I was glimpsing a future where my active parenting days would end. It was a bit scary. And a lot sad. Over the next several weeks I pondered the reality that, like it or not, my life was going to change.
“What then, Lord?” I asked him. “What will my life look like? Will you have something for me to do then?”
I yearned to know the answer. I pleaded with the Lord to tell me. He was patient and ever-so-gracious as I began to grieve a change still years off. Turning to Scripture for answers, this passage absolutely jumped out at me:
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
That was God’s promise to me: He would give me something new. New challenges, new joys, new adventures. When doubt would creep into my heart I reminded myself of that promise many, many times. When I tried to hold my old life in tight, clenched fists I would whisper that verse as a prayer, and peel one painful finger at a time off of what was. Only then could I reach out towards what could be. Only God’s word assured me that the new thing would be as good, or even better, than the old. Because in a sea of change, I absolutely knew one thing to be true;
God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?
I don’t know what changes you are facing. Death of a dream, loss of a relationship, an unwanted job change; it doesn’t matter. As long as you draw breath, God has plans for you; a new thing that will take you places you could not imagine.
As we begin a new year, that is a promise worth holding on to!
- Have there been any changes in your life that you neither sought, nor wanted?
- What was it like to grieve over those changes?
- Do you believe that God has a good plan for you, a “new thing”?
- Memorize Isaiah 43:18-19 as quoted above. Repeat it every time you begin to hold on to the past too tightly, and allow it to encourage your heart to anticipate the future.
Father, thank You that You keep every promise in Your word. Thank You that Your plans for me are for my good, and that tomorrow holds the promise of joy. Please help me to let go of what was in order to reach for the new things You have for me.