God: Your anchor during changes...
In less than a month, I'm packing up my belongings and driving 1,300 miles to start a new job. I have So Many Feelings. I'm excited to see God work in this way after months of praying and waiting for this opportunity. I'm sad about all the Good I'll be leaving behind. I'm nervous about the uncertainty that lies in a new place. Will I make good friends? Will I like my new job? With those thoughts, I turn to the Bible which has wisdom on many of life's adventures and challenges.
In the book of Deuteronomy, God gives the Israelites instructions on how to take possession of their promised land. They decide not to go, after hearing reports about the dangers along the path, even though God had already assured them they would not be defeated by the obvious obstacles. Their leader, Moses, says this in response:"..Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who is going before you will fight for you, as he did in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son..." Deuteronomy 1:29-31 [NIV]
With fear in their hearts, the Israelites decided not to follow God's path. They wandered the desert for forty years, when the journey should have taken eleven days. Many of them died on the way. That is really... sad. And Moses had given them a simple solution to help them get over their worries: To remember that God would fight for them because he already had.
And that's what I'm going to do. And that's my advice to any one who is dealing with a Big Change or a Hard Time. I can trust that God will take care of me in this new land, because God has already carried me through so much more than this. So many of the good things in my life are not things I was initially pursuing when I started college. I wasn't planning to become a Christian, to do my current job, or to pursue a graduate degree in social work. And yet, I wouldn't change any of it. Some practicals that are helping me through this time are:
1) Taking the time to write down things God has provided for me;
specifically things that I was not planning or expecting.
2) Praying and staying vulnerable with God and close friends about my fears
3) Being flexible and open to opportunities that appear,
and trusting that 'my path' isn't the only way to go
3) Focusing on this: "This hope [Jesus, God's promises, God's love]
is strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.." Hebrews 6:19 [NLT]
Everything is going to change quickly. The big things: my church family, my friends, my job -- and the small things: my furniture, my cute apartment, my local hangouts. I quickly imagine that the change of these Constants will rock my world. However, the truth is only God is strong enough to anchor my life. I already feel refreshed knowing I can cling to Him to keep sane during this time.
"You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head... I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!" -- Psalm 139:5, 7 [NLT]
God can not be contained in a box, so luckily, I don't have to figure out a way to fit him in the car.